2卷，对开(402 x 248毫米)。同时代斑纹小牛皮装帧，书脊处有六条竹节，烫金压线装饰，黄褐色皮质书名标签。书封有烫金单线，狗齿纹压印，素色花饰压印，书口刷红。
“A pioneering work in geography, [which] challenged Europeans’ complacency about their advancement, and established the orthographic conventions by which Chinese has been represented in English until very recently”
DU HALDE, Jean Baptiste.
A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese-Tartary, Together with the Kingdoms of Korea, and Tibet: Containing the Geography and History (Natural as well as Civil) of those Countries. With Notes Geographical, Historical and Critical and Other Improvements, Particularly in the Maps
London: T. Gardner for Edward Cave, 1738-41
2 volumes, folio (402 x 248 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, spines with six raised bands framed by paired gilt fillets, tawny labels, sides with border of single gilt fillets and dog-tooth roll, blind foliate edge roll, red edges. 64 maps, plans, and plates (42 of them folding), including the large “General Map” as frontispiece to vol. I, illustrations in the text. Each volume sometime neatly repaired at head, joints partially cracked but sound, corners a little worn, general light abrasions and old markings, marginal worming to a few gatherings at the beginning of vol. I, scattered foxing and pale browning. A very good set, clean and crisp.
Second and most complete English edition of Du Halde’s encyclopaedic survey, “the first definitive European work on the Chinese empire” (Hill) and a cornerstone of any collection of books on China. It was first published in French in 1735; the first English edition published the following year contained just 19 plates and 4 maps.
Du Halde (1674-1743) was a Jesuit former confessor to the duc d’Orléans, and compiled his book from the accounts, published and unpublished, prepared by 27 Jesuit missionaries during their travels. This exhaustive work not only provided valuable information on Chinese political institutions, education, language, medicine, science, customs and artefacts - importantly it is one of the earliest European sources on Chinese ceramics - but also marked the first appearance of 43 maps by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, internationally recognised as “the finest cartographer of his time” (Moreland & Bannister). Drawn from recent surveys commissioned by the Emperor Kang-hi from the Jesuits, these maps represented an immense improvement on existing knowledge and are considered by Tooley to be “the principal cartographic authority on China during the 18th century”. [ 143967]