First Edition in English by Ogilby of Nieuhoff's Account of the Dutch Embassy in China

    John Nieuhoff. An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperour of China. London: Printed by John Macock for the Author, 1669. First edition in English, translated and illustrated by John Ogilby. Folio. Approximately 16.5 x 10.25 inches. [iv], 327 [actually 307 due to printer's pagination error], [1, blank], 18, [2, blank], 106 pages. With engraved portrait of Ogilby, engraved title-page, and nineteen plates inserted throughout (one double-page). Complete with Maatsukyer's account of an embassy from Batavia and Kircher's essay on China. With many intertextual engravings. Contemporary full mottled calf. Rebacked to style in modern calf, tooled in gilt in compartments, brown gilt morocco lettering label (possibly the original label preserved), six raised bands. Some wear to boards, previous owner's bookplate (defaced), neat ink inscriptions by two near-contemporary owners on the first blank. Some occasional toning, foxing in text, a few small tears and chips and one tiny hole (only very minor loss), a few plates toned with short marginal tears, Map of China with repair on verso. Still, a very good copy of this beautifully illustrated work.

    Nieuhoff traveled to China in 1655 as a steward for Peter De Goyer and Jacob De Keyzer as representatives of the Dutch East India Company who were interested in breaking the Portuguese control of trade with China. Nieuhoff's narrative along with the accounts of traveling Jesuits were the first reliable narratives of China available to a European audience. Ogilby added extracts from the writings of Father John Adams and Anthanasius Kircher to supplement this volume. It is possible that the illustrations in this book gave the western reader his first visual record of China and Asia. Wing N1152. Cordier 2347.

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    April, 2014
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