An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China...
OGILBY John translator.; DAPPER Olfert author.; NIEUHOF Johan author & illustrator (1671.)
Delivered by their Excellencies Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer, at his Imperial City of Peking. Wherein the cities, towns, villages, ports, rivers, &c. in their passages from Canton to Peking, are ingeniously described... Also an Epistle of Father John Adams their Antagonist, concerning the whole negotiation. With an Appendix of several remarks taken out of Father Athanasius Kircher... First English edition. Engraved portrait of Ogilby, engraved title, separate printed dedication leaf to the Lord Mayor of London, one double-page engraved map of China, 19 engraved plates (incl. folding plan of Canton), and 121 illustration in the text. Title, [iv], 327; 18; 106pp. London, J. Macock, 1669. & Atlas Chinensis: Being a second part of a relation of remarkable passages in two embassies from the East India Company of the United Provinces to the Vice-Roy Singlamong and General Taising Lipovi, and to Konchi, Emperor of China and East Tartary with a relation of the Netherlanders assisting the Tartar against Coxinga, and the Chinese fleet, who till then were masters of the sea. And a more exact geographical description than formerly, both of the whole empire of China in general, and in particular of every of the fifteen provinces. First English edition. Engraved title, 2 double-page engraved maps (not called for in the list of plates and often missing), 38 engraved plates (mostly double-page) and 57 illustration in the text. [iv], 723pp. Large folios. Uniformly rebound in contemporary-style calf, some occasional light waterstaining, but overall a very good, clean set. London, Tho. Johnson,
In 1655 the Dutch East India Company (VOC), who had already established a trading post on Formosa, sent an embassy to Peking in the hope of gaining trading privileges in Canton. Led by Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer, two merchants from Batavia, they took rich gifts and performed the controversial kow-tow before the Emperor. The term 'embassy' is slightly misleading in that the 'ambassadors' were not officially accredited by the Dutch state. In effect, it was more like a trade delegation sent by a private company. Jan Nieuhof (1618-1672) was appointed steward to the delegation and he supplied the copious notes and illustrations upon which the original Dutch account (1665) was based. It should be noted that Nieuhof was not trained as a draughtsman and that the drawings upon which the engravings in the current publication are based were only completed after his return to Holland. Nevertheless, his account gives some of the most authentic images of China to date and profoundly influenced the perception of China in the West. It shaped and defined the Chinoiserie craze of the late 17th and 18th century. Ogilby's translation was very popular in Britain and it inspired the British East India Company to send their own embassy to China. Lust 535; Cordier 2347; Landwehr VOC 543.
Ogilby erroneously ascribed the authorship of the so-called second and third embassies to Montanus (who in fact wrote the account of the VOC mission to Japan) but it was in fact compiled by Olfert Dapper. His accounts were based on journeys undertaken by Admiral Balthasar Bort along the Fujian coast in 1663 and 1664, as well as another mission to China under Pieter van Hoorn in 1666-68. It includes an important account of the attempt by the Ming loyalist/pirate (depending on your point of view) Koxinga to establish a base in Formosa in 1661 and the subsequent alliance between the Dutch and the Qing to counter his efforts. All of the engravings were copied by the artist Wenceslau Hollar (1607-1677) from the Dutch edition. The second engraved map which is often missing shows the area around Amoy (Xiamen). It is entitled: "On these Islands which have now become a Kingdom used the famous pyrates Yquon & Kocksinga to resort". Lust 525; Cordier 2349; Landwehr VOC 545 (only calls for one engraved map).
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