Gao Hou Meng Qiu. [Treatise on Things High and Profound].

XU Chaojun (1829.)

£6500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. 5 parts in 4 vols. Numerous full-page woodcut illustrations and maps throughout. Original Chinese stitched covers (lacking title-slips), minor wear, three pp. with marginal damage, but overall a very good set. In Chinese 19th century folding cloth case (slightly worn). Songjiang [Shanghai], Xu shi yuan kan ben, 1809-

Xu Chaojun (1752-1823) was the fifth generation descendant of the famous Ming scholar, astronomer, and Christian convert Xu Guangxi (1562-1633) who had studied with Matteo Ricci and collaborated with him on the translation of Euclid's Elements into Chinese and Confucian Classics into Latin. The subjects in the present book - astronomy, geography, and time-keeping - all relate to sciences that hitherto had been the domain of Imperial studies and it is the first book in China on these subjects to be published outside the realms of Imperial-Jesuit collaboration. The book is divided into eight sections (juan) including Tianxue rumen (Introduction to Astronomy), Haiyu daguan (Overview of Countries and Seas), Zhong xing biao (Showing the Stars), Tiandi tuyi (Astronomical and World maps) and Ziming zhongbiao tushuo (Illustrated Explanation of Mechanical Clocks). The latter is the first illustrated work in China on the construction and maintenance of chiming clocks, tracing the manufacture of clocks from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty. Overview of Countries and Seas uses globe gore projections for both the stellar and the terrestrial maps and also includes the first description of Latin America in Chinese. The final volume (Gaohu hebiao) gives tables for the observation of celestial bodies in relation to the Chinese 24 seasonal solar terms providing degrees arc-minutes and arc-seconds for their position. Rare. Only 5 copies in OCLC. 

Stock Code: 243078

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