From rhinoceros horn to silver exports
Voyage a Peking, Manille et l'Ile de France.
Paris L'Imprimerie Impériale 1808
First edition. Three volumes, 8vo (21 x 13 cm), pp.[iv], lxiii, [1, blank], 439, [1, blank]; [iv], 476; [iv], 488. With printed Chinese characters in text. A very good set handsomely bound in later half morocco over marbled boards. Contents clean and fresh. Without the atlas volume of plates and maps.
Cordier BS 2351-2; Löwendahl 738
The French Sinologist Chrétien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes's (1759-1845) account of the Dutch East India Company's 1794-5 embassy to China. De Guignes was the second ambassador and acted as interpreter. Unlike Braam Houckgeest and Isaac Titsingh, de Guignes remained in the Far East until 1801 and the scope of his account is much wider than other published accounts of the Dutch embassy. The text comprises a long account of the embassy, with a detailed itinerary from Canton to Beijing. De Guignes also provides numerous historical essays covering everything from Confucius to ancient China, a detailed list of the Chinese emperors and their dynasties, with their names printed in Chinese characters, and a chronological table of Chinese history. There are also detailed notes on subjects including tea, imperial regalia, Chinese adoptive customs, rhinoceros horn, and silver exports. The final volume contains an analysis and description of the Chinese army, a history of Macao, notes on China's foreign trade and diplomatic ties, and de Guignes' account of his voyage to the Philippines and French Mauritius in 1796.