First Western translation of Li-chi
Li-Ki ou Memorial des Rites.
Traduit pour la premiere fois du Chinois, et accompagne de notes, de commentaires et du texte original. Turin & Paris Imprimerie Royale & Benjamin Duprat 1853
First edition. 4to (31.5 x 24 cm), pp.[ii], xxxii, 199, [1, blank], 98 (lithographed Chinese text). A very good copy, wide-margined copy bound in later half morocco over marbled boards. All edges untrimmed.
The first Western translation of the Li-chi (Book of Rites), with accompanying finely lithographed Chinese text. The Li-chi is a collection of ancient Confucian texts on ritual, manners, and decorum; it was among the canonical texts required by the Chinese civil service examinations from the 14th century to the turn of the 20th century. Joseph-Gaëtan-Pierre-Maxime-Marie Callery (1810-1862), Italian missionary and Sinologist, was in China from 1835, where he established a printing press at Macao. He served as interpreter to de Lagrené's embassy of 1844 when the treaty of Whampoa was negotiated and signed, giving the French equal rights to the British in China. The French translation and Chinese text comprise the first thirty-six chapters of the Li-chi. The first full translation of all forty-nine chapters was published by James Legge in 1885. The Chinese text was lithographed by Kaeppelin in Paris.