Paris, Delance et Lesueur, 1805.
2 parts in 2 volumes 8vo [215 x 137 mm] of I/ (2) ll., xlv pp., 171 pp., 25 engravings out of pagination including a folded map of Macao; II/ (2) ll., 188 pp., 27 engravings including 1 folded plan of the courtroom. Preserved in wrappers and untrimmed, as published, title labels at the top of the spines. Original wrappers.
First edition of this compilation of first French translations related to the mission of Lord Macartney to China.
It was established by the orientalist Louis Langlès, who prefaced it with personal observations on the country (Cordier, Sinica, IV, col. 2387-2388).
The progressive closure of China since the beginning of the 18th century, when only Canton remained open to Europeans, led England to send a mission to China in order to be able to conduct more freely its business activities, notably the tea business. This embassy, placed under the direction of Lord Macartney, traveled a long way by sea, via Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro, then, after having crossed the Cape of Good Hope, via Java, Sumatra, along Cochin China and China until the mouth of Yang-Tse-Kiang. Lord Macartney then reached Beijing and then the summer residence of the Emperor in the Jehol Province.
Holmes was part of the guard accompanying Macartney in his embassy.
This edition is illustrated with a folding map of Macao and with 51 plates out of pagination under silky paper engraved by S. Simon after the drawings of William Alexander including 1 folding map of the courtroom and courtyards adjacent to Yuen-Ming-Yuen.
Beautiful copy preserved as published, in wrappers and very wide-margined since untrimmed.