10,000 - 15,000 GBP
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- Suite des seize estampes représentant les Conquêtes de l'Empereur de la Chine. Paris: chez l'auteur, [1783-1788]
Folio (356 x 478mm.), engraved title with plate list, 24 engraved plates (numbered I-XXIV), early nineteenth-century half calf over marbled boards, some spotting and a few stains, upper hinge loose, binding slightly worn
Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847-1913), armorial bookplate
THE CRAWFORD COPY. A RARE SET OF ENGRAVINGS COMPLETE WITH THE ENGRAVED TITLE, recording the battles, victories and ceremonies of the Chinese Emperor Qianlong. The emperor commissioned the original set of sixteen engravings of his conquests on 13th July 1765, for the central hall of the Imperial Palace in Beijing. The drawings were prepared in China by four Jesuit missionaries and were then sent to France, where they were engraved by eight artists under the direction of Charles-Nicolas Cochin of the Académie Royale at the Court of Louis XVI. These large engravings were completed in 1774 and distributed only in China, with only a few rare proofs remaining in Europe, but demand was so great that Helman reproduced the series in a reduced format between 1783-5, and then added 8 further plates of imperial ceremonies between 1786-8 to make up the present work.