Deng Yuhan (Johannes Schreck); Wang Zheng trans. and illus: YUANXI QIQI TUSHUO LUZUI XINZHI ZHUQI TUSHUO. (Illustrations and Descriptions of Marvellous Machines from the Far West & Illustrations and Explanations of Various Machines). Beijing, 2018. 12, 44; 40; 60; 4, 21, 6 folded leaves. 54 pp. b/w woodcut illustrations, many full page, some double page. Explanatory loose paper insert. 4 vols. 33x22 cm. Stitched, cloth case.
A fascinating and influential work on the importation of western scientific ideas and technology into China in the late Ming dynasty. The work was printed in Beijing by the Jesuit missionary, Johannes Schreck, aided and assisted by the artist, Wang Zheng, who produced the illustrations.
Johannes Schreck (1576-1630) was a German Jesuit missionary, polymath and polyglot who came to China in 1619 and died in Beijing in 1630. The founder of the Jesuit mission in China, Matteo Ricci, had sent Nicolas Trigault to Europe for new missionaries who could share western science and technology with the Chinese. Schreck was one such recruit. Prior to the publication of this work, Schreck had produced other scientific and medical books in Chinese and is credited with developing scientific and technical terminologies in Chinese. Apparently, he was responsible for the designs of the famous astronomical instruments in the Observatory in Peking.
Many of the illustrations in this work were based on Agostino Ramelli's 'Diverse et Artificiose Machine' published 1588 and Fausto Veranzio's 'Machinae Novae' of 1616.
Three of the volumes comprise the 'Yuanxi Qiqi Tushuo Lu Zui'; the fourth volume is 'Xinzhi Zhuqi Tushuo'.
First printed in 1627. Richly illustrated. This finely-produced facsimile to the original size and done from the copy owned by the famous bibliophile, Zheng Zhenduo. Now in the National Library of China.
All very interesting, particularly from the standpoint of the little-studied area of the early introduction of western ideas and technology into China. Text in Chinese.
Published in an edition of just 200 copies. Out-of-print.
Subjects: Illustrated Books Foreigners in
Available, as of: 20/09/2021
Was item 323 in printed List 201.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.