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KAEMPFER, Engelbert.

Histoire Naturelle, Civile, et Ecclésiastique de l'Empire du Japon:

Composée en Allemand ... & traduite en François sur la Version Anglaise de Jean-Gaspar Scheuchzer.

Stock Code
The Hague, P.Gosse & J. Neaulme, 1729

A tall copy of the first edition in French of Kaempfer's history of Japan which was a best-seller from the moment it was published. Born in Westphalia in 1651, Kaempfer traveled throughout the Near and Far East before settling in Japan as physician to the trading settlement of the Dutch East India Company at Nagasaki. During his two years' residence, he made two extensive trips around Japan in 1691 and 1692, collecting, according to the British historian Boxer, 'an astonishing amount of valuable and accurate information'. He also learned all he could from the few Japanese who came to Deshima for instruction in the European sciences.

To these observations, Kaempfer added details he had gathered from a wide reading of travelers' accounts and the reports of previous trading delegations. The result was the first scholarly study of Tokugawa Japan in the West, a work that greatly influenced the European view of

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First edition in French, 2 vols in one, folio (38.8 x 25.2 cm). Titles printed in red and black with engraved vignettes. Engraved frontispiece, one head-piece, 45 engraved plates, plans and maps (mostly double-page or folding). Engraved title margin browned, occasional very minor spotting or browning. Contemporary speckled calf gilt (minor wear to joints and extremities), an excellent example.


Brunet III, 638; Cordier (Japonica), 416; Cox I, p. 332-333; DSB VII, 204-5; Jones Checklist, 433; Nordenskiöld 514; Quérard IV, p. 282; Wroth 90 (map).

Stock ID:93801

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