ALEXANDRE DU RHODES. 1591-1660.
Divers voyages et missions ... en la Chine, & autres royaumes de l'Orient, avec son retour en Europe par la Perse & l'Armenie. Paris: Sebastien and Gabriel Cramoisy, 1653.
4to (214 x 155 mm). , 276, 82 pp. Folding map, vignette engraving on title, woodcut initials, head and tail pieces. Period calf, raised bands, gilt spine compartments, marbled endpapers. A few spots of soiling to title, period ink inscription to same, upper corner of final 82 pages nibbled, endpapers renewed, minor chipping to joints, corners worn.
Provenance: W.W. Rockhill (armorial bookplate).
THE SCARCE FIRST EDITION, featuring a large folding map of parts of China and Southeast Asia. The account of the travels through Asia of 17th-century Jesuit missionary Alexandre du Rhodes, who was greatly influential in the spread of Christianity in Vietnam. Only one copy appears in auction records for the last thirty years. The present copy comes from the library of American diplomat, explorer, and scholar of Tibet, William Woodville Rockhill (1854-1914), who, while serving as U.S. Minister to China from 1905-1909, became the first Western diplomat to meet with a Dalai Lama.