DIAZ, FRANCISCO. 1606-1646.
Manuscript, Diccionario de la lengua mandarina, revised and expanded by Antonio Diaz. [Fuan, Fujian? late 17th century.] Chinese characters with Spanish definitions, 400 pp recto and verso, in black ink within block-printed pink grids, on a mixture of Chinese and European paper, written space 162 x 105 mm, frequent corrections and small pasted-in slips. 19th century russia gilt by Du Planil. Custom quarter morocco box. Few very pale foxmarks, upper joint started, generally fine.
Provenance: [Jesuits College at Pekin]; sold to Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough [1795-1837] (his sale, Charles Sharpe, Nov 1, 1842, lot 552); sold to Hodges & Smith of Dublin; Henry Stevens (his sale, Puttick & Simpson, May 24, 1854, lot 237); Sir Thomas Phillipps (MS 139444); Philip Robinson (his sale, "The Chinese Collection," Sotheby's New York, Nov 22, 1988, lot 38).
HIGHLY IMPORTANT MANUSCRIPT CHINESE-SPANISH DICTIONARY. Contains a Spanish dissertation on the five tones of the Chinese language. The preface states an attempt to harmonize the work with the Chinese dictionary Jiai-Xing-Phin-Zsu-Zsien. Francisco Diaz was a Dominican missionary whose lexicographical work is cited as a source by Francisco Varo [1627-1687], the author of the first published Mandarin grammar which appeared in 1703 (printed on Chinese paper from woodcut blocks and known in only 14 copies).
Diaz began his study of Chinese as a young man in the Chinese district of Manila (Parian), as did most Jesuit missionaries bound for China, and also at the Hospital of San Gabriel. In 1634 he set off for Formosa and then proceeded to the Dominican missionary station in Fuan, which he reached in 1635. Francisco Diaz died before Varo reached Fuan but it is possible that this manuscript was edited by Antonio Diaz, another Dominican confrère, to aid Varo in his work. Varo completed his own Portuguese/Spanish-Mandarin vocabulary while imprisoned in Funing in 1670. See Cordier 1721; Klaproth 131; González Historia de las misiones dominicanas de China; Coblin/Levi, preface to Francisco Varo's Grammar of the Mandarin Language.