GUIGNES, CHRETIEN LOUIS DE. 1759-1845.
Dictionnaire chinois, français et latin, publié d'après l'ordre de sa Majesté l'Empereur et Roi Napoléon le Grand. Paris: Imprimerie Impériale, 1813.
Folio (455 x 288 mm). , lvi, 1112, [2 errata] pp. Half title. Double column, chinese characters and roman type. Period marbled boards, rebacked and recornered in green morocco with original green morocco gilt spine and cover details neatly laid down. Light spots to half-title, a very few leaves with pale, even toning, overall extremely handsome.
FIRST EDITION OF THIS HANDSOME IMPRIMERIE IMPÉRIALE PUBLICATION, COMMISSIONED BY NAPOLEON IN 1808. De Guignes acted as translator for the Dutch ambassador to the court of the Emperor Qianlong in 1794-95, two of 17 years he spent in China. His work is a thorough editing of the compilation made by the Franciscan missionary, Basilio de Glemona Brollo in the 17th century. The pages of this dictionary are very beautiful. The tens of thousands of Chinese characters are printed from pear wood blocks carved between 1715 and 1740 for a project initiated by the young Chinese adventurer, Arcadio Huang. Rare in this fine condition. Cordier 1589.