Lot n° 30
3000 - 4000
[Missions]. COMPAGNIE DE JÉSUS. Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangères Paris, Le Clerc, Le Mercier et alii., 1707-1776.
[Missions]. COMPANY OF JESUS. Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangères Paris, Le Clerc, Le Mercier et alii, 1707-1776. 34 volumes in 32 volumes in-12, contemporary brown calf binding, spine ribbed (wear defects to bindings with worm tracts on some, as well as in 6 vols. of which 5 in margins, decent set, complete with maps, 5 pl. lacking, condition report available).
Extremely rare complete collection of this collection of letters written by Jesuit missionaries, from their missions abroad, and addressed to the superiors of their order. For the statesmen, princes and diplomats of France and Europe, this important collection was a most valuable, and often the only, source of information on the state of distant lands, especially those of the Far East and America. The descriptions and testimonies of the Jesuit missionaries are first-hand and are available here for the first time, and despite the suppression of the order in France in 1764, the publication was allowed to run its course.
publication was allowed to continue until its completion. The illustration, of the highest interest, is composed of 17 maps, one of which in 2 sheets, 2 plans, and 12 (out of 17) plates, 8 of which are folding, and a portrait, all hors-texte and engraved on copper. One can notice in particular one of the very first representations of the course of the Amazon, a view of Nangasaki, the passage of California, the coasts of Peru and Tierra del Fuego, the Philippine Islands, the Carolinas, a map of Paraguay, etc.
The copy shows some differences in the decoration of the bindings; some volumes are probably reprints, but almost all are original editions: the publication dates are consecutive only from volume 14 (1720) to the last one (1776), the earliest dated 1707 being volume 7 (details available upon request).
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