Friday, November 11, 2011

Peking Embassy

seated Chinese emperor with globe surrounded by raft of attendants; prisoner in head stock on ground
The German 1666 title page (after the Dutch original) was rendered into English a couple of years later as:

'An embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, emperor of China: delivered by their excellencies Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer, at his imperial city of Peking wherein the cities, towns, villages, ports, rivers, &c. in their passages from Canton to Peking are ingeniously described by John Nieuhoff; also an epistle of Father John Adams, their antagonist, concerning the whole negotiation; with an appendix of several remarks taken out of Father Athanasius Kircher; Englished and set forth with their several sculptures by John Ogilby'

tri-mast 17th c. naval ships and Chinese junks in Macau harbour


decorated Chinese longboat propelled by ~20 rowers
Ceremonial barge or long-boat

Nanking Street
Street scene in Nanking

Tianjin* (city in N China)

Peking Imperial palace 1650s

Peking Imperial palace grounds overview engraving
A pair of views of the Imperial Palace in Peking with bilingual legends

Canton town and harbour bird's eye-view
Canton town and harbour, including the palace of the Viceroy

engraving of 3-level pagoda; adjacent to sailing ship on moat
Pagoda near the Chinese city of Sinkicien

10-storey tapering Nanjing pagoda in walled square
The Porcelain Tower or Pagoda of Nanjing, otherwise known as the Temple of Gratitude
"It was a pagoda constructed in the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, but was mostly destroyed in the 19th century during the course of the Taiping Rebellion.

In 2010 Wang Jianlin, a Chinese businessman, donated one billion yuan (US$156.3 million) to the city of Nanjing for its reconstruction of the pagoda. This is reported to be the largest single personal donation ever made in China."

17th century engraving of male and female Chinese peasants
Chinese peasants near a traditional farmhouse

engraving of Chinese mob in 1600s with 2 culprits on the ground

3 armed Mongolian men in furs stand in front of tents - 17th century China
Mongol ambassadors stand in front of an encampment [alternative]

Tartarische mannen
Hunter or warrior men from Tartary*, Mongolia

5 men in varied garb (priests and monks from China) with pagoda in background
Chinese priests and monks

Tiger etc
Tiger, musk deer and other animals and birds

The first edition of this important book by Johan Nieuhof was published in Dutch in [?]1662 and translated into the major European languages within a couple of years. It was one of the few non-Jesuit sources on China from this period and was famous for its wealth of engravings.

The book was translated into English by the great Scottish mapmaker and publisher, John Ogilby, in 1669, and included excerpts from Athanasius Kircher's 'China Illustrata' (1667) and illustrations (at least some) by Wenceslaus Hollar, based on the originals from the Dutch text.

Nieuhof (1618-1672) [previously] was a Dutch diplomat and traveller who wrote about his journeys to Brazil, China and India. The most famous of these was a trip of 2,400 km from Canton to Peking in 1655-1657, which enabled him to become an authoritative Western writer on China. After an adventurous career in the service of the Dutch East India Company (or VOC) in Sri Lankan and Indian posts, Nieuhof lived in Batavia until 1670. In 1672 he disappeared without trace in Madagascar while travelling in a sloop from which he had landed to seek drinking water.

Kanton vista (Wisc.)

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