Auction 134, Lot 654

"De Beschryving van Japan, Behelsende een Verhall van den Ouden en Tegenwoordigen Staat en Regeering…Engelbert Kaempfer, M.D. Geneesheer", Kaempfer/Scheuchzer

Subject: Japan

Period: 1733 (dated)


Color: Black & White

9 x 14 inches
22.9 x 35.6 cm

Very nice Dutch edition of this scarce, great classic on Japan by Engelbert Kaempfer that was the chief source of western knowledge on Japan for decades. The richly illustrated volume is a fundamental book on Japan with 44 (of 46) engraved and folding maps, city plans, views, natural history, customs and costume, festivals, temples, etc. Contains very early engraved views or plans of Bangkok, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Macao, etc. and numerous maps of Japan as follows. Particuliere Reis Kaart van Japan strekkende van Khurissima tot Osaka; Particuliere Reis Kaart te Land strekkende van Jokaitz tot aan het Dorp Fammamatz; Particuliere Kaart van de Reys te Land van Fammamatz, tot aan Farra; and Particuliere Kaart van de Reys te Land van Farra tot Jedo. Also contains sections describing two earlier Dutch explorations to Japan in the years 1641 and 1661. Hardbound in full leather with raised spine with fancy tooling, folio, 500pp. Contents: Title page, Verklaaring der Tytelprint; engraved frontispiece, second title page (red & black); text with plates. Published by Jan Roman de Jonge. Plate pagination shows plates 8 & 16 missing, but there are 44 plates present. Plate 8 is the large folding map of Japan. Plate 16 is likely the map titled, "De namen van de tweede opvolging der Godheden Bladzyde…"

Kaempfer (1651-1716) was a German physician in the service of the Dutch East India Company. He lived in Nagasaki between September 1690 and October 1692. He twice accompanied the chief of the factory at Deshima on his embassy to Tokyo (Edo). While in Nagasaki he conducted an intense study of Japanese history, geography, customs, and flora. Leaving Japan in November 1692 he arrived in Amsterdam in October of 1693.

References: Walter OAG catalog lists several of the maps.

Condition: A

Contents very good to fine with tight signatures. Leather covers cracked and abraded, missing upper corner spine with a crack at center and one small area of depression. First third of pages with marginal water stain at upper corner.

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000


Closed on 12/1/2010