# 33398

XU, Guangqi (HSÜ, Kuang-ch'i) (1562-1633); MEDHURST, W.H. (Walter Henry) (1796-1857) (translator)

Dissertation on the silk-manufacture, and the cultivation of the mulberry; (in publisher’s wrappers)

$3,000.00 AUD

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translated from the works of Tseu-Kwang-K’he. Called also Paul Siu, a Colao, or minister of state in China. Shanghae : Printed at the Mission Press, 1849. [Series: The Chinese miscellany, III]. Octavo, recent half morocco over marbled papered boards; title leaf, pp 108, followed by [16] full-page wood block printed illustrations; title and last illustrated leaf a little browned, but a fine copy bound without the wrappers.

An important work in English on silk, extracted from an early Chinese source.

A partial translation of Nonzheng quanshu (Complete treatise on agriculture, 1639), an encyclopaedic work of the late Ming which included a vast amount of information on the production of sik. It was written by Xu Guangqi (Latin name Paul Siù), a Christian convert during Ricci’s time in China. The potential importance of Medhurst’s translation to British commerce was recognized in its time, as it was reprinted again in Madras in 1858 (anon., Madras Exhibition of 1859) ‘to encourage Indian silk cultivators and reelers to employ these superior Chinese techniques’ (Ma, Debin. Textiles in the Pacific, 1500–1900. New York : Routledge, 2016, p. 123).

Cordier, Sinica, 1513; Lust 1237