Riverstone Museum Collections


FIRST TRANSLATION OF THREE IMPORTANT CHINESE HISTORY BOOKS] Opisanie Chzhungarii i Vostochnogo Turkestana v drevnem i nyneshnem sostoyanii -


First Edition Ancient Copy


Monk Iakinf

About this object

xlvi, 90; [2], 91-270, [1] pp. 8vo. With four hand coloured lithographed plates. Both parts with period ink inscriptions on the title pages “E. bibl. Steph. Chotovitsky.” Graphite and occasional blue pencil markings and notes in text (in prerevolutionary Russian orthography). Contemporary half leather binding with marbled boards, gilt tooled mounted spine; with new endpapers. Title pages with minor expert repair of blank parts, one repair affecting one letter, light foxing of the text. Otherwise a very good copy. First edition. Rare. An important work by the famous Russian sinologist archimandrite Iakinf, the first translation into a European language of three important Chinese sources on the history and contemporary state of so-called “Western Lands,” or Chinese Turkestan (modern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China). The book describes the ancient history of the Western Lands as early as 126 B.C., and their modern state, and is based on three original Chinese sources: “Se yu chuen” (“Narration about the Western Lands”), a portion of the “Tscen Han shoo” by Pan Koo (“History of the early Han dynasty”), and “Se yu vuin tzeen lŭh” (“Notes about seen and heard in the Western Lands”). The book opens with Iakinf’s preface, followed by an alphabetic index of ancient geographical names clarifying their present location.The main text is commenced with a table of distances between military stations in Chinese Turkestan, and is supplemented with texts of different government regulations and statutes regarding the region (about Chinese exiles and criminals sent for a settlement there, about duties and customs, about the possessions of the Turkestan princes allowed to be taken during travelling et al.), and with genealogical lists of the princes and rulers of the lands in the Eastern Turkestan. Coloured lithographed plates depict a Kalmykian warrior and his wife, an inhabitant of the area near Bukhara, and a Turkestan girl.Both title pages bear period ink owner’s inscriptions most likely made by Stepan Fomich Khotovitsky (1796-1885) – famous Russian doctor of medicine, gynecologist, professor of the Medical-Surgical Academy in Moscow and the founder of pediatrics in Russia. - See more at:

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Spine Label

Contemporary half leather binding with marbled boards, gilt tooled mounted spine; with new endpapers

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