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Early Russo-Chinese Relations.

Important Early Overland Travel Account: "No Easy Journey in Those Days" (Cox).

First English edition of this key early travel account of China and Russia, written by a Dutch merchant who traveled to China in the service of Peter the Great. 

The maps, engravings, and text in the book speak to Ides's extremely difficult and arduous overland journey and what he encountered along the way. The engravings include a depiction of Tsangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706), and a folding plate of the Great Wall of China

Ides traveled across Siberia and into Peking on behalf of Peter the Great in 1692. The main purpose of the trip was to negotiate commercial agreements with the Chinese on Moscow's behalf. Before the Tartars became rulers of China, it was almost impossible for foreigners to find admittance to the Imperial Court. Kang-hi was desirous of preventing Russian encroachments upon his territories and the Czar was anxious to establish regular commerce with China. The expedition added considerable geographical knowledge to the little that was known about Manchuria and China. The descriptions of the people and places seen are vivid.

Cox notes, perhaps an intentional understatement, that "This was no easy journey in those days."


  1. Harriet Latham, her signature.
  2. Delightful bookplate of CJ Peacock, which contains the curse

Who folds a leafe downe
ye divel toaste browne
Who makes marke or blotte
ye divel roaste hotte
Who stealeth thisse booke
ye divel shall cooke.

Condition Description
Small quarto. Contemporary paneled calf, leather spine label, raised bands, expertly rebacked. Corners and edges moderately rubbed. Some chipping to spine along outer joints. Inner front hinge starting, but holding tightly by cords. Early ownership name of Harriet Latham on front free endpaper. Bookplate of C. J. Peacock. [12], 210 pages. Engraved allegorical extra title page as frontispiece, large engraved folding map measuring 26 1/2 x 20 inches (with repaired tear in upper right, laid down on sheet), 30 engraved plates (8 folding). Complete. Some toning and foxing to page 1. Overall a clean, solid copy in a nice contemporary binding. Very good.
Cordier 2468. Cox I:330-331. Lust 519. Lowendahl 294.