Unknown manuscript by a Jesuit about his sojourn in China, bound with two other relations

[China - Jesuit Letters]. "Biblioteca volante ou colleçao de varias relacoes pertencentes à Embaxada da China". Collection of relations about China compiled by Fr. Matthias da Conceiçao, librarian of the monastery at Mafra.

Likely Mafra near Lisbon, 1756.

4to. 3 parts in one volume (with handwritten collective title as quoted above). I: Relaçao verdadeira dos sucessos da embaxada, que o Fidelissimo Rey de Portugal o Sr. D. José I mandou ao Imperador dal China no anno de 1752. (232) pp. Portuguese manuscript on paper.

Bound between (II): Jean Sylvain de Neuvialle. Relação da jornada, que fez ao Imperio da China, e summaria noticia da embaixada que deo na Corte de Pekim em o primeiro de Mayo de 1753, o Senhor Francisco Xavier Assiz Pacheco e Sampayo. Lisbon, Antonio Pedrozo Gairam, 1754. (16) pp.

(III): Noticia admiravel, e curiosa relaçam do grande imperio da China. Lisbon, Domingos Rodrigues, 1755. 8 pp. Contemporary full calf with title to giltstamped spine. All edges sprinkled in red.


A unique Chinese-themed sammelband compiled by the librarian of the famous palace-monastery of Mafra, built between 1717 and 1755. Bound between two rare, brief printed reports about the Portuguese missions to China carried out in 1753 and 1755 is an extensive unpublished manuscript that provides a "true relation of the successes of the embassy which King José I of Portugal sent to the Emperor of China in the year of 1752". Closely written in a fine, well-legible secretarial hand, the relation is dated December, 1754 and signed "Luis de Sigueira". Sequeira (1693-1763) was a French Jesuit who came to China in 1726, worked in Hukwang (Hankou) and served later as rector in Macao (cf. Pfister). No publication of his relation could be traced in the National Library of Lisbon or in library catalogues internationally.

Paper of letterpress relations and handwritten title noticeably browned, paper of Sequeira's manuscript unaffected, showing merely some occasional ink bleeding or corrosion in the bolder pen flourishes. Binding rubbed and bumped along extremeties; some chipping to spine. A unique survival with old handwritten library shelfmark "Est. 12.C.4.L.21" to flyleaf.

Cf. Pfister, Notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les Jésuites de l'ancienne mission de Chine 1552-1773, II, p. 698 ff). OCLC 6407381 (II), 29132403 (III).

Stock Code: BN#48754 Tags: , ,