6241. Manuscript copy of Bayer's Museum Sinicum

MANUSCRIPT COPY. BAYER, THEOPHILUS (GOTTLIEB) SIEGFRIED. 18th-century manuscript of Bayer's "Museum Sinicum, in quo Sinicae Linguae et Litteratura ratio explicator...", published in St. Petersburg 1730.

Manuscript, 2 volumes in one, folio (380x270 mm.). Titles, half-title, text in Latin, written in black, brown and red ink in a neat italic hand on thick paper watermarked "Honig/Zoonen", ruled in pencil, some phrases or words in Greek, Chinese and Arabic, with 51 FULL-PAGE PLATES OF CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY, one with calligraphic drawing of a bird, index (occasional light surface soiling).
Pagination as follows: 12 + 74 + 2 + 84 + 2 + 135 pp. (included one unpaginated page and four blank pages) + 103 pp. (incl. 51 pages with Chinese calligraphy, and seven blank pages) + 104 pp. (last 3 blank).
Contemporary Russian red morocco, a little rubbed and scuffed, modern unattractive title-label added. In a modern cloth box.

Löwendahl: China illustrata nova. Supplement, MS 6.
Apparently the only known manuscript copy of Bayer's "Museum Sinicum". Bayer's history of sinology and lexicon was published in 1730 in 8:o. The text of the manuscript - a large folio - differs only slightly from the printed text (for example in word order, in the addition of phonetic versions of characters given in western script; words which were to appear in italics in print are here underlined). The final section, not present in the printed book, is an alphabetical index in Latin. Chinese characters are referred to by page number and the number of each character on the page.
The quality of the Chinese characters, executed with both thin and thick brush-strokes, is superior to those reproduced in the published version, which points to that the non-Chinese scribe was well versed in Chinese calligraphy.

From the library of Swedish antiquarian bookdealer Björn Löwendahl (1941-2013).