30+ illustrations of “An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham”

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“An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham” is a book written by the Dutch explorer and author Johan Nieuhof published in 1665.

Thanks to its success, several editions were printed and the book was translated into French, German, Latin and English.

The illustrations below are taken from the edition of John Ogilby (images courtesy of British Museum).

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Images

figures lying on the ground
Two male figures lying on the ground, with crowd of men holding weapons around them; buildings in the background; illustration to an edition of Johannes Nieuhof, ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China’, trans. John Ogilby (London, 1669). Etching

Prostrate figure before a statue
Prostrate figure before a statue; figure on left holding a dish; in background, a table with six human heads; illustration to an edition of Johannes Nieuhof, ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China’, trans. John Ogilby (London, 1669). Etching

A Royall Feast or Entertainment of the Ambassadors without the Citty, at Canton
Two ambassadors with a retinue of musicians, meeting Chinese officials; numerous figures, three on horseback, and tents; in the background, the city walls; illustration to an edition of Johannes Nieuhof, ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China’, trans. John Ogilby (London, 1669). Etching

An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China
Capital letter ‘T’, with a figure kneeling before a Chinese emperor, seated at left; another figure lying on his stomach in front of an altar with burning sacrifice in background; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.1); letterpress on verso. Etching

Heytamon
A ship in foreground at left approaching the hilly coast of Heytamon; small boats seen nearby; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.32); letterpress on verso. Etching

rock formations in Shaozhou
View of rock formations in Shaozhou; boats moored near the coast in foreground; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.55); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching

View of Nanxiong

View of Nanxiong, with ship at centre foreground approaching the harbour; pagoda behind crenellated wall on rock at left; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.55); letterpress on verso.

walled city of Wan-an
Distant view of the walled city of Wan-an, with boats on the Kan river in foreground; stretch of land with trees at left; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.63); letterpress on verso.

walled settlement called Kyakya
View of a walled settlement called Kyakya, with large boat on river in foreground at right, other boats moored beside the rocky coast; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.67); letterpress on verso. Etching.

 walled city of Ji'an
View of the walled city of Ji’an, with two large boats sailing in foreground at left and centre; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.65); letterpress on verso. Etching

View of Hukou
View of Hukou, spread over cliffs, with boat sailing in foreground at left, others moored near the shore.

city of Wuhu
Distant view of the city of Wuhu from the Yangtze river, with junk sailing in foreground at right and other boats nearby.

View of Nanjing from above
View of Nanjing from above, the porcelain pagoda Da Bao’en Si seen at centre right.

pagoda at Linqing
View of the pagoda at Linqing, with other buildings and figures nearby; river with boats at right; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.102); letterpress on verso. Etching

Chinese men conversing
Three Chinese men conversing and pointing to left; a boy standing at far right; buildings and figures in background.

A Flying Fish
Flying fish flying to left above the sea, as part of a large group; ship tossed by waves in middle ground at left.

Chinese Governor
Sitting male figure, identified as ‘Chinese Governor’, with lettering below, ‘Goddes of Lincing’; other figures around him; large figure (or statue) in foreground at right; room lit by hanging lanterns; statue of idol in background; illustration to an edition of Johannes Nieuhof, ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China’, trans. John Ogilby (London, 1669). Etching

Tartarian man standing
A Tartarian man standing in profile to left, shooting with a bow and arrow, another at centre leaning on a staff, turning towards the third, carrying a bow; figures and houses in middle ground, walled city in background.

Tartarian women
Three Tartarian women standing on a hillock in foreground, the one at left carrying a basket, the one at centre holding a fan; two figures kneeling in prayer in front of a dead bear, hanging upside down, fastened to trees; settlement of tents nearby.

Viceroy of Canton
The young Viceroy of Canton riding a horse from right to left; cavalry with flags riding in the same direction in middle ground at right, and in the opposite direction along a crenellated wall in background.

Chinese-beggars
Four Chinese beggars, one sitting, one standing and holding a rock, a third kneeling with a small fire on his head, and a fourth prone on the ground and with a large block around his neck

snake-boat
Long narrow boat in the shape of dragon, with three masts, oarsmen, and other figures; mountains in the background.

Flotilla sailing in a gorge in Guangdong province
Flotilla sailing in a gorge in Guangdong province; high cliffs on both sides; figures walking along a path cut in a cliff at left; illustration tom Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.47); first state. Etching

jackfruit tree
Two Chinese men and two women seated around an open fire in a clearing, under a pal and a jackfruit tree, eating from a cauldron; a third man bringing a jackfruit; cut jackfruits lying under a tree in foreground; forest in background; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, Kircher p.89); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching

Hippopotamus walking
Hippopotamus walking along a coast from right to left; group of figures killing hippos under two palm trees at left; rowing boat and shio in middle ground at right; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, Kircher p.89); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching

Part of the Great Wall of China

Part of the Great Wall of China, with elephant walking out from an arched entrance at center, supervised by two Chinese men; three armed riders at left; man standing beside horse at right; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, Kircher p.101); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching.

View of a castle on a lake
View of a castle on a lake, surrounded by tall wall; covered boat in forergound at left, open rowing boats nearby; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.37); letterpress on verso. Etching

old Viceroy of Canton
The old Viceroy of Canton seated cress-legged to front on a carpeted platform; officials seated in a row behind; three standing figures conversing at left; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.45); letterpress on verso. Etching

Chinese woman spinning

A Chinese woman spinning, conversing with another; a Chinese man standing at right with his back turned towards the viewer, holding a spear; an old man sitting on the ground, holding a fan; another man with a parasol walking away at far left; building and flag on pole at right; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.212); another illustration on verso; second state. Etching

chinese-Funeral-procession
Funeral procession, with coffin carried under a canopy, approaching a wall with three gates; figures walking up a steep flight of steps to a chamber cut in a rock behind; roofs of buildings seen behind crenellated wall in background at left; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.206); letterpress on verso. Etching

Chinese scribe
A Chinese scribe standing at a table in profile to left, writing on a sheet of paper; monkey sitting nearby on the checkered floor, reading; conical object on tile at left, door behind; shelf with books on the wall; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, Kircher p.105); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching

whale
Coastal scene; various fishes lying on the beach in foreground; figures conversing and looking towards a whale, lying on its side at left; village street at right, rocky mountains behind; illustration cut from Johannes Nieuhof’s ‘An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China’ (London: 1669, p.270); letterpress on verso; first state. Etching

matteo-ricci
Matteo Ricci standing at left with hand raised towards Hsü Kuang-ch’i, both holding fans, their backs turned towards an altar, covered with cloth lettered with “ihs” monogram, on which stands a crucifix; picture of the Virgin and Child and hangings with Chinese characters on the wall behind; tablets above the figures; illustration to Johannes Nieuhof’s “An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China” (London: 1673); second state Etching

 

Images: © The Trustees of the British Museum

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