12mo., (6 4/8 x 3 4/8 inches). Engraved allegorical frontispiece title-page, 3 sectional letterpress title-pages (some light browning, one or two spots). Contemporary FINE red morocco binding each cover decorated with a border of fine roll tools with small gilt tools of heads and castellated towers at each inner corner, surrounding a central cartouche with the arms of the Duc d'Antin, the spine in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in one, the others decorated with fine gilt tools, all edges gilt.
Provenance: supra-libros of Louis Antoine de Pardaillan de Gondrin, marquis then duc d'Antin (1665-1736); with the bookplate of Roger Peyrefitte on the front paste-down; the bookplate of Jean-Paul Morin on the front paste-down of each volume, his sale, Paris, 4th November 2011, lot 42
First collected edition, and A FINE AND ATTRACTIVE COPY of three pamphlets concerning the "Quarrel of Rites", or Christian missions' difficulties evangelizing in China: "Lettre de messieurs des Missions etrangeres, au Pape. Sur le decret de Sa Saintete rendu en 1704 & publie en 1709 contre les idolatries & les superstitions Chinoises"; "Reponse de Mrs des Missions etrangeres, a la protestation et aux reflexions des Jesuites"; "Memoires our Rome, sur l'etat de la religion chretienne dans la Chine". These documents discuss important questions, such as what to call God in the native languages of India and the far-east; what role should the local traditions have in the Catholic rites and what could be tolerated. The Jesuits' reputation with their brother Dominicans and Franciscans was low, as they tolerated the certain rites such as ancestor-worship as part of civil ceremonies, but others viewed it as sheer idolatry. From the distinguished library of the Duc d'Antin, legitimate son of Louis XIV's mistress Madame de Montespan, who after her death in 1707 was bequeathed the Château de Petit-Bourg at Évry-sur-Seine and, more importantly, royal favour and the governorship of the Orléanais followed by head of the Bâtiments du Roi in 1708 a role which required that he supervise works on Versailles. A confident to Louis XIV and his architectural projects (such as the Salon d'Hercule), he managed to complete them under Louis XV. In 1711, Louis XIV promoted the marquisate of Antin into a "duché-pairie", and in 1724 d'Antin became a knight of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit. Cordier, Sinica 911-912; Lowendahl 311. Catalogued by Kate Hunter