A small engraving like most 17th Century pieces, and one from a French book: "Les 6 Voyages de Tavernier", telling the story of a traveler to the Orient, a literary genre also typical of the time.
The traveler this time is Tavernier, a French man, and this is how he saw, or sees, the monarchs of China, the Ming, before the Manchu invasion, which he calls Tartars.
You will love the incredible details of the Chinese Emperor and the Empress's garments and of their armchairs! The emperor is sitting on a throne with human heads as arm rests, and the Empress on one with 2 life size cranes. She has 2 cute flowers on her dress that look like bra cups. The Emperor who has the famous 9 inch nails, does not wear a dragon on his chest as would be expected, but also 2 cranes.
It is interesting to note that the Qing kept the cranes, but moved them to become the symbol of the first civilian rank in the dynasty, and replaced them with the dragon chasing a pearl, for the Imperial family.
The pictorial representation of China by Westerners is really an engraving category in itself.
Most characters have European features, like the Empress here with her round eyes, but some of the details depicted are probably the only source of information available, which is why these pieces, beyond their naive eurocentrism, are so precious to us today.
MEASUREMENTS: Matting Length: 11 1/4"". Width: 8 3/4" Engraving Length: 8 1/4"". Width: 5 1/2"
CONDITION: In very good condition with some ink soiling in the margins.
Will be shipped "Registered" from Paris, including insurance and signature at delivery.
* * * * * * * * MORE UNUSUAL ARTWORKS IN MY FINE ART/Antique CATEGORY* * * * * * * * * *