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book exhibition history chinese

I saw this book in the Melbourne Rare Book Fair. To anyone who can read Chinese, this looks like the practice book of a young child starting to learn to write. The characters are intelligible, but the writer clearly has not mastered the basic principles. If Chinese characters are people, these little guys are seriously deformed. Some have really big heads, some have tiny feet, most of them look like zombies walking with their body parts dangling, ready to fall off.

But this is a serious book. The asking price was over $10,000 AUD. This is Museum sinicum, published in 1730 by German sinologist Theophilus Bayer. Written in Latin, this was the first book about the Chinese language published in Europe.