Four vols in two, folio, I: pp. 96, with additional engraved title (‘China, its scenery, architecture, social habits, &c. illustrated’) and 31 plates; II: pp. 72, with additional engraved title and 31 plates; III: pp. 68, with additional engraved title and 31 plates; IV: pp. 56, with additional engraved title and 31 plates; tissue guards to plates; foxing to some of the plates, a little toned; overall very good in contemporary pebble-grained red morocco, spines in compartments decorated and lettered in gilt, gilt panel design to covers, gilt turn-ins and edges, marbled endpapers; a little wear to extremities, a few light marks, some foxing to endpapers; small modern bookplate to rear free endpapers.
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China in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture, and social habits, of that ancient empire. Drawn, from original and authentic sketches, by Thomas Allom, Esq. With historical and descriptive notices by the Rev. G.N. Wright, M.A. …
Later edition of this handsome work on China, first published by Fisher, Son, & Co. in London and Paris in 1843, illustrated with 124 steel-engraved plates and vignettes to each of the four engraved titles.
Allom (1804-1872) was a talented architect, artist, and draughtsman. ‘His China: in a series of views … was the best-known nineteenth-century work on the subject, although he never visited the country and based his illustrations on the work of other artists’ (ODNB). The text was provided by the Dublin-born Rev. G.N. Wright (1794/5-1877), who specialised in topographical works.
Captioned in English, French and German, the plates encompass Hong Kong, Beijing, Nanjing, Macao, Guangzhou, and Xiamen, among other locations, and depict, inter alia, harbours, temples, palaces, mountains and rivers, military engagements, punishments, the cultivation of tea and rice and the manufacture of silk, the Great Wall of China, cat merchants, and ‘playing at shuttlecock with the feet’.
See Cordier, Sinica 80 and Lust 363 for the first edition. This edition is undated but is most commonly assigned to c. 1850; our dating is derived from OCLC.
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