ON THE GOLD COAST – THE EARL OF DERBY'S COPY

Journal of a Residence in Ashantee ... Comprising notes and researches relative to the Gold Coast, and the interior of Western Africa; chiefly collected from Arabic MSS and information communicated by the Moslems of Guinea: to which is prefixed an account of the origin and causes of the present war.  Illustrated with a map and plates. 

London, for Henry Colburn, 1824. 

4to, pp. [2], vii, [1], xxxviii, [2], 264, cxxxv, [1]; with large folding map of Wangara and 15 plates (some folding, all but one aquatints); some offsetting to title and elsewhere, some foxing to plates, a few closed tears to folding plates and repairs to verso, marginal browning to quires R and e, small hole to 2E3; overall very good in contemporary half calf with green pebbled cloth sides, spine gilt in compartments with black morocco lettering-piece, patterned edges; rebacked with spine laid down and corners repaired by Hodgson of Liverpool, extremities slightly rubbed; armorial bookplate of Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, to front pastedown, a few pencil marginalia.

£1250

Approximately:
US $1623€1486

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Journal of a Residence in Ashantee ... Comprising notes and researches relative to the Gold Coast, and the interior of Western Africa; chiefly collected from Arabic MSS and information communicated by the Moslems of Guinea: to which is prefixed an account of the origin and causes of the present war.  Illustrated with a map and plates. 

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First edition of this illustrated account of the Gold Coast by Joseph Dupuis (1789–1874), British consul at Mogador, from the library of Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby (1799–1869), later three times Prime Minister. 

The first part comprises a description of Dupuis’s journey to Kumasi (in modern-day Ghana) and his audience with the Ashanti king, with sections on, for example, ‘seductive arts of the females’, ‘magical rites and superstitions’, ‘human sacrifices’, ‘merchandize suitable for African markets’, and ‘the slave trade’.  The second part is devoted to the geography of Western Africa, and the various appendices include details of the treaty brokered by Dupuis with the Ashanti king, and transcriptions and translations of Arabic manuscripts describing various routes in the region.  The splendid plates, by C. Williams after Dupuis’s drawings, include native men and women and their costume (e.g. priests and soldiers), a view of the Pra River, examples of Ashanti sculpture, and panoramic depictions of various ceremonies. 

Dupuis, who was married to Evelina Danby, daughter of the painter J.M.W. Turner, was Consul and Vice-Consul for the British Government, with various postings to Africa between 1811 and 1842, including Mogador, where he took part in the redemption of British Nationals from slavery.

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