Swinging Lanterns.

New York and London, D. Appleton and Co., 1923.

8vo, pp. xv, [1 (blank)] 359, [1], with photographic frontispiece, 1 map, and 28 pp. of photographic plates; very slightly toned with occasional marginal creasing, one leaf of plates a little creased at outer margin, else a very good copy in publisher's blue cloth, gilt to upper covers, spine lettered in gilt, paper label with black ink shelf-mark; upper cover and spine a little sunned, very small chip to headcap, corners bumped; contemporary presentation inscription to front free endpaper (see below).


US $125€117

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First edition of this celebrated Chinese travel memoir by Elizabeth Crump Enders, a vivid depiction of China in the 1920s formerly in the possession of Josephine del Drago, American heiress and Chinese art collector.

Enders (1879−1961), author, traveller, and speaker, was heralded during her day as one of the outstanding authorities on Chinese life and customs in the 1920s and 1930s, having lived in Shanghai and Beijing and travelled extensively throughout Tibet with her husband, Major Gordon B. Enders, American diplomat and advisor to the Panchan Lama in Tibet. The memoir is peppered with lively descriptions of, inter alia, New Year in Beijing (Peking), the Forbidden City, and the devil dance at the Lama Temple, alongside photographs by William Allen Dunn. On her return to America, Enders lectured on topics such as the ‘Women of China’ throughout the United States as a self-styled ‘Writer, Traveller and Authority on Oriental Drama, Life and Customs’.

Provenance: Josephine del Drago dei Principi del Drago, Marquise di Riofreddo (née Josephine Kleiner (1862−1936), the wealthy widow of August Schmid, and later wife to Don Giovanni Battista dei Principi del Drago, Marchese di Riofreddo, known in the United States as the Prince del Drago. The gift inscription reads ‘A little souvenir of our delightful visit to the Freer Gallery at Washington D. C., 21st June 1923. Cordially, Ann ?Daly’. As Josephine and her husband owned an important collection of thirteenth- to eighteenth-century Chinese paintings centuries, the gift is particularly apt. On the del Drago collection of Chinese art, see Catalog of an exhibition of Chinese paintings owned by Mr. and Mrs. G. del Drago: and exhibited at the Albright Art Gallery by special invitation (1931).

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