4to, pp. , xiv, , xxii, 392; with 21 plates (some folding), and 2 folding partly-coloured maps in pocket inside upper board (‘Map shewing approximate race distribution in Sikhim 1892’ and ‘Skeleton map of Sikhim’); a few tears and repairs to plate VII (without loss), a very few tiny holes to folds of second map, very occasional light foxing; a very good copy in original brown cloth, spine and covers blocked and lettered in gilt, green endpapers; very neat repairs to spine and corners, a few wormholes and marks; from the Bengal Secretariat Library (label at head of upper cover, oval ink stamp to title and a few other pages), ‘Ronaldshay’ inscribed to front free endpaper (see below).
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The gazetteer of Sikhim. With an introduction by H. H. Risley ... Edited in the Bengal Government Secretariat.
First edition of this comprehensive survey of Sikkim, in northeast India (bordering Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and West Bengal), which had become a princely state of British India in 1890. The chapters cover, inter alia, the region’s history, geography, laws, geology, agriculture, vegetation, butterflies, reptiles, birds, mammals, monasteries and monks, magic rites, and demonolatry, with contributions by Risley, John Claude White, the botanists James and George Gammie, the Indian geologist Pramatha Nath Bose, the entomologist Lionel de Nicéville, and the explorer and scholar Lawrence Augustine Waddell. The Gazetteer was once of Risley’s most important contributions: ‘his work completely revolutionized the native Indian view of ethnological inquiry’ (ODNB).
Provenance: this copy appears to have come into the possession of Lawrence Dundas, second Marquess of Zetland (1876–1961), styled Earl of Ronaldshay between 1892 and 1929, who served as Governor of Bengal and Secretary of State for India.
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