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Lot 1050: 2V Laurence Oliphant NARRATIVE OF THE EARL OF ELGIN'S MISSION TO CHINA AND JAPAN 1859 First Edition Antique English Travel & Exploration Asia Color Plates Fold-Out Maps Textual Illustrations Decorative Bindings
by National Book Auctions
22 October 2016
Freeville, NY, USALive Auction
Title: Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan in the Years 1857, '58, '59.
Author: Laurence Oliphant - Laurence Oliphant was a British author, traveller, diplomat, and mystic. Best known for his 1870 satirical novel "Piccadilly," he spent a decade in later life under the influence of the spiritualist prophet Thomas Lake Harris. Oliphant was Member of Parliament for Stirling Burghs.
Publisher: William Blackwood and Sons
City: Edinburgh / London
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 2 Full Set: Yes
Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Book Details: A detialed account of the people, governments, and societies of the Empires of China and Japan as they were just after the mid-19th century. Elgin's mission followed closely on the heels of the American Commodore Perry's military and trade expedition to Japan, the first to open Japan to the outside world. Oliphant was the private secretary of Lord Elgin, and accompanied him on the mission that is the subject of the work.
Condition / Notes: This is the scarce first edition of this work. The antique volume is solidly bound in half-leather with marbled paper covers. There is some light external rubbing and scuffing. The books are protected by acetate dust jackets. The volumes are decorated with marbled edges and endpapers. The pages show mild age toning and scattered marginal smudging/foxing. The work is lavishly illustrated with 5 folding maps, 20 color plates, and illustrations in the text. There is a missing map at the end of the first volume, with no evidence it was ever included. A "Map of China Proper" has been laid-in, from the same time period, from a different source.
These volumes have been collated.
Volume I has a color frontispiece, 4 additional color plates, 2 fold out maps, and 20 illustrations, listed in contents as “Engravings on Wood”. It has 492 numbered pages of text.
Volume II has a color frontispiece, 13 additional color plates, 3 fold out maps, and 30 illustrations, again listed as “Engravings on Wood” in the contents. It has 496 numbered pages of text.
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