SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Chinese Album of Hand-painted Scenes of Chinese Punishment and Torture.

n.d. c.1808.
n.d. c.1808.

Oblong 12mo. (13 x 9 cm, or 5.25" x 3.75"). With 12 hand-painted scenes, this is almost certainly derived from the famous and popular English work, "The Punishments of China", by Georg Henry Mason, first published in 1808 by William Miller, but the scenes in this album are not duplicates of that work, and also, it is to be stressed that the scenes in this album are hand-painted, not merely hand-coloured. This album was almost certainly created for the tourist market as a souvenir in the latter part of the nineteenth century or early twentieth century. All the scenes are framed by thin blue strips of paper pasted onto the leaves. Slight warping of the leaves, which otherwise are clean. The blue strips have become slightly loose in some instances. The red silk on boards have some minor wear. With the original ties. Good condition. Coloured plates in order: 1. Magistrate in Court. 2. Arrest of criminals. 3. Punishment of criminal by parading him in the Street. 4. Slapping the mouth for telling lies. 5. Punishment by stretching the criminal on a wooden bench. 6. Punishment by cangue, or wooden pillory. 7. Torture by pressing the ankles of criminal with wooden poles. 8. Bambooing his breeches. 9. Tying him to a stone. 10. Banishment. 11. Ling Ch'ee (i.e. cutting off the flesh of the criminal piece by piece.) 12. Beheading - the Capital punishment in China.