SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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ELLIS, Sir Henry.
Journal of the Proceedings of the Late Embassy to China; Comprising a Correct Narrative of the Public Transactions of the Embassy, of the Voyage to and from China

London: John Murray, 1817
Abbey Travel 536. Hill 413. Tooley 208. Prideaux 250.
London: John Murray, 1817

Quarto contemporary full brown calf re-backed at an early date red morocco spine labels all edges gilt. First edition of this early mission to China splendidly illustrated with seven beautiful hand-coloured aquatints depicting the Emperor's summer palace at Tien-Sing the Tong-Chow harbour a temple near Nankin the island of Pula Leat and views of other harbour cities as well as three maps (one large folding) in contemporary calf. After the peace of 1815 the English government turned their attention to the complaints of injustice and exactions on the part of the Chinese mandarins which reached them from time to time from the English merchants at Canton. Lord Amherst was chosen to proceed to Peking as British envoy to represent to the Emperor Kea K'ing the wrongs which British subjects were suffering under his rule… Ellis a diplomat accompanied Amherst in his embassy to China in capacity of third commissioner in 1816. A mission to China was then so rare an event in the history of Europe that Ellis published in 1817 an authorized narrative of the journey and transactions of the embassy" (DNB). The detailed aquatint plates were prepared by J. Clark from the drawings of Ellis' friend Charles Abbot. With errata sheet at rear. Book label. Beautiful hand-coloured plates vivid and fine mild browning and offsetting to maps binding quite handsome. An exceptional copy. Colour plates as listed. 1. Sumer Palace of the Emperor, opposite the City of Tien-Sing. 2. Anchorage at Tong-Chow. 3. Temple of Quan-Yin-Mun, near Nankin. 4. See - Lang - Shan. 5. Gan - Kin - Foo, from the West. 6. Seaou - Koo - Shan, from the Est. 7. View, Island of Pulo Leat.