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

An eyewitness account of Lord Amherst's unsuccessful Chinese embassy in 1816, written by Sir Henry Ellis, who was Third Commissioner of the embassy. Ellis's account was authorised and he includes an appendix of official papers, largely translations from Chinese. The drawings and maps are based on the work of the Honourable Charles Abbot. The portrait is of Amherst.

London: John Murray, 1817
Abbey Travel II 536. Hill 413. Tooley 208. Prideaux 250. Bobins 287,
London: John Murray, 1817

Quarto contemporary full brown calf rebacked at an early date red morocco spine labels all edges gilt. FIRST EDITION of this early mission to China is splendidly illustrated with seven beautiful hand-colored aquatints depicting the Emperor's summer palace at Tien-Sing, the Tong-Chow harbor, a temple near Nankin, the island of Pula Leat, and views of other harbor 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 a British envoy to represent to the Emperor Kea K'ing the wrongs British subjects suffered under his ruleā€¦ Ellis, a diplomat, accompanied Amherst in his embassy to China in the 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). J. Clark prepared the detailed aquatint plates from the drawings of Ellis' friend Charles Abbot. With errata sheet at rear. Abbey Travel 536. Hill 413. Tooley 208. Prideaux 250. Book label. Beautiful hand-colored plates are vivid and fine; mild browning and offsetting to maps - binding is 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.