SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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OLIPHANT, Laurence.
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China amd Japan in the Years 1857, '58, '59.

Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1859.
Cordier Sinica III:2376; Cordier Japonica 546-7; Hill 1258.
Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1859.

8vo. Contemporary full calf with double gilt lined and single blind tooled borders. Spine in six heavily gilded compartments of raised bands and floral, bordered motifs, green labels to second and third compartments. All edges and endpapers marbled. Bookplate of 'Robert Smith' on front pastedown. complete with 25 plates, including 20 hand coloured lithographs and 5 folding maps and charts (including the large folding maps of China and Japan). Some of the plates have been moved from their original positions as indicated in the illustration lists, but all are present - also many woodcuts in text. Volume 1. (4), half title, epigraph, blank, frontis, title, preface v-viii, contents ix-xiii, illustration list, 1-492, (4); volume 2. (4), half title, epigraph, blank, frontis, title, blank, contents v-ix, illustration list x-xi, 1-496, (4). An attractive example. "Oliphant accompanied the eighth Earl of Elgin on his journey to China in 1857. Oliphant had traveled widely in India and Ceylon as a young man, and later to Russia and the Crimea, publishing a book about his travels there. Oliphant had previously served under the Earl of Elgin as a superintendent of Indian affairs after Elgin's appointment as Governor-General of Canada. When Elgin was dispatched to the East in response to differences arising between China and England in connection with the seizure of the 'Arrow', Oliphant again joined as Private Secretary. He was thus witness to the Mission's diversion to put down the mutiny in Calcutta; its arrival in Hong Kong; the bombardment of Canton and the storming of Tientsin... The plates which illustrate this work depict the natives in various activities or rituals as well as views of the country" (Hill 1258) Coloured plates in order: Volume 1. 1. Signing of the Treaty of Teintsin. 2. The Storming of Canton. 3. 'Temple of Supreme Felicity'. Residence of the Allied Missions at Tientsin. 4. Capture of the Peiho Forts. 30th May 858. 5. Reception Tent of the Imperial Commissioners, Takoo. Volume 2. 6. Exchange of full powers between the Earl of Elgin & the Japanese Commissioners. 7. Nagasaki. 8. A lady at her toilet (from a Japanese drawing). 9. Simoda. 10. Interview between the Earl of Elgin & the Prime Ministers of Japan. 11. Yedo Forts. 12. A view of Fusy - Yama (from a Japanese drawing). 13. Residence of the British Mission at Yedo. 14. View of Yedo from the Citadel. 15. A street in the aristocratic quater of Yedo (from a Japanese drawing). 16. Tea Gardens near Yedo. (interior view) 17. Tea Gardens near Yedo. (exterior view) 18. A Winter scene in Japan (from a Japanese drawing). 19. Japanese Funeral. 20. Qwanon Temple (Yedo).