SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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ATKINSON, J[ames].
Sketches in Afghaunistan.

London: Henry Graves & Co., 1842.
Tooley 73; Abbey Travel II 508; Colas 173; Lipperheide 1493; Bobins 222.
London: Henry Graves & Co., 1842.

FIRST EDITION. folio, lithographed pictorial title, lithographed dedication, descriptive text for the 25 lithographed plates by Louis and Charles Haghe after Atkinson. Title and plates all mounted on card and loose as issued in original green morocco-backed pebbled cloth portfolio, gilt-ruled, matching label in gilt to upper cover, and with black cloth ties. MS dedication to 'Sarah Guerney, given to her by her affectionate Father, Nov 21st, 1842'. The publishers issued Hart's 'Character & Costumes of Afghaunistan' (see Bobins # 5720) the following year (1843) as a companion volume to this work. Allen also published an octavo edition of Atkinson's work with a map bound in cloth. Atkinson's original profession was as a surgeon, and he returned to this after returning to England in 1833. He had initially been invited to Calcutta by Governor-General Lord Minto and given the appointment of assistant assay master for the mint. His work there was broken by a short period as Deputy Professor in Persian at the Fort William College and a visit to England. In 1838 he was appointed superintending surgeon to the army of the Indus and accompanied it on its march To Kabul, but was relieved shortly after the surrender of Dost Mohammad. He returned to Bengal in 1841 and thus escaped the fate which befell the army of occupation. His text on the expedition into Afghanistan was considered a valuable and interesting personal narrative. His supplementary series of lithographed drawings served to complete the picture of what was then an unexplored country. At once, a scholar and popular writer, James Atkinson, holds an honourable place among the pioneers of oriental research. Most of the plates are views, but some represent the costumes of Cabul. Coloured plates in order: 1. Lithographed title page. 2. Scene on the River Rutledge, near Paukputtun in the Punjaub. 3. The Town of Roree and the Fortress of Chukker, on the Indus. 4. The Encampment at Dadur, with the entrance to the Bolan Pass. 5. View of the Mountain Baba-Naunee. 6. Entrance to the Bolan Pass from Dadur. 7. The Wild Pass of Siri-Kapoor. 8. The opening into the narrow pass above the Siri Bolan. 9. The approach to the Fortress of Kwettah. 10. Entrance into the Kojak Pass from Parush. 11. The troops are emerging from the narrow part of the Defile in the Koojah Pass. 12. The first descent through the Koojah Pass. 13. The second descent through the Koojah Pass. 14. The third descent of the Koojah Pass. 15. The City of Candahar. 16. The Fortress and Citadel of Ghuznee and the Two Minars. 17. The Valley of Maidan. 18. The Village of Urghundee. 19. Entrance into Caubul from Killa-Kazee. 20. The main street in the Bazaar at Caubul in the fruit season. 21. The Balla Hussar and City of Caubul, from the upper part of the Citadel. 22. Caubul, from a Burying Ground on the Mountain range, N.E. of the city. 23. The Durbar-Khaneh of Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk, at Caubul. 24. The Avenue at Baber's Tomb. 25. The Tomb of Emperor Baber. 26. Portrait of His Majesty Shah-Soojah-ool-Moolk / Caubul Costumes (ladies).