Item #69094 Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain. Sir George Leonard STAUNTON.
Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain
Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain
Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain

First Edition of the Official Account of the First British Embassy to China, Large Paper Copy

Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain. to the Emperor of China; including cursory observations made, and information obtained, in travelling through that ancient empire, and a small part of Chinese Tartary. Together with a relation of the voyage undertaken on the occasion by His Majesty’s Ship the Lion, and the ship Hindostan, in the East India Company’s service, to the Yellow Sea, and Gulf of Pekin; as well as of their return to Europe; with notices of the several places where they stopped in the their way out and home; being the islands of Madeira, Teneriffe, and St. Jago; the port of Rio de Janeiro in South America; the islands of St. Helena, Tristan d’Acunha, and Amsterdam; the coast of Java, and Sumatra, the Nanka Isles, Pulo Condore, and Cochin-China. Taken chiefly from the papers of His Excellency the Earl of Macartney, Knight of the Bath, His Majesty’s Embassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of China; Sir Erasmus Gower, commander of the expedition, and of other gentlemen in the several departments of the embassy. By Sir George Staunton, Baronet...In two volumes, with engravings; beside a folio volume of plates.

London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. for G. Nicol, 1797.

Full Description:

STAUNTON, Sir George [Leonard]. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China; including cursory observations made, and information obtained, in travelling through that ancient empire, and a small part of Chinese Tartary. Together with a relation of the voyage undertaken on the occasion by His Majesty’s Ship the Lion, and the ship Hindostan, in the East India Company’s service, to the Yellow Sea, and Gulf of Pekin; as well as of their return to Europe; with notices of the several places where they stopped in the their way out and home; being the islands of Madeira, Teneriffe, and St. Jago; the port of Rio de Janeiro in South America; the islands of St. Helena, Tristan d’Acunha, and Amsterdam; the coast of Java, and Sumatra, the Nanka Isles, Pulo Condore, and Cochin-China. Taken chiefly from the papers of His Excellency the Earl of Macartney, Knight of the Bath, His Majesty’s Embassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of China; Sir Erasmus Gower, commander of the expedition, and of other gentlemen in the several departments of the embassy. By Sir George Staunton, Baronet...In two volumes, with engravings; beside a folio volume of plates. London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. for G. Nicol, 1798.

First edition of the official account of the first British embassy to China. One of a few copies printed on large thick paper. Two large quarto text volumes (12 3/4 x 10 1/8 inches; 325 x 254 mm.). [2], xxxiv, [2], 518; xx, 626 pp. Two engraved frontispiece portraits (of Tchien Lung, The Great Emperor, by Collyer after W. Alexander in Volume I and of His Excellency The Early of Macartney by J. Hall after T. Hickey in Volume II), one engraved color plate in both Volume I and Volume II with printed tissue guards, and an additional engraved plate in black and white in volume II. With numerous wood-engravings in the text. This set without the Atlas volume, but complete in two volumes.

Contemporary full paneled calf, almost invisibly rebacked preserving original spines. Boards and spine elaborately ruled and tooled in gilt. With a gilt central device of a wolf and a crown. Spines lettered in gilt. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Silk page markers. Drab blue endpapers. Previous owner's armorial bookplate on front pastedown of each volume. Some light rubbing to spines and corners a bit bumped. Some minor toning and offsetting, mainly to preliminary leaves, otherwise extremely clean with large margins.

“Great Britain was anxious to establish formal diplomatic relations with China and thus open the way for unimpeded trade relations. But the veil of Chinese reserve and self-sufficiency, which for centuries seldom admitted penetration, still hung over this empire, and effectually resisted Lord Macartney’s arguments and gifts. His visit was not in vain, however, for it gave us a most interesting account of Chinese manners and customs at the end of the eighteenth century. The account of this famous embassy was prepared at government expense. Apart from its Chinese importance, it is of considerable interest, owing to the descriptions of the various places en route which were visited.” (Hill).

Cordier, Sinica, cols. 2381-2383. Cox I, p. 344. Hill 1628.

HBS 69094.

$4,500.

Price: $4,500.00

Item #69094