196. STAUNTON, Sir George Leonard (1737-1801).
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 … to the Yellow Sea, and Gulf of Pekin; … with notices of the several places where they stopped on their way out and home;… Taken chiefly from the papers of … the Earl of Macartney … His Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary … ; Sir Erasmus Gower, Commander of the expedition, and other gentlemen in the several departments of the Embassy. Bulmer, London 1797. 3 volumes (text: 2 vols., 4to [10 _ x 8 7/8 inches; 273 x 225 mm.]; atlas: 1 vol., folio [22 _ x 16 _inches; 578 x 425 mm]). Text: 1p. advertisement at back of vol.II, 2 engraved portrait frontispieces, 1 plate, 26 vignette illustrations after William Alexander and others. (The first portrait shaved with loss to the title, some spotting and browning.); Atlas: 44 engraved maps and plans (2 folding, 6 double-page). (Spotting, marginal in the main, but heavier to the final 6 plates, clean tear to the first folding plate.) Text: contemporary marbled calf, covers with gilt border and the blind-stamped centrally-placed arms of the Bagot family (expertly rebacked to style and incorporating the majority of the original spines); Atlas: contemporary half Russia over marbled paper-covered boards (rebacked in morocco, rubbed, joints somewhat split). Provenance : (text only) William Bagot, 2nd Baron Bagot of Bagot's Bromley (1778-1856, binding).
first edition of the complete set. This is the official account, published at government expense, of the first official British embassy to China, led by George, Earl Macartney (1737-1806). The embassy had mixed success, but this account is universally admired for both the information in the text and the very fine plates, charts and maps. Brunet V,525; Cordier Sinica 2381-83; Cox I, 344; Gardner 192; Hill (2004) 1628; Lowndes III,p.2502; Lust 545 & 547.
est. $8000 – £12000