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2016-12-06 23:33:46
SHOBERL, Frederic
The World in Miniature; Japan,
London: for R. Ackermann,, 1823. Containing illustrations of the character, manners, customs, religion, dress, amusements, commerce, agriculture, etc. of the people of that empire. Duodecimo in sixes (140 x 85 mm). Contemporary half morocco, spine tooled in gilt and blind, raised bands, marbled sides, edges sprinkled red, sometime relined with yellow surface-paper endpapers. Hand-coloured engraved frontispiece and 19 similar plates. Contemporary ownership inscription "Caroline Stephenson, from her Papa, Sept 4th 1823, Claphmap Common, Surrey" to a browned preliminary blank; later bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst, heir to a successful chain of dispensing chemists based in Nelson, Lancashire, and discriminating book collector, to the front pastedown. Sides and extremities lightly rubbed, paper partially abraded on rear board, faint offsetting, small spot to title, lower outer corner of Bonze plate soiled, the image spared, otherwise the occasional minor spot or mark. A very good copy. First edition. "The aim of this interesting series [was] to increase the store of knowledge concerning the various branches of the great family of Man" (Abbey). Shoberl's account was an important introduction to Japan for British readers, who then had few firsthand English accounts to go by, and was textually indebted to narratives by European travellers such Kämpfner, Charlevoix, Thunberg, Golownin and Titsingh.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington
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