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    [Isaac] Titsingh. Illustrations of Japan; Consisting of Private Memoirs and Anecdotes of the Reigning Dynasty of the Djogouns, or Sovereigns of Japan; a Description of the Feasts and Ceremonies Observed throughout the Year at Their Court; and of the Ceremonies Customary at Marriages and Funerals: to which are subjoined, observations on the legal suicide of the Japanese, remarks on their poetry, an explanation of their mode of reckoning time, particulars respecting the dosia powder, the preface of a work by Confoutzee on filial piety, &c. &c. By M. Titsingh formerly chief agent to the Dutch East India Company at Nangasaki. Translated from the French, by Frederic Shoberl. With coloured plates, faithfully copied from Japanese original designs. London: Printed for R. Ackermann, 1822. First edition in English. Folio (11.75 x 9.25 inches; 297 x 238 mm). xvi, 325, [1, blank], pages. Thirteen hand-colored aquatint and engraved plates (including two plates of volcanos in Japan). The last plate is folding, and comprises six parts joined, making two parallel panoramic strips depicting two funeral processions. Text and plates watermarked 1821. Contemporary diced calf, neatly rebacked with a later brown morocco backstrip tooled in gilt, lettered in gilt on black morocco spine label. Rolled gilt tooling to board perimeter, edges and turn ins, now quite worn, and with gilt decorations trimmed at the joints. Corners expertly renewed in brown morocco. All edges marbled, and with marbled endpapers. Binding with appropriate wear and rubbing, but still quite attractive. Hinges strong, front joint cracked and rear joint just starting. Four leaves in front loose and laid in, including the front free endpaper, preliminary blank, frontispiece illustration, and title page. Small round sticker with old price on top fore-edge corner of front free endpaper. Previous owner's ink name "C. Grant" to top fore-edge corner of blank preliminary leaf. Title page with slight soft crease. Light browning and minor foxing at perimeter of some sheets, but mostly quite clean. A few corners folded over, small smudge to bottom margin of page 264. Light offsetting to a couple plates from adjacent text. Despite these minor flaws, this copy remains a remarkable example in very good condition.

    "In 1822 appeared Illustrations of Japan, translated from the French of I. Titsingh by F. Shoberl. The book consists of private memoirs and anecdotes of the sovereigns of Japan, descriptions of feasts and ceremonies, and remarks on language and literature. Its eleven coloured plates in aquatint or line, one being signed by J.C. Stadler... are of interest as illustrating one of the first books, dealing with things Japanese, introduced into this country. Isaac Titsingh, who for fourteen years served the Dutch East India Company as chief of their settlement at Nagasaki, is claimed by Mr. E.F. Strange in his Japanese Illustration as the earliest European collector of Japanese prints, the modern appreciation of which may be said to date from the Paris Exhibition of 1867" (Martin Hardie). Bookplate of Ernest Mason Satow, British Legation, Yedo. Abbey, Travel, 557. Martin Hardie, pp. 113-114. Tooley 489.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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