With Hand-Colored Plates

    [Thomas Wharton Ramsay]. Costumes on the Western Coast of Africa, by An Officer of the Commissariat. London: C. Lawler, 1833.

    Presumed second edition. Large octavo. Unpaginated (six pages of text, six plates). Hand-colored plates by the author, all behind tissue guards.

    Original purple cloth boards, now mostly faded to brown; gilt lettering to front board. Yellow coated endpapers. Boards quite faded; some mottling to front board. A few short splits to cloth along spine. Both hinges cracked, but binding still holding tight. Very minor spotting to plates, the colors of which are still bright. Bookplate. In generally very good condition.

    The original edition, published in 1830, attributes authorship to "T. W. Ramsay," but this edition was issued anonymously. Thomas Wharton Ramsay was a Deputy Commissary-General in the Commissariat Department of the Army, based in Sierra Leone, and in this slim volume he offers short descriptions of the customs and costumes of various peoples in and around Sierra Leone, with one-page profiles and illustrations of the following: Liberated Africans, A Kroo-Man, Foolahs (two illustrations), African Minstrels, and Joloffs.

    In Ramsay's self-effacing introduction he writes: "...the following work contains nothing more or less than what the title expresses [...], to which are added short explanatory notes, extracted from a Journal kept during his leisure moments for the amusement of his own family and immediate friends.... The Sketches have in themselves no other merit than that they related to a Colony comparatively little known. [...] Sketches [are] roughly drawn with just enough of touch to shew the subject." Quite scarce. From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Books & Catalogs (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 724

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 35 days left to consign to the 2018 June 10 - 11 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 December 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 December 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,735,414