• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 118

    BARROW, Sir John. A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the years 1792 and 1793. London: Strahan & Preston for T. Cadell and T. Davies, 1806.

    Price Realised  

    BARROW, Sir John. A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the years 1792 and 1793. London: Strahan & Preston for T. Cadell and T. Davies, 1806.

    4o (265 x 208 mm). 19 hand-colored aquatint plates (one folding) after S. Daniell and W. Alexander, by T. Medland, 2 folding engraved maps (one hand-colored, one with route marked by hand in red). (Folding plate and maps torn along folds, with repairs on verso, light staining and offsetting.) Later half calf gilt (lower cover detached, upper hinge repaired).

    FIRST EDITION. Barrow accompanied the Earl of Macartney as official interpreter to the embassy to the Emperor of China, having learned Chinese from a former pupil, Thomas Staunton. "The embassy was a magnificent failure, arriving at Peking with gifts which included all the wonders of Western civilization -- artillery, telescopes, a coach-and-four, a balloon and pilot -- Macartney was treated with hospitable disgust before being dismissed with polite contempt. According to the Chinese Emperor, the presence of a British Ambassador was 'not in harmony with the regulations of the Celestial Empire, we also feel very much that it is of no advantage to your country'" (F. Fleming, Barrow's Boys, 1998, p.4). The "African" portion of Barrow's work includes an account of "the journey to Lattakoo, undertaken by Messrs. Daniell, Truter, Somerville, Scholz, and the author" and is based on "a manuscript in Dutch written by Mr. Truter" (Mendelssohn). Cordier Sinica IV, 2390; Abbey Travel 514; Mendelssohn I, p.89; Tooley 86.


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