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JAMES BAILLIE FRASER (1783-1856)

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JAMES BAILLIE FRASER (1783-1856)

Views in the Himala Mountains. London: Rodwell and Martin, June 1 1820 [but on paper watermarked 1823]. Large 2° (665 x 520mm.) Engraved title and 20 handcoloured aquatint plates by Robert Havell and Son after Fraser, plates hinged throughout. (Some light discolouration to title, 2 pale fox marks to lower margin plate XI, pale fox mark to plate XV.) Contemporary panelled diced calf decorated in gilt and blind, titled in gilt on upper cover, gilt edges (rebacked, rubbed and scuffed.)
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Lot Essay

FRASER'S RARE WORK ON THE HIMALAYAS, illustrated with magnificent views recalling the first recorded journey by Europeans through the region. This truly grand plate book was classed at the time with Daniell's Oriental Scenery and Salt's Views in St. Helena, The Cape, India, Ceylon, The Red Sea, Abyssinia, and Egypt, costing 20 guineas to subscribers, and an even more princely 25 guineas to non subscribers. The plates are printed on thick paper watermarked 'J. WHATMAN TURKEY MILL,' 1823.

The present work stands as a visual record of the journey made by James Baillie Fraser and his brother William, a political agent in 1815, during the Nepal war. They spent two months travelling through the region, chiefly exploring the river valleys but occasionally venturing to higher altitudes (where the party suffered from altitude sickness). The expedition reached as far as the sources of both the Jumna and the Ganges. The fine coloured plates were engraved by the Havells from Fraser's sketches made on the spot, and were intended to accompany Fraser's own written account of the journey Journal of a Tour through Part of the Snowy Range of the Himala Mountains London: 1820. Abbey Travel 498.

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