London, South Kensington
8 October 2014
MARC AUREL STEIN (1862-1943)
Innermost Asia, Detailed Report of Explorations in Central Asia, Kan-Su and Easter Iran. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928. 4 volumes, 4° (330 x 255 mm) including portfolio of maps. Half-titles, vols. I-II with 505 numbered half tone illustrations, some full-page, vol. III containing 138 plates (nos. 1-137, including 99a), some printed in colour, and 59 plans, the portfolio with 51 unbound heliozincographed maps, numbered 1-47 and A-D. Original red/brown cloth blocked in gilt (portfolio a little frayed). Provenance: Hill Library St. Paul (perforation stamp on titles, ink stamp on verso of each map).
WELL-PRESERVED COPY of this colossal work, the fruit of three expeditions made by Stein to the deserts of Chinese Turkestan between 1900 and 1916. A professor at universities in India since 1887, the Hungarian-born explorer was financed by the Indian government and inspired by the earlier discoveries of Sven Hedin. He established the existence of a lost civilization along the Silk Route in Chinese central Asia, and became the first archaeologist to 'discover evidence of the Graeco-Buddhist culture of north-west India across Chinese Turkestan and into China itself' (ODNB).
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