London, South Kensington
9 June 2015
THOMSON, John (1837-1921). Illustrations of China and its People. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low and Searle, 1874. 4 volumes, large 4° (473 x 340mm). Each volume with 24 collotype plates with a total of 218 images (from 125 x 125mm to 292 x 203mm or the reverse). Descriptive text, list of plates, titles, and vol. I with printed introduction. (Occasional faint finger-soiling, one tissue guard frayed in vol. IV.) Original decorative dark brown cloth by Stacy of Norwich, with their ticket, stamped in gilt, gilt edges (lacking spines, covers loose, upper cover to vol. IV detached, extremities heavily rubbed). Provenance: Ladyman (booklabel in vols II-III) – Hugh Lupus, 1st Duke of Westminster (1825-1899).
'Between 1870 and 1872 he undertook four distinct journeys [in China] ... The photographs taken on these journeys form one of the most extensive photographic surveys of any region taken in the nineteenth century. The range and depth of his photographic vision mark Thomson out as one of the most important travel photographers' (ODNB). Second edition of first two vols, first editions of vols III-IV.
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