ANGAS, George French (1822-1886). The New Zealanders Illustrated. London: Thomas M'Lean, 1847.
2° (545 x 375mm). Plates mounted on guards throughout, 2pp. list of subscribers. Hand-coloured tinted additional title, lithographic dedication Prince Albert, 60 hand-coloured tinted lithographic plates after Angas, drawn on stone by Angas, W. Hawkins, Louisa Hawkins and J.W. Giles. (Plate 37 with repaired marginal tears and laid onto a modern backing sheet, additional title slit into image area along inner margin during rebinding, heavy spotting to additional title and plates 2, 26, 39, 40, 43, 49 and 52, light spotting to dedication leaf and 22 plates, plates 38 and 48 with light damage to blank margins.) Early-20th century green morocco gilt by John Bumpus, covers with triple fillet border, spine in six compratments with raised bands, lettered in the second and third, the others with repeat decoration of a large centrally-placed lozenge-shaped tool of a stylised vase and flowers, surrounded by small tools and scolling-foliage corner-pieces, gilt turn-ins, patterned endpapers, top edge gilt (extremities rubbed, corners bumped). Provenance: Sir Alfred Lane Beit (1903-1994, armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, SIR ALFRED LANE BEIT'S COPY. Beit, a connoisseur of distinction, also served as Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1944-1945. Angas explains his aims in the preface: 'The position the New Zealanders hold with respect to thousands of our countrymen, and the great change that is daily going on in their physical and social condition, renders it necessary that a more correct idea of them should be obtained at home... To accomplish this task, I visited both Islands of New Zealand, and spent a considerable period in travelling round their coasts, and penetrating through the interior - by seeking out nearly every tribe of natives, and living amomngst them for some time, in the remote and almost unknown parts of the country, I have succeeded in obtaining portraits of the most important chiefs, with their families, and have made drawings, on the spot, of all objects of interest connected with thier history'. Abbey Travel II, 589; Colas 132; Hocken p.129; Tooley 61.