THOMSON, John. Illustrations of China and its People with letterpress descriptive of the Places and People represented. London, 1873-74.
4 vols. 2o. 218 photographic illustrations on 96 plates (titles with perforated stamp, title of first vol. loose and with tape repair, small ink stamp on margin of 2 plates and 5 text leaves). Original gilt-decorated pictorial cloth (backstrip of vol. IV missing, library markings at foot of spines, some wear to some spine ends, joints and corners).
FIRST EDITION. Thomson traveled in China for five years. Starting in Hong Kong, he followed a coastal route north with frequent trips inland. Thomson was the first European visitor to many sights. He ended his journey approximately 5000 miles later in Peking. "My design in the accompanying work is to present a series of pictures of China and its people, such as shall convey an accurate impression of the country I traversed as well as of the arts, usages, and manners which prevail in different provinces of the Empire. With this intention I made the camera the constant companion of my wanderings, and to it I am indebted for the faithful reproduction of the scenes I visited, and of the types of race with which I came into contact." (Thomson). (4)