This item has sold. We are always interested in acquiring another copy or any item of comparable quality.


180 hand-coloured lithographs of China

Malpiere, D. Bazin de. La Chine, moeurs, usages, costumes, arts et métiers, peines civiles et militaires, cérémonies religieuses, monuments et paysages, d'après les dessins originaux du père Castiglione, du peintre chinois Pu-Qua, du W. Alexandre, Chambers, Dadley, etc.

Paris, De Malpiere, Goujon & Formentin, and Firmin Didot, 1825-1827.

2 volumes. Large 4to (34 x 25.5 cm). With 180 lithographed plates in publisher's handcolouring (including a frontispiece to both volumes and 1 plan of Beijing), 4 engraved plates (the first with hand-coloured illustration and the other three with musical scores). Lacking 1 plate and its accompanying letterpress description ("Porte-enseigne du corps des archers"), facsimile included. Contemporary half tanned goatskin, gold-tooled spine.

First edition of "a huge collection of attractively lithographed copies of scenes from Chinese life of the mid-Ch'ing period" (Lust). The illustrations show scenes of everyday life, ships, views, interiors, (military) costumes and much more, each with one leaf of descriptive text. The plates were issued from 1825 to 1827 in 30 instalments, each consisting of 6 hand-coloured plates, and are seldom found complete. This copy lacks only one plate and description. All the illustrations are lithographed copies of earlier prints, including Alexander's "Picturesque representations of the dress and manners of the Chinese" (1814), Chamber's "Designs of Chinese buildings" (1757), Mason's "The costume of China" (1800) and "The punishments of China" (1804), the works of Castiglione, and others. A description of Beijing is included in the second volume illustrated with a plan. A second edition appeared in 1848.

With the bookplate of Louis Becker, Paris. Binding rubbed along the extremities, but otherwise good. Lacking one plate and text leaf, as noted, foxing throughout, and some occasional browning; a good copy.


Brunet III, pp. 1346-1347; Colas 1957; Cordier, Sinica, col. 69; Lipperheide 1531; Löwendahl 845; Lust 60.