Prussian expedition to the Far East

Spiess, Gustav. Die Preussische Expedition nach Ostasien während der Jahre 1860-1862. Reise-Skizzen aus Japan, China, Siam und der Indischen Inselwelt.

Berlin & Leipzig, Otto Spamer (back of title-page: printed by B. Teubner, Leipzig), 1864.

8vo. X, [2],"428" [= 430] pp. With wood engraved frontispiece, 8 wood engraved plates, and 111 wood engravings in text (8 single leaf). Publisher's original brown cloth, gold-blocked on front board and spine, marbled edges.


First edition of a work on the Prussian expedition, also called the Eulenburg Expedition (1859-62), to the Far East. The expedition was commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm I and led by Friedrich Eulenburg, and aimed at establishing economic and diplomatic relations with Japan, China and Siam. "With the opening of the Far East to foreign trade, Prussia sought to claim a stake in the region..." (Howgego). In July 1860 a large party arrived in Ceylon, one of the members being the physician Gustav Adolf Spiess (1802-75). Spiess talks about his experiences and the events during his stay in Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Siam, paying a lot of attention to the economic (dis)advantages of the different regions. They managed to ascertain several trade treaties, the one with China happened to be signed two days before the death of the emperor. Spiess gives an idea of the attitudes of the locals towards the Europeans and reversed, as he shows both. The text is illustrated with numerous wood engravings, showing views, costumes, ceremonies, etc.

Binding slightly worn and discoloured. Frontispiece detached from book block, some foxing throughout; a good copy.

Cordier, Indosinica 989. Cordier, Japonica 558. Cordier, Sinica 2522. Howgego, 1850-1940, E19.

Stock Code: BN#45602 Tags: , ,