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deluxe suite of hand-colored plates from the Perry expedition to Japan

(PERRY EXPEDITION.) HEINE, WILHELM.. Graphic Scenes of the Japan Expedition

New York: Putnam, 1856

Folio (portfolio, mounts, and text volume all measure 20 1⁄4 x 15 1⁄4 inches, the lithographs measure 8 x 12 inches plus substantial margins). 10 mounted lithographs by Sarony after paintings by Heine, nine of them beautifully hand-colored, the tenth a lithograph portrait of Perry after a daguerreotype by Haas. Minor wear, foxing to mounts. Accompanied by the folio text volume in original printed wrappers, rebacked in cloth. Preserved in fine condition in the original half roan and cloth portfolio (some wear) with title in gilt on upper board. A fine set.

First edition of one of the great American color plate travel works of the nineteenth century. Wilhelm Heine was the official artist on the Perry expedition that opened Japan to the West. He was responsible for many of the lithographs in the official account of the expedition (Washington, 1856). Renowned as those illustrations are, they pale in comparison to this tremendous portfolio of hand-colored views.

The plates are very beautiful scenes and places of special interest, many times finer than the plates in the three volume regular account of the Perry expedition” (Bennett). The superb plates are: a fine portrait of Perry, Macao from Penha Hill, Pagoda of Whampoa, Old China Street in Canton, Kung-twa at On-na, Lew Chew, Mia or Road-side Chapel at Yoku-hama, Temple at Ben-teng in the Harbor of Simoda, Street and Bridge at Simoda, Temple of Ha-tshu-man-ya Tschu-ro, at Smoda, and Grave Yard at the Simoda, Dio Zenge.

This is the deluxe-hand-colored issue on thick cards. This “extra fine edition on Bristol boards in portfolio” cost $12. The ordinary issue was priced at $6. Very scarce in any condition, this beautiful work is rarely seen complete with all ten hand-colored lithographs, the text volume, and the original cloth portfolio.

Bennett, American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books, p. 53.