1817 - Printed for Black, London - First Edition, Large Paper Copy
A beautiful set of this landmark work, in stunning contemporary presentation full calf bindings. One of only 250 ‘large paper’ copies, printed on Balston’s superior paper. These copies were printed first and the impressions of the coloured plates are in an exceptionally bright state.
‘In 1817 appeared the monumental work of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. He was interested in every aspect of his subject, and devotes whole sections to Javan ethics, literature, poetry, music and musical instruments, drama, games of skill and methods of hunting, besides the more ordinary matters of interest, population, natural history, religion, antiquities, and the military system. At the end of the second volume a hundred and fifty pages are given up to the comparative vocabularies of Java and the neighbouring islands, and the whole is a unique monument erected by a great ruler to those over whom he rules, and incidentally, to his own honour, stands very high in its own class and the aquatint plates are full of interest’ - Prideaux.
‘The marriage of a scientifically original text with beautiful illustrations by an accomplished aquatint engraver resulted in a book about Indonesia of outstanding quality; indeed a masterpiece.’ - Bastin and Brommer.
Those illustrations include a large folding engraved Map of Java outlined in colour, ten finely hand coloured aquatint costume plates engraved by William Daniell who visited the island in 1785 and 1793, two soft-ground etched frontispieces, nine engraved vignettes, and fifty six black and white plates which include one map, seven of temples (one of which is double page), two musical scores, ten of alphabets and inscriptions, one folding statistical table, eight of weapons and tools, two of musical instruments and masks, and twenty five others.