An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava, sent by the Governor-General of India, in the year 1795 - Michael Symes 1800 - W. Bulmer and Co., London - First Edition ‘The first full account of Burma to be published and it contains a mass of information on the history, religion, government, social systems, language, geography and economy of Burma, together with a narrative of Symes’ seven months stay in Burma, his journey to the capital and reception at court.’

A handsome first edition, finely illustrated with two folding engraved maps, eighteen engraved plates, and eight engraved botanical plates (four of which are folding).

Michael Symes was sent by Sir John Shore, Governor-General of India, to obtain from the Emperor of Ava a permit to allow a British agent to reside at Rangoon, and to induce him to close his borders to French shipping. In diplomatic terms Symes’ mission was a success.

‘Symes was accompanied by Dr. Francis Buchanan and his
Account contains eight botanical plates and descriptions of ‘the most rare and curious’ plants he collected. Other illustrations are taken from drawings by the Indian artist Singey Bey who accompanied the mission and whose accurate representational style attracted some attention at the Burmese court.’
  With chapters on the history, topography, architecture, etc., the final part includes a description of rare and curious plants, illustrated by Buchanan in eight fine folding plates. This expedition marks the beginning of the modern exploration of Burma. Also including a description of the Andaman Islands.

References: Herbert,
Burma 179. Cordier, Bibliotheca Indosinica 445. Cox, Literature of Travel, V1 309. Löwendahl, China Illustrata Nova, Supplement 74. Herbert, Burma 179.

Quarto (binding size 31x25cm, page size 29.2x23.8cm), pp. xxiii [1 Errata] 503 [1 directions to the binder] [2]. Paper 29.2 x 23.5. Pages watermarked 1795 and 1799. Bound with half-title, new endpapers.

Maps - 1 folding map
Sketch of Birman Empire, 125 folding map of the Irrawaddy.
Plates - 186, 187, 210, 248, 298, 308, 310, 312, 316, 318, 340 (Birman Alphabet), 346, 348, 388, 414, 426, 428, 446.
Botanical plates - 473*, 474*, 475, 476*, 477, 478*, 479, 480. *folding plates.
  In contemporary full brown speckled calf, rebacked to style, spine intricately tooled in gilt, with burgundy and green morocco title labels lettered in gilt.   Condition: Very good, some rubbing and wear to panels and corners, wrinkles free endpapers, one or two spots to early pages, folding map of the Irrawaddy silked, hint of worming to lower edge of pages 209-309, some light staining to lower right edge of plates.   Ref: 107754   Price: HK$ 29,000