An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China; including Cursory Observations Made, and Information Obtained, in Travelling Through That Ancient Empire, and a Small Part of Chinese Tartary. - Together with a Relation of The Voyage Undertaken on the Occasion by His Majesty's Ship The Lion, and the Ship Hindostan, in the East India Company's Service, to the Yellow Sea, and Gulf of Pekin; as well as of Their Return to Europe; - with Notices of the Several Places where they stopped in their way out and Home; Being the Islands of Madeira, Teneriffe, and St. Jago; the Port of Rio de Janeiro in South America; the Islands of St. Helena, Tristan D'Acunha, and Amsterdam; the Coasts of Java, and Sumatra, the Nanka Isles, Pulo Condore, and Cochin China. - Sir George Staunton, Earl of Macartney, Sir Erasmus Gower 1798 - Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. for G, London - Text Second Edition, Corrected, Folio First and Sole Edition A clean and finely bound set of this important and most sumptuously illustrated English travel book on China, with double-page folio views and engraved vignettes by expedition artist WIlliam Alexander. The second printing of the two text volumes (first printed the year before), and although they state ‘corrected’ the text and plates are identical to the first printing, the atlas itself is in the first and sole issue. Not to be confused with the small three volume octavo second edition published in 1797.

The magnificent atlas contains the two engraved portraits of the Ch’ien Lung Emperor and the Earl of Macartney, and forty-four engraved maps and plates (mainly after Alexander), all of which are folding or double-page. The two quarto volumes contain one full page engraved plate (the tea bush Camelia) and 26 in-text engravings.

‘An account of the first British embassy to China, under Lord Macartney. Great Britain was anxious to establish formal diplomatic relations with China and thus open the way for unimpeded trade relations, but centuries of Chinese reserve and self-sufficiency presented a formidable obstacle to the embassy, and the Chinese emperor effectually resisted Lord Macartney’s arguments and gifts. The visit of the British embassy nonetheless resulted in this remarkable account of Chinese manners and customs at the close of the eighteenth century’ -
The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages.
  Provenance: K. K. Marine Bibliothek, Austria-Hungary, with their small neat stamp to title page and last page of each volume and verso of plates in atlas, and reference number to title pages only.

References: Lowndes 2502. Cordier,
Bibliotheca Sinica 2381. Hill, Pacific Voyages, 1628. Lust Western Books on China 545. DNB. Victorianweb. Blog kleurrijkbrontesisters. Brunet V, 525. Graesse VI 488. Cox, Literature of Travel, V1 344. Berger 286. Borba de Moraes 837. Embacher 278. Henze, Enzyklopädie der Entdecker und Erforscher, III 319. Lowendahl 697.

Large quarto, two volumes (binding size 29.5x24.1cm) pp. [2] [2] xxxiv 518 [2]; [2] xx 626[2]; atlas folio. 2 engraved portrait frontispieces (on full margined paper), 42 folding full margined plates and 2 folding plates with margins trimmed but not affecting plates. Text volumes watermarked ‘I Taylor 1796’.

Collation 3/2020.
Plates and vignettes (plate number. page, description)
Volume 1;-
II. 141 Baobab Tree
III. 199 View of Tristan d’Acuna
IV. 341 Cochin-Chinese Boat
V. 353 Curious Insects
VI. 423 Feet & Ankles of Chinese Lady
VII. 443 Chinese Mariners Compass
Volume 2:-
VIII. Frontispiece (Full Page Plate) - Earl Macartney
IX. 11 Hai-vang or Neptune of the Chinese
X. 359 Two men throwing water out of river
XI. 85 Female Divinity
XII. 351 Bronze Vessel
XIII. 113 Method of carrying large heavy package
XIV. 73 Method of carrying a sedan chair
XV. 397 Manner of crushing rice & grain
XVI. 311 statue of bronze lion
XVII. 129 Emperor’s Throne
XVIII. 235 Carved jade scepter and purse
XIX. 243 large agate
XX. 205 scenic view showing large cemented rock with two men on boat in foreground
XXI. 305 Lui-Shin, spirit of thunder
XXII. 389 two fishermen carrying boat and cormorants.
XXIII. 517 fishing with a net
XXIV. 427 Chinese bridge and barge
XXV. 481 chain pump for water
XXVI. 363 Chinese plough
XXVII. Opposite page 467 - Full Plate (thus no page number) Camellia Sesanqua or Tea Flower
XXVIII. 591 Camoens Caves of Macao
Not listed - Volume 2 - page 347 Statue of lizard type animal with simple column on it’s back.
Total 1 full page engraved plates, 26 engraved vignettes.

Atlas Folio (2 frontispiece portraits of the Earl Macartney and of the Emperor Tchien Lung on large margin sheets. 11 Maps & Approaches - 1 lg folding, 2 folding, 5 double-page,3 single. 3 Natural History. 24 scenic and populace. 5 plans and sections - 1 folding, 4 single. 1 Weapons).
1: A General Chart, on Mercator's Projection, to shew the Track of the Lion and Hindostan from England to the Gulph of Pekin (Gulf of Peking) in China, and of their Return to England, with the daily statement of the Barometer and Thermometer as observed at noon; also the limits of the Chinese Empire, as extended by the Conquests of the present Emperor Tchien-Lung. Large folding map.
2: Sketches of the Island of Santo Paulo, commonly called Amsterdam, in the Indian Ocean; View of the Island of Santo Paulo, or Amsterdam, the Conical Rock near the Entrance of the crater bearing West, distant one Mile.
3: A Chart of part of the Coast of Cochin-China in cluding Turon Harbour and the Island Callao from an actual Survey in June 1793 by H. W. Parish of the Royal Artillery and J. Barrow. View of the entrance into Turon Bay, the south Peak of the peninsula Tien-Tcha. Drawn by J. Barrow. Folding map.
4: A Chart on Mercator's Projection, containing the Track and Soundings of the Lion, the Hindostan and Tenders, from Turon-Bay in Cochin-China to the mouth of the Pei-Ho River in the Gulph of Pe-Tche-Lee or Pekin. Folding Map.
6. A Sketch by Compass of the Coast of the Promontory of Shan-Tung with the Track of the Ships and the Soundings from the Place of first making the Land to the Strait of Mi-A-Tau in China. and View of the Passage between Cape Zee-Oo-Tau and Islands to the East of it with the Clarence standiong through it; taken from Ki-San-Seu Bay. Double-page.
5: A Chart of the Islands to the southward of Tchu-San on the Eastern Coast of China generally laid down from one published by Alexander Dalrymple Esq. with additions and alterations by R. Barrow. Sketch by Compass part of the Island of Tchu-San with the port of Ting-Hai.
7. Cape Macartney bearing north-east and Staunton's Island; Cape Gower bearing north-west; View of the city of Ten-Tchoo-Foo from the anchorage of the Hindostan in the Strait of Mi-A-Tau bearing south-west. Double-page.
8. Sketch of the Pay-Ho or White River and of the road from Pekin to Geho. Taken 1793 H. W. Parish Royal Artillery. Map.
9: A Sketch of a Journey from Zhe-Hol in Tartary by land to Pekin and from thence by water to Hang-Tchoo-Foo in China. Double-page Map.
10: Sketch of a Journey from Hang-Tchoo-Foo to Quang-Tchoo-Foo or Canton in China. Double-page Map.
11. A Plan of the City and Harbour of Macao. A Colony of the Portugueze situated at the southern extremity of the Chinese Empire. China. Double-page plan.
12: A Leaf of the Cactus Opuntia or Prickly Pear with the Cochineal Insects upon it.
13: The Fire-Backed Pheasant of Java. Drawn by S. Edwards. Engraved by W. Skelton.
14: Natives of Cochin-China, Playing at cock [sic] with their Feet. Natives of Chochin-China playing Shittle Cock with their feet. Drawn by William Alexander.
15: View in Turon Bay. Drawn by William Alexander.
16: A Mandarin or Magistrate of Turon attended by his Pipe-Bearer in China. Drawn by William Alexander.
17: A Chinese Military Post. Superb detail, including mediaeval-looking costumes rivalling those of King Arthur’s knights.
18: Chinese Military drawn out in Compliment to the British Embassador. Drawn by William Alexander.
19: Instruments of War used by the Chinese.
20: View of one of the Wesern Gates of the City of Pekin.
21: Plan of the Hall of Audience and the Adjacent Courts in the Emperor’s Gardens at Yuen-Min-Yuen. Folding.
22: A Front View of the Hall of Audience at the Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen.
23: Plans, Sections, Elevations, &c. of the Great Wall of China and some of the Towers near the Pass of Cou-Pe-Keou. Taken on the spot by H. W. Parish of the Royal Artillery, 1793.
24: View of the Great Wall of China, Called Van-Lee-Tching, or Wall of Ten Thousand Lee taken near the Pass of Cou-Pe-Koo. Drawn by William Alexander after a sketch by H. W. Parish.
25: The Approach of the Emperor of China to His Tent in Tartary, to Receive the British Embassador. Drawn by William Alexander.
26: Plan, Section and Elevation of Poo-ta-la, or Temple of the Lama at Zhe-Hol in Tartary. Drawing by H. W. Parish of the Royal Artillery.
27: A View of Poo-Ta-La or Great Temple near Zhe-Hol in Tartary. Drawn by William Alexander from a sketch by H. W. Parish.
28: Punishment of the Tcha. Drawn by William Alexander.
29: A View in the Gardens of the Imperial Palace of Pekin. Drawn by William Alexander.
30: A Scene in an Historical Play exhibited on the Chinese Stage. Drawn by William Alexaner.
31: View of a Pai-Loo, improperly called a Triumphal Arch, and of a Chinese Fortress. Drawn by William Alexander
32: A Quan, or Mandarine, bearing a letter from the Emperor of China. Drawn by William Alexander.
33: A View near the City of Lin-tsin, on the Banks of the Grand Canal. Drawn by William Alexander..
33: Plan and Section of a Sluice or Flood Gate on the Grand Canal of China.
35: Chinese Barges of the Embassy passing through a Sluice on the Grand Canal. Drawn by William Alexander.
36: View of the Lake Pao-Yng where it is separated from the Grand Canal by the embarkment of Earth. Drawn by William Alexander.
37: The Pelicanus Sinensis, or Fishing Corvorant of China. Drawn by S. Edwards. Engraved by W. Skelton..
38: View of the Suburbs of a Chinese City. Drawn by William Alexander.
39: View of the Tchin-Shan, or Golden Island, in the Yang-Tse-Kiang, or Great River of China. Drawn by William Alexander.
40: Chinese Barges of the Embassy preparing to pass under a Bridge. Drawn by William Alexander.
41: View of the Tower of the Thundering Winds on the borders of the Lake See-hoo, taken from the Vale of Tombs. Drawn by William Alexander.
42: Economy of Time and Labor, exemplified in a Chinese Waterman. Drawn by William Alexander.
43: The Rock of Quang-Yin, with an Excavation near its Base, serving as a Temple and Dwelling for several Priests of Fo. Drawn by William Alexander.
44: Section and Elevation of a Wheel used by the Chinese for raising Water. Drawn by John Barrow.
  Bound in recent three quarter speckled tan calf over matching marbled boards, spines with raised bands, lettered decorated and ruled in gilt, trimmed marbled edges, marbled endpapers.   Condition: Text volumes near fine, damp mark to lower edge of title page in volume II not affecting text, atlas fine, with most sheets uncut (top edges of double page plate sheets finely trimmed, two sheets with all edges trimmed, not affecting plates, all showing strong, dark impressions, all three in fine bindings.   Ref: 106287   Price: HK$ 90,000