Narrative of The Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan in the Years 1857, ‘58, ‘59. - Laurence Oliphant 1859 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition An excellent set of this important two volume work, scarce in the original publisher’s cloth.

A major eyewitness account of the Second Opium War. Profusely illustrated throughout with twenty superb full page colour lithographic plates, five folding maps, and numerous wood engravings in the text.

Oliphant was secretary to Lord Elgin during his mission to China, and throughout his travels paid close attention to Chinese daily life, the military situation, and its global political ramifications.
  James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (1811-1863) became the 1857 British High Commissioner to China and travelled to China and Japan in 1858-9, where he lead the bombing of Canton and oversaw the end of the Second Opium War by signing the Treaties of Tianjin on June 26, 1858. Later, on October 24, 1860, he also signed the Convention of Beijing which stipulated that China was to cede part of Kowloon peninsula and Hong Kong to Britain.

Provenance: Early ownership name to half titles. Later from the library of the Kinsgwood Schhol, Btah, with their very small circular blind stamp to title pages, and each page number ending in 51.

References: Cordier
Bibliotheca Sinica 2376. Bibliotheca Wittockiana Western Travellers in China Discovering the Middle Kingdom 70.

Two Octavo Volumes (15 x 23 cm). pp. [2] xiii [1-list of illustrations] 492 16-publisher advertisements; xi [1] 496. Publisher's blue cloth, illustrative gilt blocks to upper covers, decorative blind stamped borders to covers, gilt lettering to spines. Re-backed with original spine re-laid, new endpapers.
  Condition: Very good, re-backed retaining the original spine, gilt to spines a little dulled, touch of tape residue to endpapers, light foxing to versos of colour plates as normally encountered, which in some cases has affected the pages, and a little spotting to large folding map at rear of volume one, else internally clean.   Ref: 108445   Price: HK$ 9,000