London: John Snow, 1850. First separate printing. Hardcover. Medhurst was apprenticed as a printer & typesetter, eventually engaged by the London Missionary Society. He became a Protestant missionary for the LMS and over his 37 years in Malaysia, Indonesia and China, published numerous dictionaries of various dialects. In the 1840s, he was one of four who cooperated to translate the Bible into Chinese.
This book is rare in the trade, especially in the original cloth binding. This is the London issue of the title page, with the text and illustrations printed in Shanghai on Chinese paper.
A catalogue note appended to the Franklin Brook Hitching copy that was sold by Sotheby's in 2015 as part 3 of his exquisite holdings. "When Shanghai port opened to British merchants in 1842 as a result of the Anglo-Chinese treaty of Nanking, Walter Medhurst (1796-1857) quickly established an outpost of the London Missionary Society and a mission press, the first such modern press in China, where he printed numerous works in English and Chinese. Notoriously independent minded, here Medhurst recounts his seven week journey in the spring of 1845, for which he donned disguise including dark glasses and a false pigtail. The diary of his journey includes detailed descriptions of the everyday life of the people he encountered alongside a lengthy digression on silk production. The same sheets first appeared in "Chinese Miscellanies" No. 1, issued in Shanghai in 1849, and then reissued with a new title-page in London by John Snow the following year."
8vo, (ii), inserted short letterpress apology slip, 192pp, 11 plates (9 folding), 8 full page illustrations on 5 text leaves. Publishers blind stamped salmon cloth with decorative borders and the central image of the famous pagoda on the boards. Spine sun browned, with very bright gilt title. Boards a bit sunned. Expertly rebacked with the original spine laid down. Text block very clean. A couple of maps are printed on lesser quality paper, hence browner. The original owner has signed his name in pencil on the front free endpaper
"Thomas Evans". A super copy overall.
Cordier II, 2117-2118, Lowendahl 1099, Lust 380, OCLC: 12672623. Otherwise very good condition. Item #26611