Auction 120, Lot 873

"Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, Performed in the Years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the Command of Commodore M. C. Perry, United States Navy…", Perry, Matthew (Adm.)

Subject: Exploration and Surveys

Period: 1856 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

9.6 x 11.75 inches
24.4 x 29.8 cm

This is the first edition, volume 1, of the report describing Admiral Perry's expedition that was designed to establish trade and diplomacy, by force if necessary, with the "closed" country of Japan. Admiral Perry successfully executed the treaty of Kanagawa in 1854 requiring sailors shipwrecked in Japanese waters to be treated humanely, and that coal would be made available for purchase by U.S. vessels. Additionally, it opened the port cities of Shimoda & Hakodate to U. S. commerce, ending 200+ years of Japanese isolation, and thus, encouraging the new trade partner to industrialize and modernize. This superb example is profusely illustrated with 89 monochromatic lithographs, 76 woodcut engravings and 5 maps that are as follows: Island of Great Lew Chew (8" x 6"); Chart of the Bonin Group of Islands (6.5" x 8.6"); Map of the Japan Islands copied from von Siebolds... (14" x 12"), folding; The Island of Formosa (6.5" x 9") and Chart showing the track of the Flagships of the U.S. Japan Expedition to the Eastd. of the Cape of Good Hope 1853 & 1854, folding, (16" x 10.5"). Compiled by Francis L. Hawks. Title page; Prefatory Note, Table of Contents; List of Illustrations; Errata; Letter of the Secretary of the Navy; Introduction; body; Index. 537 pp. This edition was issued without the suppressed frontispiece plate "Public Bath at Simoda." Hardbound in original embossed green cloth with gilt title on spine.


Condition: B+

The book itself is fairly rough, but the contents are very nice. Most plates are fine, with a few very good. The text is generally good with little to no foxing. Folding maps are bright and near fine, with just short binding tears and the occasional crease. Covers are scuffed and worn, corners bumped with minor loss. Spine is separated from back hinge and worn at extremities. Signatures are loosening. Still a good copy of a tremendously important report.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

Sold for: $750

Closed on 7/18/2007