Alexander, William

Picturesque Representations of the Dress and Manners of the Chinese. Illustrated in Fifty Coloured Engravings, with Descriptions


James Goodwin, London, [1829]. [52]pp to accompany 50 hand coloured engravings, each with plain guard leaf. 4to. Original half red calf with 5 raised bands and black titles to spine; marbled paper-covered boards with paper title label to upper board; grey endpapers. Housed in a bespoke pillar box red clam-shell box with gilt titles, lined with purple velvet. Spine and boards rubbed; wear to corners and lower edge. A little offsetting otherwise contents clean and bright. The plates depict the dress of the Chinese people of the day from commoners to royalty, including costumes considered appropriate for various occupations such as jugglers, fishermen and soldiers. Alexander was the artist for Lord Macartney's embassy to Beijing in the 1790s and his detailed, delicately observed engravings were justly popular at a time when chinoiserie was highly fashionable.


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