MASON, George Henry
The Costume of China, Illustrated with Sixty Engravings: with explanations in English and French
London: William Miller, 1800 [plates watermarked 1802]. Quarto. (13 7/8 x 10 1/4 inches). Titles and text in English and French. 60 hand-coloured stipple-engraved plates by Dadley after Pu-Qùa of Canton, each with accompanying text leaf.
Contemporary diced russia, covers bordered in gilt and blind, spine with raised bands in seven compartments, lettered in the second and sixth, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
A fine copy of Mason's famous illustrated survey of the costume of China.
First published in 1800, Mason's text is based on his own experiences in Canton in 1789-1790. At the time he was there, foreigners were not allowed access to the China beyond the borders of the visitor's compounds. Mason, however, was able to gain some information from interacting with the Hong merchants of Canton. The work is given structure by the series of plates, based on original drawings by Pu-Qua, that Mason purchased in Canton. Each plate is accompanied by a commentary in which Mason draws on either his own experiences or the accounts of earlier writers such as Staunton and Nieuhoff.
Abbey Travel II, 533; Colas 2009; Lipperheide Le 17.