HEINE, Wilhelm (1827-1885)
Graphic Scenes of the Japan Expedition
New York: G.P. Putnam & Company, 1856. Folio. (20 x 14 inches). 12 ff. letterpress text. 10 lithographic prints (one tinted portrait of Perry on india paper mounted from a daguerreotype by P. Haas, nine hand-coloured views by Heine [two of these chromolithographed, seven printed in two colours on india paper mounted]), all printed by Sarony & Co., all mounted on thick card with smooth glossy backings.
Text in the original yellow pictorial wrappers, expertly rebacked to style with purple cloth, the plates loose as issued with the text within a half purple morocco and period purple cloth portfolio, yellow pastedowns and flaps, cloth ties. All within a black morocco backed box.
An important work recording Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan: the very rare deluxe, hand coloured issue on card.
William Heine was the official artist on Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan in 1853-54. On returning to the United States he produced several series of prints commemorating the trip. A group of six elephant-folio prints appeared in 1855, and the following year the present volume was issued, in a smaller format, with different images and with explanatory text. Both projects employed the New York lithographic firm of Sarony, among the best lithographers in the United States at that time. "As artistic productions, the pictures speak for themselves ... none superior to them have been executed in the United States, and they have no cause to shun comparison with some of the best productions of Europe" (Introduction). Copies were produced tinted (though with some plates with several colors) on regular paper and a very rare deluxe hand-coloured issue on card (like the present example). The plates are numbered and titled as follows 1. [portrait of Perry]; 2. Macao from Penha Hill; 3. Whampoa Pagoda; 4. Old China Street, Canton; 5. Kung-kwa at On-na, Lew-Chew; 6. Mia or road side chapel at Yokuhama; 7. Temple of Ben-teng in the harbor of Simoda; 8. Street and bridge at Simoda; 9. Temple of the Ha-tshu Man-ya-tshu-ro at Simoda; 10. Grave yard at Simoda Dio Zenge. Bennett describes the plates as "many times finer than those in the regular account of the Perry expedition." His remarks on the work's great rarity are confirmed by its absence from both of Cordier's Japanese bibliographies. Two distinct issues of Heine's work were published: a regular issue with hand coloured plates on thick card; and the deluxe issue, like the present, with more elaborate hand coloring and on thick cards with glossy paper backings. The deluxe issue is considerably more rare than the regular issue.
Bennett, p.53; McGrath American Color Plate Books 123.