FIRST EDITION OF HALL’S VOYAGE TO CHINA AND THE YELLOW SEA, WITH EIGHT BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED AQUATINTS
HALL, Basil. Account of a Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island… and a Vocabulary of the Loo-Choo Language by H.J. Clifford. London: John Murray, 1818. Quarto, contemporary marbled paper boards rebacked and recornered in brown calf, purple morocco spine label. $4800.
First edition of this expedition to the East China and Yellow Seas, with eight lovely hand-colored aquatints by William Havell, two black-and-white engravings and five charts and maps (two folding), in contemporary boards.
Scottish-born Basil Hall entered the British navy in 1801, and in 1815 "was appointed to the Lyra and ordered to China where, in consort with the Alceste, he accompanied Lord Amherst's embassy" (Howgego). The expedition "explored the relatively little-known East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. Visits were made to Korea and the Ryukyu Archipelago. Korea had been sketchily explored by the Europeans, but it was not until the Alceste and Lyra expedition in 1816-17, under Captains Murray Maxwell and Basil Hall, that detailed information was obtained about the Ryukyus. On the homeward passage, the Alceste was wrecked in Gaspar Strait off Sumatra" (Hill). "Hall brought the Lyra back to England in October 1817 and during the return voyage interviewed Napoleon at St. Helena" (Howgego). Hall later traveled to the Pacific coast of North America, the Galápagos Islands and South America. The hand-colored aquatints were drawn by William Havell, protégé of Turner, and most portray various chiefs and priests encountered on the journey. With half title. Abbey Travel 558. Hill 749. Howgego H3. Early library bookplate.
Only a few spots of faint scattered foxing and usual light offsetting to interior. A handsome copy in near-fine condition.