With a broadside translation from a Qing dynasty silk panel
A Dissertation on the ancient Chinese vases of the Shang Dynasty, from 1743 to 1496, B.C.
Illustrated with forty-two Chinese wood engravings. London published (& printed at 12 Warwick Square) by the author and sold by James Gilbert, bookseller 1851
First edition. 8vo (24.5 x 16 cm), pp.63, [1, blank], [2, imprint], with 42 wood engravings in text, title with printed frame in red. Folio broadsheet (40 x 44 cm), folded and tipped-in at rear. A very good copy in original cloth by Josiah Westley. Slight wear to head and tail of spine. Broadsheet lightly age-toned, and torn on folds. Henry Bohn's copy, with his signed note of Thoms' presentation of the broadsheet at the Crystal Palace exhibition. Armorial bookplate of Edward Jackson Barron.
Cordier BS 695; Löwendahl 1122. We locate a single copy of the broadside at Kent State University.
A selection of excerpts from the 11th-century Bogu tulu, a Chinese catalogue of imperial bronzes in sixteen volumes, translated by the printer Peter Perring Thoms (1790-1855). Thoms believed that the majority of the vases were made of gold, and the mirrors of polished steel; his dissertation makes no mention of bronze at all. The wood engraved illustrations were done from blocks carved by A-Lae, a Chinese artist from Canton, and were shown at the 1851 Exhibition. This copy has a remarkable broadsheet, The Original Address presented to His Excellency Hwang, on his being appointed Deputy-Governor of the Province of Canton, during the reign of the Emperor Kang-he, about the year 1684, containing the signatures of seven hundred and seventy-six merchants and tradesmen, separately printed and published by Thoms in 1851, tipped-in and a note from Henry Bohm recording his receipt of it at the 1851 Exhibition. The text is a translation from the 17th-century Chinese silk panel, backed with velvet, which Thoms had acquired in February of 1851 in England. Eight feet long and six feet wide, the panel was covered in Chinese characters, woven in gold thread. He exhibited it later that year at Crystal Palace. We have been unable to trace the silk panel after 1851. Peter Perring Thoms worked first as jobbing printer in London; the East India Company employed him around 1814 and sent him to Macao to assist Robert Morrison in the production of his landmark Chinese dictionary. Thoms remained in Macao until 1825, when he returned to London, and took premises at 12 Warwick Square, which he retained until his death. Henry Bohn (1796-1884), son of a German émigré to London, was one of the foremost publishers and booksellers in 19th-century Britain.