# 21623

KRANZ, Paul (1866-1920)

The “Chinese alphabet” : four thousand most frequent characters, according to their frequency. In four series of one thousand characters each, and subdivided into nine classes. For private study and self-examination, and for use in Chinese schools.

Shanghai : Printed at the American Presbyterian Mission Press, [1903-04]. Two volumes in one, folio (380 x 250 mm), bound in later black lettered tan cloth over boards (lightly marked) for renowned China philatelist H.K. Bowker (a paymaster in the United States Navy). Volume one (lacking title leaf), containing Series I and II, pp i-iii (Introduction), [1 blank], 13-83 (i.e. lacking pages 1-12, which comprises Series I First Thousand characters 1-300); Volume two (with the title leaf bound in), containing Series III and IV, pp 1-80; both volumes with the Chinese characters printed in large, bold type in tabular form on the right-hand pages, with transcriptions and English translations on the facing pages; a few leaves (including title leaf of Volume two) with tape repairs at edges or gutter, and occasional pale water staining to margins (not affecting text); throughout both volumes are the original owner’s neat alternative transcriptions in ink of the standardised printed transcriptions of the Chinese characters; otherwise internally clean.

This rare work on the Chinese character system was compiled by German Protestant missionary Pastor Paul Kranz, for many years the assistant to Ernst Faber of the Allgemeine Evangelisch-Protestantische Missionsverein in China.

OCLC locates only a handful of complete sets of the two volumes (Series I-IV) in libraries in Europe and North America.

We can trace no example at auction in Rare Book Hub’s database.