# 16384

MARSDEN, William

The history of Sumatra,

$7,500.00 AUD

containing an account of the government, laws, customs, and manners of the native inhabitants,with a description of the natural productions, and a relation of the ancient political state of that island. The third edition, with corrections, additions, and plates. London : printed for the author, [1810] – 1811. Quarto, full crushed morocco, elaborately decorated in gilt, spine in compartments, marbled endpapers, folding engraved frontispiece map (repaired tear), owner’s wetstamp of Wm. Henderson to title page, map and p. 1; errata slip; pp. viii; engraved plate of Sumatran Alphabets; 479; (8); contemporary pen marginalia, some occasional light foxing.Together with the volume of plates, elephant folio (620 mm tall), papered boards with letterpress title label, contents sheet, 27 line and stipple engraved plates on 19 sheets, including 4 aquatint views by Joseph Stadler, the plates clean with light offsetting, housed in a custom buckram clamshell box (silverfished) with gilt-lettered title label.

William Marsden’s ‘History of Sumatra’ was first published in 1783, and is the first work in English on the region. This is the first issue of the third edition, which is the only issue to be accompanied by the elephant folio of plates. In this edition, the images are printed in large format to enhance the exotic lushness of the native flora, in the alternate issue of the third edition, the plates are reduced to quarto format and bound in to the text. The four aquatint views are after drawings by William Bell of Fort Marlborough, Sumatra, and are engraved by Joseph Stadler, chiefly known for his impressive work in Thornton’s The Temple of Flora (1798 – 1807). The oversized atlas volume is frequently separated from the text, the catalogue for the Hill collection noting that in their copy ‘the much-prized companion atlas is lacking here, as is usual’.

Cordier Indosinica 1107; Hill 1093 (lacking the atlas)

Not in Nissen; not in Abbey