MAYERS, William Frederick; DENNYS, Nicholas Belfield; KING, Charles
The Treaty Ports of China and Japan.
A complete guide to the open ports of those countries, together with Peking, Yedo, Hongkong and Macao : forming a guide book & vade mecum for travellers, merchants, and residents in general : with 29 maps and plans. London : Trübner and Co. ; Hongkong : A. Shortrede and Co, 1867. First edition. Octavo, half morocco over purple cloth boards (sunned and rubbed, damp stains to top edge of upper board and to lower board), spine with gilt lettering and rule (a little softened at the head and tail), marbled endpapers, owner’s woodblock stamp on verso of half title; folding woodblock printed frontispiece map has been laid down on another sheet by the original owner and extensively annotated in the margins in ink in a neat hand, the commentary containing an index of ports to be opened “next year”; pp viii, 668, xlviii, 26,  leaves of maps and plans (mostly folding) including a splendid Plan of Victoria, all woodblock printed in colour; includes a 26-page ‘Catalogue of books on China (other than philological) published on China and Japan in the English language’ as Appendix C; scattered spotting and occasional browning, several of the maps with repair, else a good copy, complete as called for in the Table of Contents.
Scarce first edition of an important guide for Westerners in China and Japan.
‘As trade between the East and the West grew in the mid-nineteenth century, increasing numbers of Westerners travelled to China and Japan, and in 1867 this guide to the key port cities such as Hong Kong and Nagasaki was published in both Hong Kong and London. Its editor, Nicholas Belfield Dennys (1813–99) claimed it was the first such comprehensive handbook printed for public distribution. Intended for visitors and new residents, the guide was originally typeset in China, allowing place names and other words to be printed in Chinese characters. The specially commissioned maps were also engraved in China. The book includes physical descriptions and brief histories of over twenty cities, details of schools and libraries, population statistics and much practical information, as well as a list of other publications on China and Japan. It is a valuable historical source on East Asia during a period of rapid change’ (Cambridge University Press).