Erskine, John Elphinstone. Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of the Western Pacific

John Elphinstone Erskine, Capt. RN

  • $200.00
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London: John Murray, 1853. Hardback 8vo; first edition. Pp [i-iii], iv-vi, 1-488. Polished maroon calf; gilt double rules with corner rosettes to front and rear boards; gilt decoration to board edges; spine with five raised bands, embossed gilt decoration, and gilt-lettered morocco title label; marbled page edges and endpapers; chromolithograph frontispiece; three additional chromolithograph plates; three black and white lithograph plates; eleven black and white woodcut illustrations; fold-out black and white engraved map. Condition: Very good. Extremities heavily rubbed; corners worn; boards scuffed; extensive wear to calf finish of extremities and rear board; front board sunned; ¼-inch dent near fore edge of front board; gilding worn away in places, particularly from board edges and spine; head of spine chipped; upper front and rear joints starting; ½-inch loss to title label; ¼-inch tear to fore edge of ffep; gift inscription “George F Apthorp / From his sincere Friend / Horatio. George. Walpole. / on his leaving Eton / Xmas 1857” to front blank; previous owner stamp to verso of ffep; occasional foxing throughout, with more extensive foxing to perimeters of chromolithograph plates, though not affecting images. $200

Full title: Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of the Western Pacific, including the Feejees and Others Inhabited by the Polynesian and Negro Races, in Her Majesty’s Ship Havannah. An account by Captain John Erskine, Royal Navy, of indigenous Pacific islanders and their history, culture, dress, and customs; this work features a lively narrative style, as well as beautiful color and monochrome plates and woodcuts depicting chiefs and other inhabitants of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, and numerous other Pacific islands. Erskine was later a Member of Parliament whose observation of the effects of Europeans’ presence in the Pacific induced him to join the Aborigines’ Protection Society.

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