Thomas Allom (1804-1872) the noted topographical artist, at a time of increased interest in China, presented the Western world with the most complete portrait of China and Chinese culture up to the middle of the nineteenth century. The engravings show architecture and scenic views, mainly of the South-East (Hong Kong, Canto, Macao, Nanjing, and Shanghai) but also include several images of Peking and Yehol. As well as his own observations, Allom includes some images based on the work of earlier artists such as Lieutenant Frederick White, R.M., Captain Stoddart, R.N. and R. Vaughan.
The text was by George Wright, a protestant missionary who had spent a considerable time in China.
4 volumes bound in 2, 4to., engraved title-page to each volume, 124 finely engraved steel-plates after Allom. Contemporary black half-morocco gilt, gilt centrepiece to upper cover, all edges gilt, occasional light spotting, overall a clean, fresh copy.
Cordier 80-81; Lust 363; Lowendahl 986.