The rare Russian first edition.
Pavel Piasetskiy (1843 – 1919) was not only a respected doctor but also talented artist and writer. These versatile abilities ensured his participation in a number of official Russian expeditions to Asia and Middle East. In 1874 he joined a trade expedition to China (1874-75) headed by Colonel Yulian Sosnovskiy that travelled via Ulan Bator, Beijing and Tianjin to Shanghai, then up the Yangtze river and back via Lake Zaysan. This land route (taken for the purposes of exploring overland trade routes) was unusual in western travel to China, which generally took place by sea. The expedition’s photographer, Boyarsky, was responsible for the most substantial early western photography of Mongolia.
First edition. 2 volumes, 8vo (23.4 x 1.47 cm). Title, 559pp.; title, III, 562 – 1122, 4, XVIIIpp, with 24 lithographed plates after drawings by the author (12 in each volume); lacks map, pp. 881-896 bound after p.912, clean tear across pp. 1-2, occasional light foxing. Contemporary Russian half morocco, flat spines; spines rubbed, joints rubbed.
Bennett, T. History of Photography in China: Western photographers 1861-1879.