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MACPHERSON, Duncan.

Antiquities of Kertch and Researches in the Cimmerian Bosphorus.

Published: London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1857

Stock code: 109135

Price: £2,250

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First and only edition, uncommon. “An example of the degree of technical virtuosity reached by this time in lithography, giving plates brilliant in effect, the equivalent of modern four-colour process work from photographs. It is very difficult to tell whether, or to what extent, the plates are touched by hand … The inks are excellent, with some strong velvety blacks” (Abbey). Macpherson was a surgeon with the Madras army. “Between 1840 and 1842 he served with the 37th grenadier regiment in China, and he was severely wounded at Chuenpe (Chuanbi). He told of his experiences in his Two Years in China. On his return to India he served chiefly with the irregular horse in the Hyderabad contingent, and on the outbreak of the war with Russia in 1855 he was appointed head of the medical staff of the Turkish contingent on the recommendation of his former commander, Lord Gough. During his time on the Bosphorus he prepared his Antiquities of Kertch and Researches in the Cimmerian Bosphorus; this contains a sketch of the history and archaeology as well as of the physical and ethnological features of the country” (ODNB). On his return to India he “was promoted to the post of inspector-general of the medical service of Madras … This infraction of the hitherto sacred rule of seniority, together with the feverish activity of the new inspector in the performance of his duties and his large schemes of reorganization, rendered him not a little ‘repugnant to the older official class’.” Macpherson died in Coorg in 1867.

Folio. Original black wavy-grained cloth, title gilt to spine and front cover together with a central large roundel, blind panelling to both covers and roundel in blind to rear cover, all edges gilt, black surface-paper endpapers. Tinted lithographic additional title page, two-tint lithographic double-page frontispiece (section from Mons Mithridates to the Golden Mountain) and one other tinted lithographic plate, 8 high-quality chromolithographic plates, 3 uncoloured lithographic plates of inscriptions and coins, wood-engravings in the text, 2 full-page maps coloured in outline. A little rubbed, some judicious restoration at the edges and to the bottom of both boards, hinges neatly repaired, some browning throughout, pale foxing, minor hygrosdcopic damping in the margins, overall a very good copy.

Bibliography: Abbey Travel 243 Blackmer 1055

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