ATKINSON, Thomas Witlam.
Travels in the Regions of the Upper and Lower Amoor and the Russian Acquisitions on the Confines of India and China.
With Adventures among the Mountain Kirghis; and the Manjours, Manyargs, Toungouz, Touzemtz, Goldi, and Gelyaks; the Hunting and Pastoral Tribes. Second Edition.
Second edition, issued the year after the first. Having trained as a stonemason, Atkinson became an architect carrying out some highly accomplished commissions in the Manchester area. Around 1844 “inspired by Alexander von Humboldt’s accounts of Siberia, Atkinson then moved to St Petersburg …There, in 1846, he abandoned architecture as a profession for the pursuits of an explorer and topographical artist. Between March and November 1847 he travelled to the Urals, the Kirgiz steppes, and Altai Mountains …Between 1848 and 1853 he travelled extensively in the Russian orient, gathering much geographical and geological information. During this time he produced over 500 water-colours of the landscapes and peoples, some of them 5 or 6 feet square …After his return to Britain, an exhibition of Atkinson’s Siberian and Chinese Tartar scenes was held in 1856 at Colnaghi’s Gallery, London. Some of these were lithographed and published in his narratives of his travels.” (ODNB) He died in 1861, the Athenaeum describing him in their obituary as “the type of an artistic traveller, thin, lithe, and sinewy, with a wrist like a rock and an eye like a poet’s; manner singularly gentle, and air which mingled entreaty with command.”
Large octavo (249 150 mm) original pinkish purple sand-grained cloth, embossed, title elaborately gilt to the spine and to the upper board together with a large illustrative gilt block “The Dangerous Ride.” Tinted lithographic frontispiece and numerous engraved illustrations to the text, large folding map at the rear. Slightly rubbed, spine sunned, corners a little bumped, front hinges just started, else a very bright copy.
Bibliography: Howgego, II, A18; Czech p.15; Yakushi A112.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary