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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 Kirghiz; and the Manjours, Manyargs, Toungouz Touzemtz, Goldi, and Gelyaks: the Hunting and Pastoral Tribes.

London, Hurst and Blackett, 1860 Stock Code: 139349
£850.00

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Notes

First edition. 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."

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Description

Large octavo (245 x 149 mm). Contemporary calf prize binding by Seton and Mackenzie of Edinburgh, richly gilt spine, black morocco label, sides with decorative gilt border enclosing a blind roll-tool panel, decorative gilt edge roll, marbled edges.

Illustrations

Tinted lithographic frontispiece by Thomas Picken after Atkinson, printed by Day and Haghe, and numerous wood-engraved illustrations to the text, large folding map of Central Asia at the rear.

Condition

Prize label to front pastedown of the Edinburgh Institute (dated 1870) and their gilt subralibros to front cover. A few scrapes and light abrasions to binding. A most handsome copy.

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