[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Copper mining at Ashio in Tochigi Prefecture began about 1600 and production continued until 1973; in the late 19th century, it produced 39 percent of Japan’s copper output. At the end of that century, it was decided to build a railway connecting the mine to major rail lines to facilitate transportation of the outbound copper ore and inbound supplies (horses had carried or pulled everything before). The engineering problems were considerable: the line runs along the Watarase River through a deep valley subject to frequent flooding. The railway was finished in 1911-12.
The collection contains a series of letters containing reports on design and construction, printed documents regarding the stock company formed to finance the building of the railway (“Ashio Tetsudo Kabushikigaisha”), reports from engineers regarding preparations, further reports regarding expected capacity needs for the railroad line, six photographs of the construction, and a very fine and large (1820 x 760 mm.) manuscript diagram on four joined sheets of tissue paper showing the route through the valley and elevations. This large diagram has been heightened in color (green, blue, red, and brown).
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[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Two scrolls, measuring 290 x 6540 mm. & 290 x 6870 mm. Ink, brush, & wash in various colors, on paper, newly & expertly backed. Japan: ca. 1855.
These two vividly illustrated contemporary scrolls recount Commodore Matthew Perry’s second expedition to Japan from the perspective of the Japanese. A large number of the scenes are devoted to American machinery and technology, which the Japanese had never seen before, such as a small-scale train locomotive, a telegraph transmitter, a freestanding steam engine, a furnace, and a cannon. Executed shortly after Perry and his squadron departed, these scrolls also contain portraits of Perry and his chief of staff, Henry A....
38 pp. 8vo, disbound. London: Printed for the Author, [Preface dated 1 January 1794].
First edition and rare. Hodskinson, who lived at Arundel Street, London, was a surveyor for forty years and had closely studied agricultural problems. Finding other writers too theoretical and wordy, his “aim has…been to be as simple, as concise, and as intelligible as possible.”–from his Preface.
Fine copy. Stamp of the Lawes Agricultural Trust on front endpaper.
x, 557,  pp. 8vo, cont. green sheep-backed green boards maroquiné, single gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt. Sion: A. Advocat, 1812.
First edition of this uncommon account of the mountainous canton of Valais (then known as the “département du Simplon”) in Switzerland. Schiner, a physician on the medical faculty at Montpellier, describes the geography, natural history, most notable buildings, costumes, cuisines and wines, commercial activities, roads, climate, structure of government, the mountains and glaciers, forests, etc., etc. The author also discusses the prevalence of goiter amongst the population, along with other diseases common to the canton.
Fine copy, signed by Prince Dietrichstein on the free front endpaper.