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Eighteen views taken at & near Rangoon [with]

MARRYAT, Frederick. Six plates illustrative of the combined operations in the Birman Empire.

Stock Code 111414

London, Clay, [1825]-1826.

Original price $22,073.00 - Original price $22,073.00
Original price $0.00
$22,073.00 - $22,073.00
Current price $22,073.00
On the road to Mandalay, where the flyin'-fishes play, an' the dawn comes up like thunder.... Moore's views of Rangoon constitutes the finest depiction of events during the first Burmese War.

By the early nineteenth century the British were firmly established as the masters of India, and following Burmese excursions on its north-eastern frontier, the East India Company declared war on Burma in February 1824. This led to a full-scale seaborne assault on Rangoon, with 11,000 troops.

The EIC (East India Company) army found the city largely abandoned by its inhabitants. Over the two-year course of the war, both sides suffered huge casualties -on the British and Indian side alone some 40,000 troops were killed, and losses on the Burmese side were even more considerable. The Burmese were eventually defeated and forced to cede territory and pay a huge indemnity to the EIC. Thus began the process which would lead to Burma's annexation by the British Empire in 1889.

The present series of images begins in May 1824, with the first plate showing British vessels preparing to set sail from the Harbour of Port Cornwallis on the Island of Andaman (off the northeast coast of India). This is followed by the British landing at Rangoon, the storming of various stockades and forts around the city, the capture of a Burman gilt war boat, and naval battles involving dozens of ships. Interspersed with these military spectacles are more traditional scenic views of the countrys landscape and pagodas especially the Shwedagon Pagoda (called the Great Dagon Pagoda in the present work), the most sacred Buddhist site in the country.
The present works were originally published as two separate series. The present copy contains all 24 engravings, as well as the preliminary dedication leaf and subscriber leaf, and three lithographed leaves of subscribers in India (as called for by Abbey), plus a rare section title to the second series seemingly not mentioned the bibliographies. Two smaller text booklets were printed separately to accompany the series, but, as Tooley notes, they are rarely present, and each series can be considered complete in and of itself without the text.

While Sadlier distinguishes first and second issue points within the first edition based mainly on the presence of the word Proof on various plates, Abbey asserts that it does not seem that the appearance or non-appearance of the word Proof can be made into an issue point, and, in fact, it seems that all the plate differences must be described as states, not issues.

First edition. Folio (48 x 33 cm), 2 works bound in 1 vol., engraved decorative title incorporating the dedication by R.W. Smart after Thomas Stothard, engraved Subscribers leaf with large mezzotint vignette by J. Bromley after Thomas Stothard, lithographic section title to the second series with vignette after Marryat, three leaves of lithographic facsimile reproducing manuscript subscribers list (two of these leaves folded), 24 fine hand coloured aquatint plates by G. Hunt, H. Pyall, T. Fielding, and Reeve jnr., after J. Moore, F. Marryat, and Capt. Thornton, eight of the plates marked proof in lower right margin (two in first series, and all six in second series), bound to style in reddish-brown straight-grain half morocco over boards with the original lithographed upper wrapper to series 1, part 1 inlaid on the upper cover and the original lithographed upper wrapper to series 1, parts 2/3, on the lower cover,boards rubbed with slight edge wear, internally clean and fresh, a very good copy.

Abbey (Travel), 404; Sadleir 1610 & 1610a; Tooley 334.

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Eighteen views taken at & near Rangoon [with]

MOORE, Lieut. Joseph.

Stock code: 111414



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