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The Angus Ivan Ward Collection of Russian accounts of Mongolia and China.

Stock Code 90438

[Various places, 1764-1914].

Original price £29,500.00 - Original price £29,500.00
Original price £29,500.00
£29,500.00 - £29,500.00
Current price £29,500.00
Extensive collection of Russian works focusing mostly on Northern China and Mongolia, including important and rare travel, trade and exploration accounts.
Assembled by Angus Ivan Ward, us consul in China and Russia during troubled times, and ambassador in Afghanistan.

Ward (1893-1969) served in the U.S. Army during World War I and then became U.S. Vice Consul in Mukden, China, in 1926; then in Tientsin in 1927-29 and again in 1932. He was sent to Moscow in 1938, and served as U.S. Consul General in Vladivostok during WWII, in 1943. Before becoming U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan in 1952-56, he was back in Mukden as Consul in 1948, where he became the subject of the Ward Incident (1948-49). During the final years of the Chinese Civil War, Ward and the consulate staff were imprisoned and held under house arrest by Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army for almost a year, creating a diplomatic rift with the United States.
Ward's collection is remarkable for its wide range, comprising 150 years of Russian approach to China and their neighbouring region, Mongolia, before the Russian revolution. Including important as well as lesser works, most in first editions and all rarely found on the market, the collection not only presents an excellent panorama of Russian exploration of the region, but also allows a rare understanding of the commercial and diplomatic relations between these two giant states. It is completed by scholarly works on local languages and cultures.

Although Russian envoys and merchants were visiting and residing in Mongolia and China in the 17th century, printed accounts of the relations between these countries became available to Russian readers only in the mid 18th century. At first they were Russian translations of works by Chinese authors, such as An Account of the Chinese Mission to the Kalmyk Khan on the Volga in 1714 and Their Journey through Russia by Tulishen (1667–1741), which describes in detail the first official diplomatic mission of China to a European State. This early and important work, later published in English by Staunton himself, is represented here by a fine example of the first edition in Russian.

One of the first Russian scholars of China is the celebrated and prolific monk Iakinf Bichurin (1777-1853). Leader of the 9th Russian Mission to Peking, he spent 14 years in China, learning the language and exploring the region. His Notes on Mongolia (1828), illustrated with fine hand-coloured plates, is the first fundamental study of Mongolia by a Russian sinologist. When Bichurin's mission left Beijing, the smooth transition with the new mission was under the control of the diplomat Egor Timkovskiy (1790-1875). His 3-volume Travels through Mongolia to China in the years 1820 and 1821 (1824) became the first significant travel account of a Russian to China, collecting material on Eastern Turkestan, Mongolia, Tibet, China and Korea.
The 1860 Beijing agreement, ending the Second Opium War, brought a new turn to the Russian exploration of the region. It was the result of Russian diplomatic efforts to facilitate negotiations between China on one side and Britain and France on the other, and it allowed the establishment of a permanent Russian diplomatic presence in Beijing. The negotiations and Russia's role are described in detail in Baron Buksgevden's Russian China (1902).

The last quarter of the 19th century was the most fruitful period for Russian exploration and the Ward collection includes some of the most important accounts published at that time. Due to an extension of the Great Game to the East, many scientific Russian expeditions to Tibet and China were subsidized by the Russian Imperial Geographical Society, with often a hidden agenda focusing on mapping the region and gathering intelligence data.

An excellent example is given by Mikhail Pevtsov (1843-1902), a Russian army officer and student of Nikolay Przhevalskiy. His Account of a Travel around Mongolia and Northern Provinces of Continental China (1883) mapped unknown parts of Mongolia and Inner China, which he discovered during his 1878-79 exploration. Similarly, a generation later another military Vasiliy Novitskiy published an account on central Mongolia (1911) accompanied by fifteen accurate and detailed maps of the region.

One of the most famous Russian explorers of the region is Grigoriy Potanin (1835-1920), who conducted eight expeditions to Mongolia, Tibet and China, with some of them lasting up to two years. The present collection includes his rare and fundamental 2-volume study of Central Mongolia and the Eastern border of China published in 1893, to which Ward added a scarce volume of articles by Alexandra Potanina (1843-93), Potanin's wife and the first woman to be accepted as a member of the Russian Geographical Society.
A diplomat himself, Ward extended his interest to the economic and diplomatic relations between Russia, China and Mongolia. Exploration missions were indeed often useful to trade missions organized by the largest Russian trading companies, trying to find new routes to the East and to understand the legal and economic aspects of trading in the region. Fascinating accounts were published, including for example an Expedition to China in 1874-75 by Yu. Sosnovskiy (1883), Notes the Russian-Mongolian Trade by M. Bogolepov (1911) and Moscow Trade Mission to Mongolia by V. Popov (1912).

Ward was a bibliophile and took great care of his purchases. All books are in excellent, fresh condition and, except the very rare Timkovskiy, they are all complete with maps and illustrations. They have been bound in the mid 20th century in a uniform dark burgundy or brown colour, in full cloth or in a quality half calf for the most important works, except a couple of books such as the Tulishen which is in contemporary Russian half calf. During the binding work, the maps were usually professionally laid on linen and carefully stored at the back of each volume in a pocket specially made. Most of the books bear Angus Ward's bookplate on the upper pastedown; some have supplementary, earlier provenances.
The full collection comprises the following titles. A detailed description of each, with notes, is available on request.

1. ТУ-ЛИ-ЧЕНЬ [ТУЛИШИН], Ларион Калинович РОССОХИН (переводчик), Герард Фридрих МИЛЛЕР (издатель). [TULIŠEN, Larion Kalinovich ROSSOKHIN (translator), Gerhard Friedrich MILLER (publisher)].
Описание путешествия коим ездили китайские посланники в Россию в 1714 году у Калмыцкого Хана Аюки на Волге. В 'Ежемесячные сочинения и известия о ученых делах'. [An Account of the Chinese Mission to the Kalmyk Khan Ayuk on the Volga in 1714 and their Journey through Russia. Published in 'Monthly Essays on Scientific Affairs']. Imper. Akad. Nauk, Skt. Peterburg, 1764.

A lovely, fresh example of this early account of the Chinese mission to the Kalmyk Khanate - the first Russian edition of the first diplomatic mission to China to a European state, according to the sinologist Mikhail Kapitsa. In the beginning of the 18th century the Kalmyk khanate, situated in the South-East of the Russian Empire, enjoyed autonomy in managing its domestic and foreign affairs. Ayuka Khan had a considerable authority both within the khanate and abroad, and the Russian government relied on his military support to protect the borders of the Empire and make allies with the Asian states. The Tulišen's mission was pre-approved by Peter the Great and aimed at forming a military union against the Dzungar Khanate.

Originally published in Beijing in 1723 in Chinese and Manchurian, this account became known in Europe thanks to the French translation issued in 1729. In 1732 a scientist of a German origin based in Saint Petersburg and the publisher of the "Ezhemesiachnye sochineniya" ["Monthly essays"] Gerard Miller issued his German translation of the account. Miller however didn't fully trust the accuracy of the French text, on which he based his German translation; he wished to use a Russian translation based directly on the Chinese or Manchurian original. Miller's goal was achieved when he discovered a Russian translation of the travel account done by Larion Rossokhin, a knowledgeable translator from Chinese and Manchurian and a resident at the Imperial Academy of Sciences. He resided in China for many years and had a chance to work with the original Manchurian text. Before passing away in 1761, Rossokhin left all his documents and translations to the Academy of Sciences, including the unpublished translation of the Tulišen's work, which Miller tracked down. For clarity Miller supplied his own notes and comments in addition to those of Rossokhin.

Description and Bibliographical references: July 1764: title, 96 pp.; August 1764: title, 99–192 pp.; September 1764: title, 195-288 pp.; October 1764: title, 291-384 pp.; November 1764: title, 387-480 pp.; December 1764: title, 481-576 pp. (An account of the Chinese mission: pp. 3-48; 99-150; 195-234; 291-353; 387-427); missing upper fly leaf and small part of title page with no loss of text, light spotting throughout. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, two red calf labels to spines; corners slightly bumped.

2. ТИМКОВСКИЙ, ЕГОР [TIMKOVSKIY, EGOR]. Путешествие в Китай через Монголию в 1820 и 1821 годах [Travels through Mongolia to China in the years 1820 and 1821]. Tip. meditsinskogo dep. Ministerstva vnutrennikh del, Sankt Peterburg, 1824.

First edition, very rare. For several decades after its publication this account remained the most comprehensive and reliable source of information about the region, and was subsequently translated into English, German and French. In 1820 Egor Timkovskiy (1790-1785), writer, diplomat and a Privy Councillor, was entrusted to accompany a new Russian mission to Beijing led by Archimandrite Petr Kamenskiy. On the way back to Russia he was to ensure a safe return of the 9th mission headed by Iakinf Bichurin, who spent 12 years fulfilling his duties in Beijing. Timkovskiy set off from Kiakhta in August 1820 and returned a year later having stayed in Beijing for 9 months. He used this time to explore geography, history and culture of the region and subsequently published his findings in 1824 upon the Imperial order.
The first volume of his work follows the caravan route between Kiakhta and Beijing; the second one provides an overview of China, Eastern Turkistan, Tibet and Korea; and the third one is dedicated entirely to the description of history, geography, religion, as well as political and economical organization of Mongolia.

3 vols, 8vo (22.3 x 14.5 cm). Half-title, engr. title, letterpress title, XVIII, 388 pp., with 1 folding plan and a map laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear ; Half-title, frontispiece, letterpress title, [8]pp., 409 pp., with 2 facsimile, 1 plate and a folding plan, plan laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; Title, [6], 433, [2], 37, [4]pp., with 3 plates; lacking pp. 159-160, frontispiece and a plate (Монгол Араши Тайцзы) in vol 3, small light marginal waterstain to some ll. in vol. 1 and 2, title and p. IX in vol. 1 with neat marginal repair not affecting text. Later half calf over maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper covers and spine, exlibris of Ward to upper pastedowns.

Provenance: Nikolay Kolchin (owner's inscription to half-title in vol. II), Rayskiy's library at the theologival seminary of Tambov (ink stamp to title of vol. II).

3. [FAR EAST] – БИЧУРИН (монах Иакинф) [BICHURIN (Monakh Iakinf)]. Записки о Монголии [Notes on Mongolia]. Skt. Peterburg, 1828.

A lovely fresh copy of a rare book, illustrated with hand-coloured plates, by one of the major Russian scholars on China. Bichurin (1777-1853) was named in 1805 leader of the 9th Russian Mission to Peking and head of the Sretenskiy monastery in this town. During his 14-year stay he learnt Chinese, compiled his own dictionary and prepared other scholar works for later publication. The first volume of the present work gives an account of the journey and the second volume a detailed examination of the geographical and political condition of the Mongols and their life and customs.

2 vols in one, 8vo (20.5 x 13.2 cm). xii, 231pp., with 5 hand-coloured lithographed plates; vi, 339 pp., folding engraved map with hand-coloured outlines laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; occasional marginal notes in pencil. Later half calf over maroon cloth boards, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.
Obolyaninov 1027.

4. ОРЛОВ, А. [ORLOV, A.] Грамматика Монголо-Бурятского разговорного языка [Mongolian-Buryat grammar]. Gladysheva, Kazan, 1878.

8vo (25 x 16 cm). Title, X, 265, VI pp; light marginal waterstain to several pages at rear, traces of removed label on title. Later calf over maroon cloth boards, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.

5. ПЕВЦОВ, Михаил Васильевич [PEVTSOV, M.V.] Очерк путешествия по Монголии и северным провинциям внутреннего Китая. [Account of the Travel around Mongolia and the Northern Provinces of the Inner China]. Omsk, 1883.

First edition of this travel account describing unknown parts of Mongolia and inner China. Mikhail Pevtsov (1843-1902), a young Russian army officer, devoted traveler and student of Nikolay Przhevalskiy, went with a caravan of merchants from Bijsk to Kalgan and back through the Southern Altai, Mongolia and Gobi Desert, thoroughly mapping the territory of altogether about four thousand kilometers. His detailed account covers the region's terrain, rivers, lakes, brief history of its settlements; and characterizes local trade and animal productions. The large folding map of Mongolia clearly delineates the main geographical points of the territory between Irkutsk in the north, Peking in the south and Lake Zaysan (modern Kazakhstan) in the west.

A 20-pp. extract was published earlier in Izvestija Imperatorskogo Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obschesctva (1880, Vol 16. issue 5, pp. 435-457).

Provenance: E.I. Yakushkin, important historian and ethnographer, with a library of about 15,000 volumes, 1826-1905 (stamps to wrapper and title); Library of Shanyavskiy University (Moscow?, stamps to wrapper and title).

Title, [2], IV, 354, [2] pp., with folding map of Mongolia laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; library stamps to title and upper wrapper. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to spine, original wrappers bound in, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown. Cf. for Yakushkin: Ivask II,p. 96.

6. СОСНОВСКИЙ, Юлиан Адамович [SOSNOVSKIY, Y.A.] Экспедиция в Китай 1874-75 гг. [Expedition to China in the years 1874-75]. Ivanov, Moskva, 1883.

An account compiled by the Ukrainian born Colonel Sosnovskiy (1842-1895), who headed the 1874-75 expedition to China aimed at finding new land routes to Chinese trade markets. Among other tasks set by the Russian government the expedition was to evaluate opportunities for expanding trade with China, find most favourable locations for Russian consulates and fabrics and also collect intelligence information on the Dungan revolt taking place in the Eastern regions of the country. The expedition resulted in establishing a new route to China, which was 1600 versts shorter than the one used before.
In the mid 1870s still weakened after Russo-Japanese war the Russian Empire concentrated its geopolitical interests in Asia. Its activity in Central Asia and attempts to create spheres of influence in Tibet and China brought Russia on the brick of war with England, which was itself aiming to dominate in the region. Both countries were actively conducting military intelligence in China considering it a possible future war arena. At that point Russian Empire sent multiple missions to Mongolia, China and Tibet with most of them being headed by officers of the General headquarters. Sosnovskiy headed two such expeditions.
His account of the 1874-75 mission first appeared in the Izvestia Russkogo Imperatorskogo Obshchestva (1876, vol 12, issues 1, 2, 3, 5, 6) with the offered example being the first edition in the book form.

Title, V, 894, II pp., with large folding map of China laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; lacking pp. 141-2, instead bound duplicate of pp. 189-190, ink stamp and inventory number to title, light occasional spotting. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.

7. ПОТАНИН, Григорий Николаевич [POTANIN, Grigoriy Nikolaevich]. Тангутско-тибетская окраина Китая и Центральная Монголия [Tangut-Tibetan border of China and Central Mongolia]. Skt. Peterburg, Suvorin, 1893.

An account of the two years expedition led by the famous Russian explorer and scientist Potanin (1835 - 1920) to the territories on the border of China and Tibet. Apart from Potanin himself the expedition of 1884-6 included his wife ethnographer Alexandra, topographer A. Skassi and zoologist M. Berezovskiy. The group travelled from Beijing through two northern Chinese provinces to arrive in Gansu in 1884. Having spent a year researching the territories on the Eastern border of Tibet they travelled back to Russia in 1886 through Nanshan district and Central Mongolia. This work presents richly illustrated material collected during the expedition, including geography, ethnography and zoology of the region.

2 vols, 4to (29 x 22.5 cm). Title, XVIII, 657, XVIII, [2] pp., with 42 photogravures and 3 maps, incl. 2 large folding laid on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; Frontispiece, title, XII, 437, XIX pp. Later half calf over maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedowns; very slightly rubbed.

8. DEKEN, Constant de. A Travers l'Asie. Polleunis et Ceuterick, Bruxelles, 1894.

8vo (22.6 x 16.4 cm). XI, including title, 367 pp., with 30 plates and 1 folding map; some light occasional spotting. Contemporary brown cloth, gilt lettering to spine; traces of a removed label on upper pastedown.

9. ПОТАНИНА, Александра Викторовна [POTANINA, A.V.] Из путешествий по Восточной Сибири, Монголии, Тибету и Китаю: сборник статей. [Travels around Eastren Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet and China: collection of articles]. Moskva, Gerbek, 1895.

A posthumous publication of the complete collection of articles, including the unpublished ones, by Potanina (1843 - 1893), a famous explorer of Asia and the first women to be accepted as a member of the Russian Geographical Society. Along with her husband Grigoriy Potanin, who made a very significant contribution to the research of Central Asia, she took part in four expeditions to the region, researching ethnography, geography and economy of Mongolia, Tibet and Inner China.

8vo (24.5 x 17 cm). Frontispiece, title, [4], XLII, 296 pp., 5 lithographed plates, incl. 3 in colour. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to spine and upper cover, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown; extremities of spine slightly rubbed.

10. БУКСГЕВДЕН, Барон А. [BUKSGEVDEN, Baron A.] Русский Китай: очерки дипломатических сношений России с Китаем, Пекинский договор 1860 года. [Russian China: notes on the diplomatic relations between Russia and China, The Convention of Peking of 1860]. Noviy Kray, Port Artur, 1902.

The publication of this work was triggered by the events in China in 1900 when the massive rebellion against foreign intervention in Chinese provinces resulted in extensive violent attacks on foreigners, official missions and Christian monuments. To protect their interests German, American, British and Russian forces advanced on Beijing and put an end to the rebellion, which was supported by the Chinese government.

The author found the developments of 1900 to have direct connection to the ones that took place 40 years before when at the culmination of the Second Opium War the British and French troops entered the Forbidden City in Beijing. Reflecting on these events Baron Buksgevden describes the diplomatic efforts of the Russian representative Ignatiev in 1860 to facilitate the negotiations between China on one side and Britain and France on the other and their successful outcome for the Russian Empire.

The editor was planning to continue the work with description of the events of 1900 in China but the second part was never published.

Small 4to (21.5 x 15.5 cm). Title, [2], II, [2], III, 239 pp. Later maroon cloth binding, gilt lettering to spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.

11. ЦЫБИКОВ, Гомбожаб Цэбекович [TSYBIKOV, G.Ts.] Лам-Рим Чен-По: Степени пути к блаженству [Guide to the stages of the Path to Awakening]. Vostochniy institut, Vladivostok, 1910, 1913.

The first translation into a European language of the first part of this important text on Indian Buddhism, in a scholar edition with text in Mongolian and in Russian, with many linguistic notes. The 'Guide to the stages of the Path to Awakening' is the main work of the great Tibetan religious leader Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), which outlines the ideas of Buddhism in the form of a guide and describes the stages of the path of spiritual development up to the achievement of full awakening.

Tsybikov (1873-1930), an explorer, ethnographer and orientalist, was one of the first foreigners to travel in Tibet, where he secretly conducted research and recorded his journey in photographs. During his travels he obtained Mongolian texts of Lam-Rim, from which he wrote a translation into Russian. According to Tsybikov, only the first part of Tsongkhapa's work was available in Mongolian at that time.

Two issues bound in 1 vol., 8vo (22.8 x 16.3 cm.) [8] pp., incl. title, XLVIII, 312 pp., [2]; [10] pp., incl. title, XLI, 294, II pp. Later half calf over maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown; spine very slightly rubbed.

12. БОГОЛЕПОВ, М.И и М.Н. СОБОЛЕВ [BOGOLEPOV, M.I. and M.N. SOBOLEV]. Очерки русско-монгольской торговли [Notes on the Russian-Mongolian Trade]. Sibirskoe tov. pechatnogo dela, Tomsk, 1911.

An account of the expedition organized by Tomsk Society of the Siberia Research independently of the Moscow Trade Mission that was initiated in 1910. The expedition was subsidized by the three largest companies trading with Mongolia and aimed at researching all aspects of the Mongolian trade system, including its legal and economic aspects.

8vo (26.6 x 18 cm). Title, VII, 498, [2] pp., with 20 photoengravings on 10 plates and 1 folding map pasted on linen and inserted in pocket at rear. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.

13. НОВИЦКИЙ, Василий Федорович [NOVITSKIY, V.F.] Путешествие по Монголии, в пределах Тушету-хановского и Цецен-хановского аймаков Халхи, Шилин-гольского и земель Чахаров Внутренней Монголии, совершенное в 1906 году [Travels around Mongolia in 1906]. Voenneya tipografiya, Skt.Peterburg, 1911.

After the end of the Russo-Japanese war the Russian troops in Manchuria, where Colonel Novitskiy served, where awaiting relocation that was not promising to take place soon. Therefore, it was not difficult for Novitskiy to receive a permission to explore the neighbouring Mongolia in the meantime. During his expedition, which was partly sponsored by the Imperial Geographical Society, Novitskiy meticulously recorded his geographical and meteorological observations, as well as specimens of flora and fauna that he encountered. The account also greatly benefits from the enclosed fifteen accurate maps of the region and expedition routes compiled by Novitskiy.

Large 8vo (27.7 x 17.6 cm). IV, including title, 400 pp. with 15 folding maps, all pasted on linen and inserted in pocket at rear; traces of old tape to inner margin of several leaves, small marginal loss to the general map of expedition route in Mongolia. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to spine and upper cover, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown; extremities of spine slightly rubbed.

14. [ПОПОВ, В.Л. и др. – POPOV, V.L. and others]. Moсковская торговая миссия в Монголию [Moscow Trade Mission to Mongolia]. Riabushinskiy, Moskva, 1912.

An account compiled by the participants of the trade mission initiated at the meeting of the Russian industrialists and entrepreneurs in 1910. The expedition was headed by the colonel Popov and included representatives of the biggest trade companies such as V. Shkarin, K. Koliadov, I. Morozov and others. In Mongolia the group studied stock raising, production of fur, local banking and trade systems, as well as the country's geographical, political and administrative characteristics.

Large 8vo (27 x 18.8 cm).Title, [2], 353 pp., with 35 photoengr. and lith. plates and folding map pasted on linen. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown.

15. РУДНЕВ, Андрей Дмитриевич [RUDNEV A.D.] Хори-Бурятский говор: выпуски 1, 2 и 3 [Khori-Buryat dialect: issues 1, 2 and 3]. Petrograd, 1913 – 1914.

8vo. 10 pp, incl. title, CXX; title, 128, [2] pp.; title, 135, [2]pp., [4] pp. advert. Later maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover and spine, ex libris of Ward to upper pastedown, original upper wrappers of three issues bound in, extremities of spine slightly rubbed.

Provenance: Library of the Oriental Institute (stamps to upper wrapper and titles).

Collection of 15 titles, in 18 vols.


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The Angus Ivan Ward Collection of Russian accounts of Mongolia and China.


Stock code: 90438



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