PRINSEP, JAMES. 1799-1840.
Benares Illustrated in a Series of Drawings. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1831-1833.
3 parts. Folio (435 x 275 mm). 18, ,  pp. 34 plates, of which 27 are lithographed on india proof paper, and 6 engraved. Original printed wrappers. Apparently issued without the map occasionally found, foxing mostly to margins of plates, second series with wormholes at blank upper margin, lacking one lower wrapper, wrappers chipped and with tears, two detached.
Provenance: R.B. Wigglesworth (ownership inscriptions).
FIRST EDITION, in parts. Prinsep worked at the mint at Benares from 1820 to 1830, when he moved to Calcutta where he remained until his death. He was instrumental in reforming the system of Indian weights and measures, but his "greatest achievement was to decipher the hitherto unreadable scripts of the most ancient of Indian inscriptions.... In 1822 he had applied his talents in draughtsmanship to a thorough survey of Benares... [and] a series of exquisite watercolours of the monuments and festivals of Benares was sent to London in 1829 to be lithographed. These were published in Calcutta and London between 1830 and 1834 as Benares Illustrated" (ODNB). Not in Abbey.