MASON, GEORGE HENRY. 1770-1851. The Punishments of China, Illustrated by Twenty-Two Engravings. London: William Miller, 1801.

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Lot 304
MASON, GEORGE HENRY. 1770-1851.
The Punishments of China, Illustrated by Twenty-Two Engravings. London: William Miller, 1801.

Sold for US$ 1,785 inc. premium
MASON, GEORGE HENRY. 1770-1851.
The Punishments of China, Illustrated by Twenty-Two Engravings. London: William Miller, 1801.
4to (348 x 260 mm). 22 hand-colored stipple-engraved plates, a few with undated watermarks "E&P" (Edmeads & Pine). Red straight-grain morocco gilt, spine gilt in 6 compartments, marbled endpapers, edges gilt. Rubbed, corners bumped, numerous fingermarks to plate margins.
Provenance: Sir Thomas Hesketh, Bart. (bookplate; probably Thomas Henry Hesketh, 4th Baronet of Rufford, 1799-1843); Easton-Neston Library (booklabel).

The plates illustrate various forms of torture practiced in China at the time. Foreigners traveling in China could be punished under Chinese law until the Treaty of Nanking (1842) granted extra-territorial right to British nationals. George Henry Mason was a British army officer who traveled to Canton in 1789, making drawings of the costumes and customs of the region, including these rather disturbing images of torture and execution. Abbey Travel 532; Colas 2012.
Contacts
MASON, GEORGE HENRY. 1770-1851. The Punishments of China, Illustrated by Twenty-Two Engravings. London: William Miller, 1801.
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