London: Published by the author... and Sold by James Gilbert, 1851.
Small quarto (24 x 16 cm.), 63 pages. Illustrated with forty-two woodcuts in the text. Title printed within decorated woodcut border in red. FIRST EDITION. Thoms (1814-51) was a British book printer and sinologist living in Canton and Macau from 1814 to 1825. He is mainly known for the printing of Robert Morrison's Chinese Dictionary (1815-23). During his time in China he developed an interest in ancient Chinese vases but not until many years later back home in England he composed this work on vases of the Shang, Zhou and Han dynasties. It is based on the ancient celebrated Chinese work; "Poo-koo-too" (page ). The illustrations of the bronzes were made by a native of Canton named A-lae. The blocks themselves were exhibited in the Great Exhibition of 1851 held at Hyde Park in London. A few pencil marks to front endpapers; otherwise fine in publisher's blind-decorated and gilt-titled green cloth. Binder's ticket to rear paste-down, "Josiah Westley, adjoining the "Times" office, London"; early ownership name in ink to front free endpaper, "E Grasse". This copy with a presentation inscription, "Mr. Willoughby [?]Gibbons, with the author's respects". Scarce in the marketplace. [Cordier BS 695; Löwendahl 1122].