1897. Boston and Tokyo: J.B., Millet Company, 1897-98.
10 vols., large 4to, 382pp. text, and 10 color flower collotypes by Kazumasa Ogawa, 60 hand colored albumen photographs, 10 color art reproduction woodblocks (one at the rear of each volume), numerous (c. 200) hand-colored albumen text illustrations (photographs); table of contents at the end of the final volume. Original decorated silk over boards, silk ties, upper covers lettered "JAPAN"; some wear and tear to the bindings, some foxing intermittently, some photos quite faded as usual, but internally generally very good.
§ "Edition De Luxe" limited to 750 numbered copies, this is set #3, numbered in each volume. Stunningly illustrated series on Japan with original hand-colored albumen photographs depicting all facets of Japanese life including gardens, temples, a geisha, wrestlers, musicians, a calligrapher, a funeral procession, flower arranging, a tattooed postman, etc. As it was the intent of the publishers to present Japan to the Western world from the Japanese point of view, all of the writing and art work is Japanese; “The initial letters and tail-pieces are reproduced from special designs furnished by the Imperial Art School at Tokyo. The Collotype prints… are made in Tokyo by K. Ogawa. The photographs are all made and colored by hand in Japan, over three hundred and fifty native artists having been specially engaged for this purpose… ” (from the introduction).
Further notes: The collotype flower plates are printed on the plate. The albumen photographs are tipped to plate. Both collotypes and albumen photographs are mounted with covering mats. The plates and mats are in matching colors. The mats are affixed (glued) to the plates at the binding edge and also glued approximately 1/4 the distance along the two adjacent edges. The text illustrations in the deluxe edition differ are different images from those found in the standard/regular editions. Further, they are tipped in hand colored albumen photographs as opposed to the black and white half tone images in the regular/standard sets... Considered by many to be one of the finest primary visual sources on Japan before her leap towards modernization, this set is a superb photographic essay and statement of what Japan looked before modernization. It is a broad and wonderful view of travel in the main and obscure places, daily activities and photos of people engaged in the toil of trades, farming, commence and household activities. Truly a complete view of the Japanese with essays by their scholars in English.
Loosely inserted are two original watercolor drawings on rice paper, attribution unknown.
For a lengthy plate-by-plate description see http://www.baxleystamps.com/litho/brink_15/brinkley_deluxe.shtml As Denise Bethel, director of the Photographs Department at Sotheby's in New York, observed, "[It] may be the last great book to be illustrated with original photographs." (Bethel, p. 13). Item #124771