New York: The MacMillan Company, 1909. First Edition. Hardcover. Two volumes (complete when published, a supplement was later published), octavo size, 949 total pp., with signature of Sven Hedin. Very good. Item #18101102
In an age rife with exploration, Swedish explorer and travel writer Sven Hedin (1865-1952) made four expeditions to Central Asia, studying the topography and geology of the region, as well as both the prehistoric and modern culture. Painstakingly dedicated to his research, Hedin documented his travels thoroughly in numerous published volumes; "Trans-Himalaya" is an account of Hedin's exploration of Tibet, particularly the Transhimalaya, a 1,600-kilometre long mountain range in China, and the sources of the Indus and Brahmaputra Rivers (n. b., info from Wikipedia). Hedin is credited as being the first European to reach the Kailash region, and his discoveries paved the way for major scientific and cultural documentation of the Asian region by European scholars.
The text is supplemented with a myriad of illustrations and photographs, many by the author himself, including several watercolours of the places he saw; the illustrations enhances the humanist quality of the text. These two volumes are the first edition of Hedin's work, and he anticipates a third volume in the Preface, to contain additional material from the expedition, which was published later. Each volume also contains maps of the regions Hedin visited, some drawn by Hedin himself, to fully form a fascinating picture of the region, with details and illustrations of the local people and culture from the perspective of a dedicated scholar.
This set with the signature of Sven Hedin and the date "March 2, 09" on a square piece of cardstock with a black-and-white photograph of Hedin in the bottom right corner, tipped onto the front free endpaper of Volume I.
___DESCRIPTION: Full burgundy cloth, gilt illustration of Sven Hedin on the front boards, gilt lettering on the spines, top edges gilt, fore-edges uncut. Volume I frontispiece a black-and-white photograph of Lord Minto, Viceroy of India and to whom the book is dedicated, Volume II frontispiece a black-and-white photograph of Hedin with tissue guard, 388 total illustrations in both volumes, collated complete, of black-and-white photographs and line drawings, as well as a few colour watercolours by Hedin, throughout, Volume I with seven black-and-white maps of the Tibetan region, Volume II with three fold-out colour maps, in three, five, and six panels, of Tibet and Hedin's route across the Himalayas, both volumes with advertisements for other books by the publisher at the back of the book; octavo size (9" by 6"), pagination: Volume I: [i-vi] vii-xxiii [xxiv] 1-436 [437-463]; Volume II: [i-iv] v-xvii [xviii] 1-439 [440-444].
___CONDITION: Both volumes are very good, with straight corners, strong, square text blocks with solid hinges, the interiors are clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings, with only the card with the signature of Sven Hedin on the front free endpaper of Volume I, as more fully described above; boards are clean overall with some minor soiling, some rubbing to the edges of the boards and heads and tails of the spines of both volumes, spines are lightly sunned with some of the lettering rubbed on Volume II, some off-setting to the pages opposite the colour illustrations, and some minor foxing to the fold-out maps in Volume II.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this set is unusually heavy and additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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