The Commentaries of Caesar, translated into English; to which is prefixed, A Discourse Concerning the Roman Art of War. Vol. II [only].
by [Chinese Fore-edge Painting] DUNCAN, William.
Glasgow:: Printed at the University Press, for Bell & Bradfute, Edinburgh, and A. & J.M. Duncan, Glasgow, 1815., 1815. 12mo. [iv], 466 pp. Full calf, the boards are original, though rebacked long ago gilt decorated spine with black label; rubbed, leaves at rear waterstained (not badly). Good. With a very early VERTICLE CHINESE FORE-EDGE PAINTING commissioned by Dr. William B. Pettus. The painting depicts St. Paul before the altar to the unknown God (Acts 17:23). Painted by Luke Ch'en. See: Daniel Johnson Fleming, Each with his Own Brush, contemporary Christian art in Asia and Africa, New York: Friendship Press, (1952), p. 25. / The rarity of this particular item is as follows: nearly all of Pettus' commissions are on Chinese language books. There are very few extant specimens of Chinese Fore-edge Painting commissioned by Pettus on western books. This particular volume stayed with the Pettus family until Dr. Pettus passed in 1959. His widow brought a few personal books, this being one of those treasures. / The first Chinese fore-edge paintings were commissioned by Dr. William B. Pettus (1880-1959). He was a visiting scholar in Hong Kong, president of the College of Chinese Studies in Peiping (Beijing), China, and member of the Zamorano Club of book collectors. He commissioned maybe upwards of 200 specimens, of which only a sparse record of there being is recorded (71 are located by Jeff Weber). Some went to the Estelle Doheny collection. Noting that Pettus died in 1959 and this was sold in early 1960 it could be that this specimen was kept by Pettus and then after his death to was offered to Dawson's. PROVENANCE: Painted circa. 1935-9 [ownership: Dr. William B. Pettus] – Dawson's Book Shop, Los Angeles, with their invoice dated Feb. 20. [1960/61?] – William Heyden Easton, Ph.D. (1916-1996) & Phoebe Jane Easton & family – Jeff Weber. Professor Easton was an American geologist and paleontologist, teaching at the University of Southern California. He served as president of the Paleontological Society (1970) and he was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. His wife, Phoebe Jane Easton was a marbling historian.
(Inventory #: FF2433)
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