Lot 2: ANGAS, George French: The Kafirs Illustrated (1849)
August 28, 2016
Adelaide, AustraliaLive Auction
ANGAS, George French: The Kafirs Illustrated in a Series of Drawings taken among the Amazulu, Amaponda and Amakosa Tribes.... Also Portraits of the Hottentot, Malay, Fingo, and other Races inhabiting Southern Africa: together with Sketches of Landscape Scenery in the Zulu Country, Natal, and the Cape Colony.
London, J. Hogarth, 1849. Imperial folio, viii, [ii] (list of illustrations), 9-52 pages with 11 in-text wood engravings plus 30 hand-coloured lithographs with tissue-guards (with caption leaves and occasional introductory articles interspersed between them), but lacking the uncoloured frontispiece portrait of the author. Contemporary (if not original) half purple morocco and dark green cloth, the spine lettered in gilt, with a large matching leather gilt-decorated title-label on the front cover; leather rubbed at the extremities and high spots, and a little scuffed, with the corner tips a little worn; expert restoration to a small portion of cloth near the leading edge of the rear cover; trifling signs of handling; a very good copy, with all plates in fine condition.
A beautiful work, a companion volume to the artist's 'South Australia Illustrated' and 'The New Zealanders Illustrated' (both 1847). Although containing only half the plate content of each of the two earlier works, there are proportionately many more attractive landscapes (13, including a couple of village scenes). The portraits on the whole tend to be more impressive too (or perhaps more aggressively exotic); there are 6 full-page plates with one or two subjects, 4 full-page group portraits, and 5 plates each containing two separate half-page images. The remaining two plates are of natural history interest. These three impressive volumes by George French Angas (1822-1886) 'are amongst the most important of the illustrated travel books of their period ... Of the three works, the "Kaffirs" [sic] is the most uncommon' (Tooley: 'Some English Books with Coloured Plates ... First Half of the Nineteenth Century').