First edition. Publisher's original silk-embroidered boards bound with orange silk cord. Orange paper title label on white paper mount to the upper board. French-folded leaves. Illustrated with 61 colour lithographs, 16 tipped-in black and white photographs, one cut-paper pattern and one diagram. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with a little wear to the extremities, minor loss to the silk covering the spine and water marking to the top left of the boards. The contents with an area of water marking to the top left of all pages, wear to the effected area of the endpapers with bleed through of their colour to the first few pages at front and rear, some rippling to pages and creasing to a few of the tipped-in photographs, are otherwise in good order.
A wonderfully illustrated guide to the various street peddlers of Peking. Each of the 61 colour lithographs depicts a peddler alongside a separate illustration of their merchandise or the tools of their trade. A wide range of trades are shown, including sellers of melon seeds, moon cakes, toys, fans, pancakes, watches, medicine, milk liquor, and sesame oil, as well as entertainers, such as the trained mice man, the sugar figure blower, travelling magicians, and fortune tellers. Through these colourful images in combination with the text, in which the author describes the history and character of each peddler ("Some call out their wares in a musical voice or song calculated to please the hearer. Others have a loud or discordant cry which grates on the nerves as though the devil himself had something to sell"), the sights and sounds of old Peking are brought vividly to life. The author, Samuel Constant, born in 1894, came to Beijing in 1923 as an assistant military attache of the American Legation. While working for the Legation he attended the College of Chinese Studies in Peking, where, as partial requirement for the degree of Master of Arts, he produced the present work.
Stock code: 18275