Lot 436: Ellis' Polynesian Researches

PBA Galleries

2016-01-13 11:47:19


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Lot 436: Author: Ellis, William; Title: Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands; Place Published: London; Publisher: Henry G. Bohn; Date Published: 1853; Description: Volumes 1 & 2 only (of 4). (iii)-xvi, (2), 414; viii, 438 pp. Engraved frontispieces and additional illustrated title pages; two folding maps. (8vo) 17x10.5 cm (6¾x4") modernred niger-backed batik boards, titled in blind on spines. Custom drop-back box.The complete four volume set, of which these are the first two, is a reprint, with some additions, of the work first published in two volumes in 1829, being one of the earliest publications of ethnological research by a missionary, noted by Hill as "one of the most important and enlightened missionary accounts of the South Seas, especially of Tahiti... Its publication helped alter the perception of missionaries in the eyes of those who thought of them as ignorant and narrow-minded men..." Forbes declares it to be "One of the most important books on the history and ethnology of the Society Islands, by one of the most perceptive of the missionary travelers in the Pacific... He was stationed at Tahiti from 1817 to 1822, during which time very little seems to have escaped his notice. There are occasional references and comparisons between Tahiti and the Hawaiian Islands throughout the text, all the more important since Ellis was a resident of both island groups..." Forbes 718; Hill 549. Condition: Light foxing and faint staining; very good in fine modern bindings. Some wear to box. PBA Galleries' Sale 578: Americana, Travel/Exploration, Cartography, African/Asian Americana and Directories Thursday, 28th January 2016 Estimate: $300-500
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