曲阜 (Qufu): 孔氏 (Kong Family), 1874. First edition. Softcover. Oblong quarto. Approx. 16x11". (2) 53 double-sided french fold leaves. Tan tissue wrappers with Chinese-style string-tied binding. Front wrapper missing. The work is a profusely illustrated biography chronicling the life of Confucius from birth to death. It is notable for the fact that it is considered the earliest extant 連環圖畫 Lianhuanhua (Chinese books of sequential illustrations) with a continuous story throughout. The work was compiled and edited from various sources throughout Chinese history (including the Records of the Grand Historian, the Analects, and Mencius) by members of the Kong family of Qufu, including Kong Xianlan, the 72nd grandson of Confucius. The book was printed to commemorate the reopening of the famous Temple of Confucius in Qufu, and was reproduced from stone plates held at the temple. Full-page b/w illustrations on every page accompanied by text, all printed lithographically. The first two preliminary text leaves (4 pages) contains a prologue taken from the Analects, and is followed by a dedication by Kong Xianlan.
Front wrapper missing, and back cover with some creasing, holes, tears and chipping. Book block with large vertical fold/crease down the center. Interior with a few water stains on the first page of the preface. Light closed tears, chipping and/or creases along edge of pages and/or to corners. Pages sunned. Minor foxing to the margins of a few pages. Images unaffected. Binding in poor, interior in good condition overall. poor to g. Item #43262