Shanghai: Printed at the "North China Herald" Office, 1872. Limited first edition. Hardcover. 1/500. Quarto.  260pp.  17pp. Rebound in modern half-green cloth over red stiff paper boards. The original front cover with green lettering on white paper has been cut out and pasted to the front board. White lettering on the spine. Inscribed by the author in ink at the top of the title page to John Fryer (his ink stamp can be faintly seen on the cover). According to sinologist and Chinese bibliographer Henri Cordier, this publication was only ever published in a limited quantity of 500 copies, a majority of which were purported to have been destroyed in a fire at the printing house the following year.
The scarce publication is a calendar of corresponding dates between the Gregorian calendar and the Chinese calendar, enumerating the the 100 years between 1776 and 1876. These years correspond to "the 11th day, of the 11th moon, of the 40th year of the Reign of Kien-Lung", until "the end of the 14th year of the reign of Tung-Chi", according to Chinese chronology. This book would have been an extremely useful tool in its time, for foreigners living in China, for both business and social purposes, helping them relate to and communicate with their Chinese neighbors, business associates and friends. It was the first publication of its kind in its compilation of such a large range of dates. The final 17 pages at the back of the book contain extensive indices, including a chronological list of the reigns of the various emperors. The work was written and published by Pedro Loureiro, a Portuguese expatriate, who was the founder and editor of the "North China Herald", in Shanghai*.
Text in English, with some Chinese characters.
Ex-library binding, with stickers on the front cover and tail of the spine. Minor rubbing to extremities, and some scratches on the back cover. Library ink stamps, and bookplates on the interior front cover and front endpaper. Perforated library stamp on the title and preface pages. Ink stamp on the verso of the title page. Library index card pasted onto the interior back cover. Aside from the previous mentioned library markings, and stamps in the interior is clean with a tight binding. Binding in very good, interior in near fine condition overall. vg- to near fine. Item #47120
*John Fryer (1839-1928) was pioneering British sinologist, who from 1896-1913 served as the first Louis Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1861-1896 Fryer lived in China, initially doing missionary work, and shortly thereafter moving into academics; studying Chinese language and culture. During his time there he helped establish a number of different institutions of higher learning, and translated more than 74 Western scientific works into Chinese.
*The North China Herald was an English-language weekly newspaper founded in 1850, in Shanghai, by Pedro Loureiro. From the time of its founding until the 1940s, it is considered the preeminent source for information concerning the history of the foreign presence in China during the period.