Friday, November 18, 2005

Siebold's Voyage

Sophia University have 16 of 72 plates from Voyage au Japon, execute pendant les annees 1823 a 1830, the French translation of a book by Philipp Franz von Siebold. He was responsible for introducing western medicine to Japan among (many) other things. I've previously posted about his Fauna Japonica series and will so again sometime.

There is little in the way of information about this publication on the internet and there seems to be some conflict about how many volumes were in the series. I think the original of this was in Dutch and the original plates retain those captions with added french words (in some). The series was published between 1837 and 1840.


Tim said...

I have what appears to be an original hardback copy of Voyage Au Japon 1823 to 1830. The book measures 20 3/4 inches by 14 inches. It is missing a few pages (appears to have been cut out). Could this book have any historical or monetary value? Please inform me ... I've had this book collecting dust for quite some time now.

peacay said...

Tim, truthfully, I have no idea whatsoever. I'm not a collector (per se) and if I was in your shoes I would start doing searches through ebay and christie's and sotheby's and if those turn up no clue then I suppose I would seek out guidance from a rare book dealer. But yeah, this post was a lonnnnng time ago so we are both equally placed in terms of being able to asses the volume's worth. Good luck!
(but at a totally-pulled-out-of-the-ether guess, it ought to be fairly valuable, I would have thought, if it's really an original edition)

Tim said...

thanks so much for your input ... I've got some research to do!

Tim said...

After a lot of research and "asian antiquity dealer" inquiries, I've unconvered many facts about this publication. Firstly, after reviewing "", I believe there are less than 10 of these publications in existence. One of the "asian antiquity dealers" that I contacted stated there had not been any volumes of this publication that have surfaced in the last 30 years. There were 12 deliveries of this particular publication ... mine is "ozieme livraison" (eleventh delivery). It was published in 1838. Each "delivery" can be identified by the cover page. There will be a "yellowish" plaque found in the lower half of the cover page. These "yellowish" palques were pasted onto the cover page. Each delivery will list different plate references on the plaque. The plaque title will be "Premiere "Livraison", "Deuxieme Livraison", and so forth. Each different plaque represents a different delivery. The plate variations from "Nippon" and "Voyage Au Japon" (if I've correctly interpreted the Japanese) are as follows: The plates within "Voyage Au Japon" are minutely smaller that the "Nippon" plates. However, the plates are as accurately printed as the those found within "Nippon" and sometimes even better. The black and white plates within "Voyage Au Japon" are printed on thin sheets of a very specific type of paper and then pasted to the heavy paper as opposed to the plates within "Nippon" where the plates are printed on the heavy paper. The color plates within "Voyage Au Japon" (as in "Nippon") are printed on heavy paper and hand-painted. The plates were produced by Bernard Lemercier, the editing done by Arthus Bertrand, and the artists are J Erxleben and L Nader, for most part. There was an attempt to keep these printings within the true spirit of the Hokusai woodblock prints. There are many, many more facts that I've uncovered that I'd be happy to post if there's an interest. I currently have my volume on ebay offered for a rediculous amount of money that will never be realized and also a "Youtube" video of each plate found within my book along with how I found the book. The purpose for my listings are simply to learn as much about this book as possible. On each respective website, simply perform a search for "Voyage Au Japon Execute Pendant Les Annees 1823 a 1830" and "Siebold" and you should be able to find each of my entries.

peacay said...

Tim, if you want to add a comment with links to the youtube clips and ebay auction you're quite welcome to do so (if only for my own curiosity; I doubt much in the way of traffic will come through here - perhaps - before the auction is completed).

Tim said...

... my Youtube link is "" and ... my Ebay link is ""

The Ebay listing is ongoing and gets renewed at each expiration.

I've been offered $12,000 thusfar, which I declined ... I'm really not seriously interested in selling. This book is quite fascinating to me.

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