HEINE, William.
Illustrations of the Japan Expedition...

Published
New York: Heine, Eliphalet M. Brown Jr et al, [n.d. but plates dated 1855-56].
References
Peters, America on Stone, p.98, 352-353; S.M. Morison, "Old Bruin" Commodore Matthew C. Perry 1704-1858 (Boston 1967), p.463; Bobins 1112.
Plates
6 + 1
Binding/Size
XL=elephant folio
Value
$100,001-1m
Ref
5740

Elephant folio, 6 colour lithographed plates, printed in colours and finished by hand by G.W. Lewis (1), Sarony (4), and Boell and Michelin (1) all after Heine, plus printed title. Descriptions and titles to the 6 plates, within decorative border, including vignette scenery and portraits of places and people. Preserved in modern half dark morocco, blue cloth portfolio, with matching title label to upper cover. Heine was the official artist of Commodore M.C. Perry's expedition to Japan in 1853-54. Plates were issued loose (as here) or in book form. Heine produced 6 prints, and used New York lithographers, Sarony, possibly the most skilled craftsmen in their profession in the USA at that time. This was the most important diplomatic mission ever entrusted to an American Naval Officer: the negotiation of a treaty with Japan, a country sealed against contact again Western powers. The government proposed to send an imposing fleet to Japan, for Perry was to carry a letter from President Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan. The aim was to ensure safety of the U.S. seamen in Japanese waters. The initial suggestion from the Japanese was that they should negotiate on the American ship. However, Perry insisted that they should land. They stayed for nine days in Yedo Bay before being allowed on shore, and documents were finally handed over on land in the village of Kurihama. It has been considered that the success of this mission was due to Perry's insistence and careful planning.

Coloured plates in chronological order:

1. Title page.
2. Return of Commodore Perry Officers & Men of the Squadron from an official visit to the Prince Regent at Shui, Capitol of Lew-Chew, June 6th 1853.
3. Passing the Rubicon. Lieut. Bent in the 'Mississippi's' First Cutter forcing his way through a fleet of Japanese boats while surveying the Bay of Yedo, Japan, July 11th 1853.
4. First Landing of Americans in Japan, under Commodore M.C. Perry at Gore-Hama July 14th 1853.
5. Landing of Commodore Perry, Officers & Men of the Squadron, to meet the Imperial Commissioners at Yoku-Hama, Japan, March 8th 1854.
6. Landing of Commodore Perry, Officers & Men of the Squadron, to meet the Imperial Commissioners at Simoda, Japan, June 8th 1854.
7. Exercise of Troops in Temple Grounds Simoda, Japan, in presence of the Imperial Commissioners, June 8th 1854.