Lot 357
  • 357

Dalrymple, Alexander

10,000 - 15,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Dalrymple, Alexander
  • A Plan for Extending the Commerce of this Kingdom, and of the East-India-Company. London: for the Author, 1769
  • paper
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, PRINTED AND CIRCULATED PRIVATELY, PRESENTATION COPY (see footnote), 8vo (203 x 122mm.), [iv], 112pp., folding map of South East Asia and Australia, contemporary red morocco, marbled endpapers, map with some restoration, rebacked with a full gilt unlettered spine


Amongst Dalrymple's proposals was the establishment of a trading settlement at Balambangan, an island off the north coast of Borneo. "A Plan for Extending the Commerce of this Kingdom, and of the East-India-Company… gave topographical descriptions of Balambangan and the neighbouring trading areas centred on the cession which Dalrymple had obtained in 1762 for an East India Company settlement… [It] was tendentious and contained much which the Company preferred to treat as confidential. Its projected publication had been the focus of Dalrymple's differences of 1768 with the Court of Directors. The Court discouraged him in December 1769 from publishing the Plan as 'greatly prejudicial to the particular interests of this Company and to his Country in general'. Though a few copies circulated, the public impact of the text, and therefore of the advertisement inviting subscription to the charts, was none. Only after formal dismissal from the Balambangan expedition in March 1771 did Dalrymple eventually publish the Plan, with a modified introduction and a replacement advertisement underlining the missed opportunity" (Cook).

This is the very rare first issue, one of the few copies circulated in 1769, with the 'advertisement' dated 13 Feb. 1769. The second issue, with changes, although still bearing the date 1769 on the title, has the 'advertisement' dated 6 May 1771.

According to Cook "presentation copies of the first issue... are found bound in red leather" (as is this copy).



Cook A5; not in Goldsmiths' or Kress