242
242
Bible, Chinese
[THE NEW TESTAMENT]. [SHANGHAI: AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION PRESS, 1894]
Estimate
5,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
242
Bible, Chinese
[THE NEW TESTAMENT]. [SHANGHAI: AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION PRESS, 1894]
Estimate
5,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Bible, Chinese
[THE NEW TESTAMENT]. [SHANGHAI: AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION PRESS, 1894]
4to (308 x 225mm.), Chinese text, title printed in black and red, large type framed within an ornamental red border, original black morocco, titled in gold on upper cover, with bamboo pattern stamped in blind, gilt edges, slightly rubbed
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Provenance

John Archibald (1852-1925), missionary, and founder and editor of the Central China Post. Archibald arrived in China in 1872 as an agent of the National Bible Society of Scotland, he became instrumental in the opening the Treaty Port of Changsha, served as councillor and chairman of the British Municipal Council at Hankow, was one of the original founders of Kuling (see lots 237 and 238) and was decorated by the Chinese government in 1912 and 1915; thence by family descent

Literature

Darlow and Moule 2606

Catalogue Note

A RARE EDITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT IN CHINESE, the original of which was presented in a special binding to Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) in celebration of her 60th birthday.

In 1861, Cixi's infant son Zaichun became Tongzhi Emperor, and, after ousting the regents appointed by the late emperor, assumed the regency. After Zaichun's death in 1875, Cixi engineered that her nephew succeed as emperor, meaning that she effectively controlled the Chinese government for over forty years.

For several decades, Cixi maintained "a delicate, but not always successful" balance between treaty obligations agreed shortly before her reign which allowed foreign missionaries access to inland China and her sympathies for the anti-Christian movements which arose as a result (Liu, Lydia He, The Clash of Empires (2006), p.142). 

The idea of presenting Cixi with a bible on her birthday was proposed at the Shanghai Missionary Conference in February 1894, and a committee was quickly assembled to put the plan into action. The present lot is an almost exact duplicate of that presented to Cixi, with an exception of the binding: Cixi's bible was bound in solid silver boards, and then laid in a matching silver casket.

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