The Grandeur of the Gorges - Fifty Photographic Studies, with Descriptive Notes, of China s great waterway, the Yangtze Kiang, including twelve hand-coloured prints - Donald Mennie 1926 - A. S. Watson &, Shanghai - First Edition, number 699 of 1, 000 numbered copies. A fine first edition of this important work containing twelve hand-tinted gelatin silver prints and thirty eight photogravures [15x21cm], each tipped-in from photographs taken by Donald Mennie. Enhanced with pen and ink sketches by Lt.Col. H. G. Gandy and descriptive notes by Lieut.-Comdr. H. Foote Carey opposite each plate. Introduction by Marc T. Greene, and preface by Mennie.

Mennie “took the pictures during two trips on the upper Yangtze River in China: the first on a steamer from Ichang to Chungking, during poor weather, and the second between Ichang and Wan Hsien. The book ends at Chungking, “the great metropolis of Western China”, 1,400 miles from the sea. His apocalyptic vision of the city is seen across the 700 yard stretch of turbulent water where the current was so strong it could take an hour to cross. Between the angry, storm filled sky, and the reflecting, threatening water, the scale of the city is compacted into a strange and ominous shape.” [National Galleries of Scotland]
  Donald Mennie was born in Scotland in 1875/6 and arrived in China c.1899. His atmospheric, classically composed photographs are in the Pictorialist style, well suited to publication in souvenir photobooks. Mennie became Managing Director of the pharmacy A.S. Watson and Co, in Shanghai, who co-published this work with Kelly & Walsh. During the 1920s, he published his photographs in China by Land and Water, The Pageant of Peking, Glimpses of China, China, North and South, Picturesque China and The Grandeur of the Gorges. Mennie’s photographs illustrated My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard by Elizabeth Cooper (1914) and The Great River: The story of a voyage on the Yangtze Kiang by Gretchen Fitkin (1922). Mennie was interned in the Lunghua camp, Shanghai by the Japanese military in March 1943, and died while interned on 10 January 1944.

Provenance: Subscriber copy number 699 presented to Mrs M. Gunn.

One of two variant bindings, the other being in beige cloth with pictorial embroidered silk onlay.

Folio (book size 31.8x26.4cm), pp. [17] [100 (full page inserted plate with one page of descriptive text opposite each plate)] [3].
  Elegantly bound in publisher s quarter gilt covered morocco, boards with black floral motif silk, upper board with gilt lettering in English and Chinese, foredge untrimmed.   Condition: Fine but for some toning to endpapers and light wear to gilt corners and edges of binding.   Ref: 111364   Price: HK$ 16,000