The 1856 three volume set is often found with covers with embossed (impressed) images on the front, back and spine. I believe these are the as issued covers. Normally the original covers/spine are a green cloth. The boards have embossed illustrations (blind, no guilt) front and back and the spine has guilt stamped letters. I have examined a Volume 3, Nicholson printing, with the embossed cover and stamped letters on the spine but with dark blue cloth.

I have only personally inspected one copy of the 1857 Appleton unabridged edition of volume 1. It had the original covers which were brown blind stamped gilt tooled full morocco. The spine had five ridges (gold gilted) and the title "Perry's Expedition to Japan" in gold gilt.

The embossed gold guilt impressions on the 1856 Appleton abridged edition has the same front image but repeats it on the back.

 

Covers - 1856 - Three Volume Sets
Tucker & Nicholson Printings

 

Front Cover From the 1856 Nicholson printing
(May have been gold embossed originally)

Spine of the book is on the top.

Central image is a vignette with Samari right
and left, Mount Fuji in the center and ships
below Fuji. The vignette is surrounded with an
ornamental frame with a star in each corner.


Basically same image as on the 1856 Appleton book
(cover is show in a horizontal format)

 
Back Cover
(May have been gold embossed originally)
Spine is to the right »

Central image is a vignette with an eagle facing right
The eagle holds an anchor in his right talon and flag
in his left. The vignette is surrounded with an
ornamental frame with a star in each corner.

 

Spine from Nicholson Book

From top to bottom:

HOUSE REPS

UNITED STATES
JAPAN
EXPEDITION
BY
COM. M.C. PERRY

VOL I

Image of a ship

NAVY
DEPARTMENT
(Perhaps not on all books)

 


Covers - 1857
Appleton Unabridged Volume 1

 
 

Covers - 1856
Appleton Abridged Book

 
Front and Back Cover (gold embossed)

 

 
Spine (gold embossed -elaborate scroll work)

Top - Eagle with US Shield and Flag
Also the and unidentified flag, presumably Japanese
(above and to the right of the eagle's wing).

COMM. PERRY'S
EXPEDITION TO
JAPAN
AND
THE CHINA SEAS

Middle - Stark flying right

Bottom - Ships.

 

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