Title Page (Section I)

Japan, Described and Illustrated by the Japanese
15 Section (Volume) Set - 1897~1898
Brinkley, Frank (Captain) et. al.

The title page in Section I is shown above. It has the printer's information on the back and year of publication (1897 for Section I). Only section one has a title page like this. All other sections have a page that contains the dragon image above with the section number in the oval and the printer's information and year of publication on the back of that page.

Brinkley, Frank (Captain):
Japan, Described and Illustrated by the Japanese, Written By Eminent Japanese Authorities and Scholars, Boston and Tokyo, J.B. Millet Company, 1897~8, 15 section (volume) set, 260 illustrations (including 30 albumen hand colored and 15 color collotypes (by K. Ogawa) of flowers), 382 pp. This version is not given an edition name nor are quantity printed stated. The set comes in 15 separate sections (volumes) which are Folio size (12 1/2 x 15 3/4 in) with stiff paper wraps (as before binding). The 382 pages are uncut double pages (i.e. back blank) and there are inserts cautioning not to cut the pages. The plates, (60 separate pages) are not numbered or included in the page count.

This work is a profusely illustrated view of the Japanese people and Japan at large. It is a comprehensive view (written and pictorial) of that culture at the close of the 19th century before the results of western influence were manifest. The illustrations present well known as well as more obscure places, daily activities, and people engaged in the toil of trades, farming, commerce, leisure time activities and household activities. The set is organized into specific topics, covering Japanese festivals, history, customs, medieval Japan etc. Each section has narrative and comprehensive complementary art/illustrations. There are no table of contents or listing of the photographs as found in the hardbound named editions.

The accompanying illustrations/art are, perhaps, the key and distinguishing feature of the Brinkley books. Each section begins with a beautiful full plate color collotype photograph of a flower (photographed by K. Ogawa) and contains two full plate (2) hand colored albumen photographs of people, everyday activities or scenic places. There are numerous black and white photo illustrations in the text that show the interiors of homes, art works, scenery, activities of daily life, and a host of other views on Japan in the late 19th century. While not credited in the text, the photos are believed to be by Kozaburo Tamamura with colored added in his studio (sometimes referred to as a picture factory) by a large (100+) staff of colorists. Each section also contains a full page mono-color plate reproducing patterns.

This 15 section set has the same text as in the standard 10 volume sets that are found with cloth covers. It contains the same handcolored albumen photographs (30) and the same in text photographs. This 15 section set does contain 5 additional Ogawa color collotypes of flowers not found in the 10 volume cloth bound sets. The normal length of each volume in the 15 section set is 25 pages per set where the average length per volume of the 10 volume set is 38 pages.

These books have four basic types of illustrations.

  • Color collotype frontispieces (flowers by Ogawa) printed on thick mat and protected by tissue guard generally 7 1/2 x 11 in (image area) with tinted border all around of 1/4 in. All in vertical format (1 oval shape, others rectangular).

  • Albumen photographs which have been hand colored (8 x 10 in). These are tipped in on a thick backing mat. Each albumem print is protected by a tissue guard with title and explanation. There is no writing/titling on the actual photographs. These photographs are in both horizontal and vertical format.

  • Text illustrations. Black and white half-tone photographs (generally 3 1/2+ x 5+ in) inserted in the text in both vertical and horizontal format.

  • Mono-color (generally red) reproductions of prints/patterns.

  •   15   Color Collotype Frontispieces (Flowers)
  •   30   Albumen Photographs (Hand Colored)
  • 200   Text Illustrations
  •   15   Mono-color Reproductions of Prints/Patterns
    260 - Total
Main Page for this Book, Click here.
Ilustration Galleries
Flower Collotypes Albumem Photographs Reproductions of Patterns Text
1897~8 - 15 Section (Paper Wraps) Set


Title Page

Color Flower Collotypes by Ogawa

Albumen Photograph, Hand Colored

* Albumen Photographs. Albumen prints were introduced around 1850 by the French photographer Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard. The albumen paper was prepared by first floating a sheet of fine quality paper on a solution of albumen (hen egg white) mixed with a salt. This process was sometimes repeated several times. When dried, the albumem coated paper was floated on a silver nitrate solution. The silver nitrate combined with the salt to form light-sensitive silver chloride in the albumen binder layer. The paper can then be exposed to light in direct contact with the negative. Light energy converts the silver halide to metallic silver. The resulting silver-based image is fixed with an aqueous solution of sodium thiosulphate and gold-toned. The print is then washed extensively in clean water and dried. In a final step, albumen prints are often rewet and mounted to a heavy weight paperboard using heat and high pressure.

Albumen prints are known for their subtly graded tones and fine-grained resolution. All albumen photographs exhibit a fine network of cracks in the albumen protein layer. Also, because of the difference in surface tension between the paper and the albumen layer, albumen prints tend to roll or curl in on themselves.

For a site which deals extensively with albumen photographs, click here.

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Special Interest Books/Art:
    ~ K. Ogawa - Color Collotypes and Books/Prints
    ~ T. Hasegawa - Color Woodblock Books
    ~ Shimbi Shoin - Art Reproduction Books
    ~ Tamamura/Takagi, Kobe - Color Collotype Books
    ~ Georges Bigot - Etchings & Art
    ~ Keisuke Serizawa - Calendar Folios & Art
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    ~ Japanese Woodblock Prints
Blackie the Photographer - Okinawa Photo Essay Books
Meiji Era - Japan Views & Images (Price Lists & Information):
    ~ Albumen Photos  :   Chromolithographs
    ~ Colored Albumen Photographs (from Brinkley Books)
    ~ Stereoviews  :   Kazumasa Ogawa Collotypes
    ~ CDV - K. Ogawa   :   CDV - Other   :   Cabinet Cards
    ~ Glass Slides, "Magic Lantern" - Hand Colored
    ~ Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita
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