Comparison of Illustrations in
Early Perry Expedition Books

The books relating to the Perry Expedition to Japan contain various types of illustrations ranging from lithographs to tinted engravings to black and white engravings to woodcut illustations. To show these, illustrations of Commodore Perry at the Gate to Shuri Castle from three different books are shown below.


Lithograph from the Original Narrative of the Expedition


Tinted Engraving from the 1863 French Book by Heine


Engraving from the 1856 and 1857 Abridged Narrative

Note: The above pictures are not to scale. The lithograph plate has a much larger image area (23.9 x 16.5 cm) than the other two plates which are 18 x 11.5 cm, and smaller.
The visible differences between a lithograph and engraving are not readily apparent from the pictures above. The pictures are two small to clearly show the differences. Below are close-up views of an engraving and lithograph where the differences can be seen and are explained. The differences are very visible when an illustration is examined under 10x magnification.
Tinted Engraving Tinted Lithograph
Sharp Clear Lines
Pebbly Grain Structure
The picture on the left is from the tinted engraving in the 1863 Heine book entitled "Conférence du commodore Perry avce les commissaires japonais". The picture on the right is from the tinted lithograph from the Official Narrative of the Expedition entitled "Conference Room Hakodadi". The engraving has sharp distinct black lines. In lithographs the image appears irregular with a pebbly grain structure much as you would see with crayon applied to coarse paper.

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Perry Expedition to Japan Books & Lithographs