Illustrated Catalogue - Night Bomb Shells Woodblock Printed Book of Fireworks Samples
[Japan] Extraordinarily scarce book containing striking woodblock printed illustrations of fireworks available for purchase by the Hirayama Fireworks company of Yokohama. In 1883, Hirayama Jinta was the first Japanese person to obtain a US patent and, in addition to 'regular' fireworks, he managed to produce fireworks that would take the shape of, 'men, women, fishes, and animals, of comical and curious designs (over 50 kinds)', according to the English preface! The samples are numbered 1-19, 23-25, 27, 29-30, 32-41, 43-44, 46, 49-53, 55-58, 60-62, 65-70, 72-74, 76-80, 83, 86-98, 101-121, making for a total of 99 illustrations. None appear to be missing and the blank pages look to have been present when the book was published. We saw this exact same book about 15 years ago and have never seen another.
Yokohama. Hirayama Fireworks Co. ND (c1885).
56 leaves. 18.3 x 13cm.
In very good condition. Covers worn and have minor damage as well as being a little faded. Designs are all very good and the grain of the woodblock can often be seen. Some designs have '1 Doz' written in pencil above indicating they were probably ordered by a customer outside Japan. b34041146