Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Very Good / Very Good. Item #8807
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. First Edition. Octavo (25.5x20x6.5cm); xlix + 918pp, including three bibliographies; index; romanization table; and chronology. Illustrated with 172 photographs (largely in color), maps, and reproductions of scroll- and line-drawings; 158 scientific charts and tables. Very Good. Dust jacket reproduces Taoist genii from a painted temple scroll on a cream ground. Image repeated in grisaille on boards; spine in black cloth with gilt lettering. Jacket shows only slightest shelfwear at edges; binding sturdy and sound; textblock unmarred and unmarked.
This hefty volume is 1/27 of the late Joseph Needham's authoritative and still continuing series, published—to date—in seven volumes and 27 parts. The focus is scientific and artisanal, covering clays, glazes, firing, kilns, porcelain, stoneware, and pigments, as used to create everything from tiny celadon incense-burners to giant polychrome glazed roofs and cornices for vast complexes and entire cities.
Needham's series has been decisively influential in global understanding of China's pre-modern scientific and technological superiority over the West.