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An Essay On That Earliest Species Of Idolatry, The Worship of the Elements. By J. Christie.

James Christie the younger

RA Collection: Book

Record number




Printed At The Stanhopian Press Of Stevenson, Matchett, And Stevenson,, Norwich.: And May Be Had Of Messrs. White And Cochrane, Fleet-Street, And Of Messrs. Payne And Foss, Pall-Mall,, London.: 1814.

Physical Description

[iv], iv, 26 p., [2] pl. (fold.); 277 mm. (Folio.)


[Half-title, t.p.] - Introduction - [Text]; Erratum; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Neither plate carries a signature.

The printer's name is repeated in the colophon: 'Stevenson, Matchett, And Stevenson, Printers, Norwich.'

Summary Note

Christie describes idolatry as 'the abuse of symbols'. His survey of human veneration of the elements ranges across not only ancient Jewish, Greek and Roman but also Middle-Eastern and Far-Eastern traditions.

The two folding plates show: [1] a Chinese representation of figures among groves, seas and clouds (from a piece of porcelain in the author's possession); [2] borders of a Chinese pot of the 15th century.

Both plates are coloured by hand.

Copy Note

A prelim. page of the whole volume is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy, by the Author.'

Binding Note

19th-century black calf, upper and lower covers with ruled gilt borders; spine lettered 'Christie On The Greek Vases' and 'Worship Of The Elements'. Bound with one other.


Religions - Worship - Elements - Symbolism - Images - Mediterranean Region - Asia - China - History
Essays - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Hand coloring - Great Britain - 19th century