(OPIUM). [EDKINS, Dr Joseph]. ~ Opium: historical Note, or, The poppy in China published by order of the Inspector General of Customs. (China. Imperial maritime customs. II, Special series: no. 13.) Shanghai: Statistical Department of the Inspectorate General of Customs and sold by Key & Walsh Limited in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yokohama and Singapore and by P. S. King & Son in London, 1889.
4to (274 × 215 mm), pp. , 50, plus xxvii,  of Chinese text, with title on lower cover. One wood engraved illustration of a water pipe. Original printed yellow wrappers. Spine and edges expertly repaired. Inscription to head of upper cover: ‘To Rev. A. Williamson LLD from the author’ with an additional ownership stamp ‘Paul H. King’.
First edition of this important report on the history of opium use and trade in China, printed in China but considered the the first English-language book on opium. Its author was a British missionary long established in the Far East as a translator for the Inspectorate General of Customs at Shanghai. It provides not only botanical and medicinal accounts drawn from earlier Chinese sources, but traces the introduction of opium by Arab and then European traders which had led to the nineteenth-century opium wars.