Author: Marsh, George Turner and Ronald Temple
Title: The Lords of Dawn, A Novel
Place Published: San Francisco
Publisher:John J. Newbegin
Date Published: 1916
Text illustrations and 40 headpiece drawings by Chiura Obata. (8vo) finely bound in modern half leather over beige cloth boards, raised spine bands, gilt titles, marbled endpapers, original pictorial wrappers bound in. First Edition.
Includes unused pictorial postcard of the Lotus Room, S.G.Gump Company, San Francisco (ca. 1914), showing the mural ceiling painted by Obata.
Obata was the first Japanese-American artist destined for a long, distinguished 20th century career, following this first book illustration and his decorative work for A.L.Gump before the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. He later gained renown for the magnificent paintings and prints he produced on a 1927 sketching tour of Yosemite and the Sierras, then as an Art instructor at UC Berkeley from 1932 to 1953 - interrupted by his wartime internment during World War II.
George T. Marsh, the principal author, was a "wealthy capitalist" who had lived in early Meiji Japan before opening an upscale Japanese "curio" shop in downtown San Francisco in 1876, becoming the city's leading importer of Japanese objet d'art until Gump"s made its mark in the wider Asian collectibles market. In 1894, Marsh built the Japanese Tea Garden as a Fair concession, selling it to the city as a permanent Golden Gate Park attraction, then building a replica at his palatial "Myrajima" estate in Mill Valley. A Bohemian Club literary dilettante, he wrote many short stories, as well as this novel, an informed, non-Racist foretelling of Japan's "aim for world supremacy and power." A bound-in printed slip "Note" from the authors (dated 1920) states that the book was in manuscript in 1907, though not published until 1916.