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Grandeur et Suprematie de Peking - Alphonse Hubrecht

1928 - Imprimerie des Lazaristes du Pé-t'ang, Peking - First and Limited Edition number XXIII of 50 ‘Exemplaires de Grand Luxe’ printed on ‘Papier de Grand Luxe’
A stunningly silk bound copy of this wonderful work, text in French, illustrated with seventy full page halftone photographic plates [with 140 photographs], 560 woodblock in-text engravings, ten full page woodblock plates, a full page plan comparing Peking through the ages, woodblock initials incorporating monuments of Peking, and 220 zincographic engravings of Chinese art [Zincography was a planographic printing process that used zinc plates].

This copy, in a variant binding of orange pictorial silk, is also one of a hundred copies that contained an additional eight full page hand water-coloured woodblock prints of nine porcelain works from the Louvre Museum [Opposite pages 460, 452, 412 [2], 404, 188, 180, 124, 116], water-coloured illustrated limitation page and extra illustrated title page, thirty water-coloured large initials with floral decoration.

This comprehensive work is divided in two parts, one historical, one descriptive. The historical part begins with the Mongol Empire [13th to 14th Century] and ends at the first decades of the Republic of China [1912]. The descriptive part describes the palaces, temples, Imperial Tombs, and also family life in China, social life, beliefs, etc.’ [
Bibliotheca Wittockiana 123] 
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Price HK$ 38,000



The Game Birds of India, Burmah, and Ceylon - Allan Octavian Hume, Charles H. T. Marshall

1878 - Hume and Marshall, Calcutta - First Edition
A superb and thus rare example of this three volume work, without restoration or loss, in the original gilt decorated bindings, and containing the complete set of 144 fine chromolithographic plates (no plate for the pea fowl was issued in volume I, which is explained in a note on page 92). All three illustrated title pages are also present.

Hume, ‘
the Father of Indian Ornithology’, put together this work using contributions and notes from a network of 200 or more correspondents. Hume delegated the task of getting the plates made to Marshall. The chromolithographs of the birds were drawn by W. Foster, E. Neale, (Miss) M. Herbert, Stanley Wilson and others and the plates were produced by F. Waller in London. Hume had sent specific notes on colours of soft parts and instructions to the artists. He was unsatisfied with many of the plates and included additional notes on the plates in the book. This book was started at the point when the government demoted Hume and only the need to finance the publication of this book prevented him from retiring from service. He had estimated that it would cost £4,000 to publish it and he retired from service on 1 January 1882 after the publication. 
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Price HK$ 22,000



1857 to 1858
The original hand written journal of Captain Robert Jenkins, during his time as Commander of HMS Actaeon for the year 1857 and HMS Comus in 1857, both ships active off the coast of China, mostly around Canton. Included is a hand drawn and water coloured sketch of Chinese villagers being forced to kowtow to the Union Jack. Finely bound in contemporary black calf and brass locks.

HMS Actaeon was commissioned in 1857 to serve as a survey vessel off the coast of China, under the command of Captain William Thornton Bate. She was present at the bombardment of Canton in 1857,where Bate was shot and killed on 29th. December. Captain Robert Jenkins took over the command of the ship and his journal refers to the bombardment of Canton, surveying factories, disputes over land between British and Chinese merchants. It also covers skirmishes with armed junks and defence of the Barrier. Locations include Hong Kong ,Canton, Macao and Amoy.

According to the Journal it appears that Jenkins was wounded seriously on June 30th 1858, and on September 16th ‘Joined Commander J Ward, [vice?] Captain R Jenkins discharged to Half Pay’, September 18th ‘I went to Shanghai with Commander Ward’, from wence Jenkins travelled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Galli, Aden, Alexandria, Malta, Gibralter, Falmouth, arriving in Southampton 19th November, one month after leaving Shanghai.

(29 x 23.5 cm) pp. 46 [1st January to 31st December 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus] 10 [Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus] 8 [January 1-19th, last days as Commander of HMS Comus] 92 [January 20th to 19th November as Commander of HMS Actaeon] [4] 8 [Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Actaeon] 47 blank pages. Paper watermarked ‘1852’ ‘Fellows’.
 
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Price HK$ 130,000



The Lacquer Lady - Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse

1930 - The MacMillan Company, New York - First Edition
‘Fanny, white, draggled, and almost speechless, arrived to find a Mission House already frantic with alarm. No reliable news had escaped the Palace, but everyone in the kalā town knew that murder and perhaps wholesale massacre was abroad’

A lovely copy in an uncommonly bright dust jacket, the novel was inspired by the author’s trip to Burma, and based on the true story of King Thibaw’s downfall in 1870. Seen through the eyes of naive, yet destructive, Fanny Patterson, we witness the decay of an empire, as the king brings a crucial ultimatum to the British army, resulting in the occupation of Mandalay a fortnight later, with devastating consequences for all of Burma.
 
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Price HK$ 4,000



Tibetan Trek - with - Salween - Ronald Kaulback

1934 - Hodder & Stoughton, London - First Edition, Second State (paper jacket)
‘An explorer in the old-fashioned mould of buccaneering Englishmen who roamed the blank spaces of the map’ – The Times.

Two first editions of Kaulback’s acclaimed accounts of travel and adventure in Tibet.

‘Ronald Kaulback came down from Cambridge having skilfully avoided reading too many books, or attending too many lectures. He had no very clear idea of what he wanted to do in life, and so tagged on to an expedition led by F. Kingdom-Ward whose introduction to
Tibetan Trek is a wonderful introduction to Kaulback himself’.

Kaulback followed this with an eighteen months' expedition in south eastern Tibet searching for the source of the Salween, the black river of Tibet. With one other Englishman and three faithful (and quite enchanting) natives and a good stock of supplies, he collected specimens of insect life, distributed medical care to the very friendly residents and gives a record of their daily progress. Across 3,000 miles of unexplored territory, there were many oddities to be seen, minor discomforts rather than major calamities, to be endured, and plenty of good anecdotes, which he describes in
Salween.

Both works profusely illustrated with black and white photographs and numerous maps. Both in their rare bright illustrated dust jackets.
 
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Price HK$ 6,000



Specimens of Hindoo Literature - Inscribed - N. E. Kindersley

1794 - Printed by W. Bulmer and Co., London - First Edition
A scarce and important work, inscribed ‘From The Author’ – one of the earliest translations of Hindu literature and mythology. Kindersley’s composition features the first English rendering of extracts from the Holy Kural, or ‘Ocean of Wisdom’, and the Hindu romance, ‘A History of the Nella-Rajah’, together with his explanatory notes and comments on the Tamil (Tamoul) language.

Described by Kindersley as a
‘moral poem... understood to have been written fourteen hundred years since’, The Holy Kural, ‘Tirukkural’ or ‘Teroo-Vaulaver Kuddal’, is considered one of the most universal expositions on honourable thought and compassion ever composed. It elucidates on the natural wisdom of man, and includes sections on worship, charity, domestic life, hospitality, gratitude, and justice.

With examples of the Tamil alphabet on page 46, and five plates including engravings of the Hindu cupid ‘Munmoden’, the ‘Treemoortee’ and ‘Shivven’.
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



The Riddle Of The Tsangpo Gorges - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1926 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - First Edition
A near fine example of this important work, describing the period spanning 1924-25, during which Kingdon-Ward made what was probably his most famous and successful expedition, in the company of Lord Cawdor, to Bhutan and south-east Tibet, during which, in addition to ‘The Riddle’, related to the existence, or not, of the ‘Falls of Brahmaputra’, he collected ninety-seven varieties of rhododendron, and the first viable blue poppy seed.

The Brooke-Hitching copy, housed in custom slipcase. Illustrated with a folding coloured map, and 21 photographs on 16 plates.
 
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Price HK$ 16,000



The City Of Dreadful Night - Rudyard Kipling

1899 - Alex. Grosset, New York - The First American Edition
The text’s initial appearance in the United States was through its inclusion in ‘Out of India’ , published in 1895, but this unauthorised printing constitutes the first separate American edition. all eight sketches from the authorised 1891 London edition ‘The City of Dreadful Night and Other Places’.

All that aside, this is a superb example of the most magnificently presented edition, including a full page frontispiece of the author from Strang, and two full page black and white illustrations by Charles Farrand.

In 1898 Kipling first travelled to Calcutta and this is the account of the visit, and if you have travelled to what is now ‘Kolkata’ over the past 30 or so years and been taken aback but its sheer personality, then I believe the Calcutta of the late 1800’s was an even more powerful visual and tactile experience, as Kipling here wonderfully describes.
 
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Price HK$ 1,400



 
Results 41 - 48 of 129 results