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Abrégé Historique des Principaux Traits de la Vie de Confucius, Célèbre Philosophe Chinois. Gravées par Helman, d'apres des dessins originaux de la Chine envoyés à Paris par M. Amiot missionaire a Pekin - Isidore Stanislas Henri Helman (engraver), Pierre-Charles Levesque (translator), Jean-Denis Attiret (illustrator)

1786 - chez l'Auteur and M. Ponce, Paris - First Edition
A clean example of this work, containing twenty four engraved plates, engraved title page and twenty eight engraved plates of descriptive text in French taken from a larger work on Confucius (Pensées morales de Confucius 1782) by Pierre-Charles Levesque (who is referred to by Helman as Mr.l’Eveque)

Engraved by Helman [1743-1806] and drawn by Jean-Denis Attiret [1702-68], official painter to the workshop at Peking, copied from a set of Chinese miniatures which were sent by the Jesuit missionary Jean-Joseph-Pierre Amiot [1718-93] in Peking to Berlin, who was Louis XIV’s Minister of Art and the one in charge of France’s relations with China. The engravings illustrate the life and deeds of Confucius.’ 
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Price HK$ 15,000



Illustrations of the Literature and Religion of the Buddhists - Brian Houghton Hodgson

1841 - Self-published – Bound at the Baptist Mission Press, Serampore - First Edition in Book Form
Hodgson’s rare and important work – the first collected edition of papers on the literature and religion of Buddhism – fifteen in total, originally published in Transactions and Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and London, and which for the first time revealed to the West the Sanskrit literature of northern, or Mahayana, Buddhism, which had been preserved in Nepal. For the collection Hodgson adds a preface and many footnotes.

Features two folding lithographed alphabet tables. Interestingly, Hodgson published this book in Serampore, at the time a Danish colony, it would have been printed at the former Serampore Mission Press, set up by the Baptist missionary William Carey, which closed in 1837 merging with the Baptist Mission Press, where this copy was also bound (see small bookplate to front pastedown).

Hodgson later reprinted 12 of the 15 papers as part one of
Essays on the Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet (1874), the second part being on the tribes and geography of Nepal and Tibet, and in 1880 he published Miscellaneous Essays Relating to Indian Subjects (2 volumes, 1880), containing his papers on Indian languages and ethnology. 
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Price HK$ 16,500



Fluctuations in the Price of Gold in 1863 - J. P. Howard

1863 - Snyder, New York - Entered according to an act of Congress in the year 1863 by J.P.Howard in the Clerk’s Office of the Southern District of New York. Address orders to H.B. Andrews care of Messrs. Kissam & Co. 36 Wall Str. New York.
These are extraordinary times, and extraordinary measures must be resorted to in order to save our Government, and preserve our nationality.'

Obama? Trump? No, Governor Spaulding presenting a draft of the '
First Legal Tender Act' which President Lincoln signed in February 1862, in order to issue a 'limited' $150,000 of new treasury notes. The birth of the US dollar note as we know it and the first of three rounds over 24 months, which saw the limit rise to US$450,000. Why? To pay off enormous Government debt, caused by expenditure on the military, and also to counter the loss of faith in Government paper.

Here you have an extremely scarce original 1.5 metre long chart of gold prices over this period from January 1862 up to September 1863 (dimensions 150 x 45.5 cm). With notations of current events added (Iron Clad attack on Fort Sumter, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Surrender at Fort Hudson (the lowest point of the year), etc.). Folded and enclosed in the printer’s original gilt titled green cloth covers. In addition, tipped inside the front cover is a contemporary facsimile of a chart (37.8 x 22.6 cm) showing the fluctuation of iron, flour, and cotton prices from 1834-1859.

The gold chart follows the sharp fluctuations in the value of gold from 101 in January 1862 to a peak of 171 in March 1863. They dropped to 123 on the Surrender of Port Hudson on July 18th. Recovering and continuing up as the variation in prices tempted speculators and investors to buy gold bullion in order to protect against a decline in the value of the freshly printed paper money.

In the following years this rise continued until 1869, the first 'Black Friday' and the collapse of gold over a period of 48 hours, caused by one highly influential finance house with political assistance cornering the market, and a subsequent surge in Gold prices, the threat of flooding the market with Treasury owned gold (which they didn't actually have), the failed attempts to convert gold holdings (on paper), bank runs, riots, investors and speculators wiped out, stock market plummets, economy weakens and the rest is history, which yes does have a habit of repeating itself....
 
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Price HK$ 58,000



1853-55 - John C. Riker, New York
‘I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man’

A superb set of the first collected edition of the works of Thomas Jefferson, author of the
Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, who voiced the aspirations of a new America as no other individual of his era. As public official, historian, philosopher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.

Complete in nine volumes, with folding facsimiles and tables. Published by the Order of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, from the Original Manuscripts deposited in the department of state. With explanatory notes, tables of contents, and a copious index to the whole, by the editor H. A. Washington.
 
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Price HK$ 29,000



The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life, by Food, Clothes, Air, Exercise, Wine, Sleep, &c. - William Kitchiner

1822 - Hurst, London - Third Edition, Enlarged
A scarce and fascinating little work in contemporary binding.

Following a ‘Cure for Tooth-Ach’ is the section entitled ‘
The Pleasure of Making a Will’, presumably many ‘Tooth-Achs’ were terminal in 1822.

Words of wisdom include:-

The Siesta is not only advisable, but indispensable.’
‘No man should habitually take Wine as Food until he is past 30 years of age’.
‘Take as much exercise as you can in the open air’.
‘Nothing is so restorative to the nerves, as sound and uninterrupted Sleep; which is the chief source of both Bodily and Mental Strength’.
‘The clearness of the Complexion is considered the best criterion of a Man’s being in good condition’.
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



Shanghai: its Mixed Court and Council - A. M. Kotenev

1925 - North-China Daily News & Herald, Shanghai - First Edition
A rare first edition of the most detailed work on Shanghai’s Municipal Council and Mixed Court from 1842 to 1924, the year before its demise.

Contents: Rules for the Mixed court, 1869. Rules of procedure of the International mixed court, 1914 and 1919, supplemented with provisions on general principles of the modern procedural laws of China, 1921. The provisional Criminal code of the republic of China. The provisional Criminal code amendment act.--The revised draft of the law on offences relating to morphine. The Chinese Supreme court decisions (1923). Rules for application of foreign laws (1921). Regulations relating to commerce. Copyright, 1916. The Law of publication, 1914. Rules of the Court of consuls. Land regulations and bye-laws for the Foreign settlement of Shanghai.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



SOLD - The Philosophy of Confucius - James Legge, Confucius, Jeanyee Wong (illustrator)

1953 - The Peter Pauper Press, New York - First Edition to be illustrated by Jeanyee Wong
An exquisitely bound edition of Legge’s translation, with colour illustrations and calligraphy by Jeanyee Wong (1920-2017), San Francisco-born calligrapher, illustrator and cartographer. 
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Price HK$ 0



The Cuckold's Chronicle; being Select Trials for Adultery, Incest, Imbecillity, Ravishment, &c. - H. Lemoin [Editor]

1793 - printed for H. Lemoin, London - First Edition
Extremely scarce two volumes (lacking plates and the title page to volume I). Over 800 pages representing ‘one of the finest examples of sensationalistic writing of the time period’ (Bearden-White).

The pinnacle of publications to satisfy the late 1700’s fascination with divorce cases - contemporary pornography. Containing a large number of trials, fascinating, and in many cases bizarre, some '
never before published', such as 'The celebrated Case and Trial of the Marquis de Gesvres, upon the complaint of his Lady, Mademoiselle de Mascranny, who, after three years Marriage, commenced a Suit against him, at Paris, for Imbecility and Impotency'; and 'The Case of John Bury, Esq. of the County of Devon, who was divorced for want of his Testicles’.

‘The 18th-century fashion for arranged marriages to secure finances and improve social and political influence, with little thought given to the personal feelings of those concerned, led to a great number of extra-marital affairs by both men and women. The reports of consequent divorce cases aroused great interest across all classes, with the trial reports becoming more sexually explicit towards the end of the century. The apogee of the development of [the criminal conversation] genre toward pornography was reached with the publication in 1793 of
The Cuckold’s Chronicle’ (Wagner). 
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Price HK$ 16,000



 
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