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SOLD - The History of Japan together with a Description of the Kingdom of Siam 1690-92 - Engelbert Kaempfer, M.D., J. G. Scheuchzer (translator)

1906 - James MacLehose and Sons, Glasgow - One of 1, 000 copies
A finely bound three volume set of Dutch doctor and scientist Engelbert Kaempfer’s influential ‘History of Japan’ first published in 1727, and not reprinted in full until this edition of 1906 which contains 162 illustrations including many folding maps and plates as well as in-text wood engravings. The set also includes Scheuchzer’s historical introduction, life of the author and the translator, and the appendix originally published in 1828 titled ‘Authentick Journal of a Voyage to Japan, made by the Engllish in the year 1673’.

The first two chapters (60 pages) describe Kaempfer’s voyage from Batavia (Jakarta) to Siam and a description of the court of Siam, the remaining 1,100 pages of text are dedicated to his observations of Japan, which remain a primary resource on Japanese life, culture, and society, during a period when the country was closed to foreigners.

‘Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716) was a noted scientist, physician to the Dutch East India Company, who spent ten years travelling throughout the Near and Far East before settling in Japan as physician to the trading settlement of the Dutch East India Company at Nagasaki between 1690 and 1693. He wrote two books about his travels, ‘
Amoenitatum Exoticarum’, which was valued for his medical and botanical observations throughout Asia. His second, and more famous book, ‘History of Japan’, was published posthumously in 1727. It remains a primary resource on Japanese life, culture, and society, during a period when the country was closed to foreigners.

From 1641-1853, Japan adopted a policy of seclusion and closed its ports for trade. The Dutch East India Company established a trading post, named Deshima, by exploiting a man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki so as to comply with the strict Japanese trade policy. Kampfer came to this “port” and stayed for two years, where he had the opportunity to visit Edo and study the local flora. His diplomatic skills and medical expertise enabled him to gain further access than most. His contributions to the West were not just his new discoveries, but his detailed descriptions and drawings of some 400 plants. He is the first westerner to bring Ginko seeds back to Europe, collect information on the practice of acupuncture and moxibustion, and document the cultivation, preparation, and ceremonies for tea.’ [Harvard Library Collection]

‘Returning to Europe in 1695, Kaempfer began to make arrangements to publish his findings. He produced a survey of Japanese botany, Amoenitatum exoticarum, in 1712, but died before he was able to publish his history of the country itself. Fortunately, his manuscript notes survived and were purchased by the botanist and collector Sir Hans Sloane (1660 –1753) who passed them to his librarian, Gaspar Scheuchzer (1702– 29), to translate into English. The resulting two-volume publication, of which this is a copy, was dedicated to George II. It was the most comprehensive European account of Japan for over a century and the first such work in English.

Kaempfer’s History also contained plates taken from authentic Japanese woodblock prints, including this, the first contemporary depiction of Edo to appear in European literature. The book’s influence was wide-ranging and it remained an important account of Japan and Japanese life until well into the nineteenth century’ [Royal Collection Trust]
 
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Price HK$ 9,500



Memoirs of Mrs. Fitzherbert - Charles Langdale

1856 - Richard Bentley, London - First Edition
Extra-illustrated with an additional 37 plates, combined with the original 38 plates of which 10 are colour.

Maria Fitzherbert (1756–1837) was already twice widowed when the young Prince of Wales began his pursuit of her in 1784. Initially refusing his offer of marriage, she eventually accepted it and the couple were wed in secret the following year. Though legitimate in her eyes, the union was invalid under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, and controversial because of her Catholicism.

A posthumous attack on her faith and morals, penned by Lord Holland in his Memoirs of the Whig Party, provoked her close friend Charles Langdale (1787–1868) into publishing this defence in 1856. A champion of Catholic emancipation, Langdale was one of the first Catholics elected to Parliament. These memoirs are based on Maria Fitzherbert's own recollections, recounted to Langdale's brother, Lord Stourton. They reveal the values and beliefs of an exceptional woman who occupied a unique and precarious position within British high society.
 
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Price HK$ 16,000



Verses Written in India - Sir Alfred Lyall

1889 - Kegan Paul, London - First Edition
‘Here, in this mystical India, the deities hover and swarm,
Like the wild bees heard in the tree-tops, or the gusts of a gathering storm...’

A collection of twenty-four sentimental verses by Sir Alfred Lyall, and signed from him on the front free endpaper, elegantly bound by Rivière & Son.

Sir Alfred Lyall (1796-1865) was a British civil servant, philosopher, editor, clergyman and traveller. He first arrived in Calcutta in 1856, and served a long career in the Indian Civil Service.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



The Private Life of Catherine the Great of Russia - Princess Lucien Murat, Garnett Saffery (translator)

1928 - Louis Carrier & Co, New York - Limited Collectors’ Edition, Number 214 of 500 copies.
A limited edition of this biography by Princess Lucien Murat, and part of the ‘Love Lives of the Great’ series, elegantly bound by Rivière & Son, in contemporary full calf, and printed on Utopian laid paper.

Illustrated with engraved colour frontispiece portrait of Catherine the Great.

Bound for Anna Eugenia Clark and then gifted to her daughter, Huguette Marcelle Clark (1906-2011). Huguette inherited the vast wealth built up by her father William A. Clark, she became well known again late in life as a recluse, living in a hospital for more than 20 years while her mansions remained empty. She was an accomplished artist and musician, having studied under famous portrait painter Tadeusz Styka, and her paintings were exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington in 1925.
 
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Price HK$ 6,000



Five Children And It - E. Nesbit

1902 - T. Fisher Unwin, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of this magical tale bound by Bayntun-Riviere of Bath, illustrated by H. R. Millar with forty-six black and white plates – Cyril, Athena, Robert, Jane, and baby brother, Lamb, are exploring the land around the house their parents have rented for the summer when they find the sandpit. They decide to dig a hole straight through to Australia. Their plan is interrupted when Athena discovers a magical creature hiding in the sand. It is a Psammead, and it can grant wishes.

The children stood around the hole looking at the creature they had found. It was worth looking at. Its eyes were on long horns like a snail's eyes, and it could move them in and out like telescopes; it had ears like a bat's ears, and its tubby body was shaped like a spider's and covered with thick soft fur; its legs and arms were furry too, and it had hands and feet like a monkey's.’

Psammead:
I am a Sand Fairy!
Jane: A Sand Fairy? I thought fairies had little ballet dresses and wings and wands.
Psammead: What on earth have you been reading?
Jane: I'll call you Sandy.
Psammead: Why?
Jane: Because we found you in the sand.
Psammead: You're so funny. Have your parents tried boiling you? 
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Price HK$ 12,500



The Chronicles of Crime: Or, The New Newgate Calendar. Being a series of Memoirs and Anecdotes of Notorious Characters who have outraged the laws of Great Britain from the earliest period to 1841. Including a number of Curious Cases never before published. - Camden Pelham Esq. of the Inner Temple Barrister-at-Law, Phiz (illustrator)

1891 - T. Miles & Co., London
Two thick volumes finely bound by George Bayntun of Bath, illustrated throughout with forty-eight engravings from original drawings by “Phiz” (Hablot K. Browne).

Well the title tells it all, and the illustrations by “Phiz” who illustrated many of Dickens’ books are perfectly suited.
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



Scottish and Irish Diaries: From the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century - Baron Arthur Ponsonby

1927 - Methuen & Co. Ltd., London - First Edition
A finely bound work. In addition to notes and extracts for the major diarists, Ponsonby provides a detailed introduction, and notes on minor Scottish and Irish Diarists, chronological lists of both. Those he considers major diarists include Sir Walter Scott, Lord Cockburn, Jane Welsh Carlyle, Richard Boyle, John Wilson Crocker, Swift, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, Tom Moore, and John Mitchel, among others.

Arthur Ponsonby, first Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede (1871-1946), was an English politician, writer and peace campaigner. He was born in Windsor Castle, the youngest son of Queen Victoria's private secretary. - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
 
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Price HK$ 1,000



The Works of Alexander Pope - with a Memoir of the Author, Notes, and Critical Notices on each Poem, by the Rev, G. Croly, LL.D. - Alexander Pope

1835 - A.J. Valpy, London - First Edition
In four small finely bound volumes, with engraved frontispiece and engraved title to each volume.

English essayist, critic, satirist, and one of the greatest poets of Enlightenment, also known for his translation of Homer. Alexander Pope [1688-1744] wrote his first verses at the age of 12. His breakthrough work,
An Essay on Criticism appeared when he was twenty-three. It included the famous line ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’. Pope's physical defects made him an easy target for heartless mockery, but he was also considered a leading literary critic and the epitome of English Neoclassicism. His translation of Homer is still considered  
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Price HK$ 8,000



 
Results 9 - 16 of 19 results
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