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Baronagium Genealogicum: or the Pedigrees of the English Peers - Sir William Segar, Joseph Edmondson

1764-84 - Engraved and printed for the author, London - First Editions
The most beautifully illustrated and comprehensive record of 18th century Heraldry. A magnificent and extremely rare complete set of six large uncut folio volumes, with 658 copperplate engravings (104 of which are double page) many by the master engraver Francesco Bartolozzi a founder member of the Royal Academy. The plates consist of 279 coats-of-arms (3 double-page), 364 genealogical tables (101 double-page), six titles, six dedication pages, and three specific family dedication pages.

Ranked to begin with Royalty, this massive work took 20 years to produce, making it necessary to publish a supplement with new peerages. Provenance - Sir John Smith, Bart., F.R.S. of Sydling St.Nicholas, Dorset, whose initials JS are gilt-stamped to the morocco spine labels and engraved bookplates to the front pastedowns.
 
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Price HK$ 150,000



The Plays. From the corrected text of Johnson and Steevens. Embellished with plates - William Shakespeare

1807 - John Stockdale, London - First Heath Edition
This is how Shakespeare should be read! Six magnificently large quarto volumes of Shakespeare’s plays, with twenty two copperplates engraved by James Heath after Thomas Stothard, William Hamilton and Henry Fuseli.

Volume I – Midsummer Night’s Dream; Taming of the Shrew; Merry Wives of Windsor; Much Ado about Nothing; All’s well that ends well; Measure for Measure.
Volume II – Winter’s Tale; Two Gentlemen of Verona; Hamlet; Romeo and Juliet; Richard II; Richard III.
Volume III – Comedy of Errors; Macbeth; Henry VI; As you like it.
Volume IV – Tempest; Twelfth Night; Henry VIII; Julius Caesar; Timon of Athens; Coriolanus.
Volume V – Love’s Labour’s lost; King John; King Lear; Troilus and Cressida; Titus Andronicus; Othello.
Volume VI – Merchant of Venice; Henry IV; Henry V; Antony and Cleopatra; Cymebline; Pericles.

The engraver James Heath (1757–1834) was the London-born son of a bookbinder. The family originated in Nottingham where James Heath’s grandfather Joseph Heath was a bookseller and writing-master. James was apprenticed to the engraver Joseph Collyer the younger in 1771 and became established as one of the leading line engravers of his time. His first major success was in engraving plates for Bell’s edition of The Poets of Great Britain. He was employed by the Robinson family of booksellers from 1779 to 1804. He became one of the most widely employed engravers of the age, producing illustrations for many celebrated works including Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy; Vancouver’s A voyage of discovery to the north Pacific Ocean, and round the world; Bruce’s Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile; and the frontispiece portrait to Boswell’s Life of Johnson. He engraved some plates for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, and in 1807 published this six-volume set of Shakespeare illustrated with engravings after works by Stothard and Henry Fuseli on his own account, a substantial demonstration of his huge popularity.
 
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Price HK$ 35,000



The Works of William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare, Alexander Dyce

1891 - Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London - Sixth Edition
An attractively bound ten volume set of Shakespeare, volume I with Dyce’s Life of Shakespeare, prefaces, and history of the early editions, volume X containing a 526 page glossary. 
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Price HK$ 18,000



1880 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition
I think you do me much honour by preserving my scribbles’ writes the colourful and eccentric Sharpe in the tipped in letter that accompanies his finely bound Ballad Book, re-edited by David Laing, with additions from Sharpe's manuscripts, and which he first printed only 30 copies in 1823, although according to Henderson, the majority of the added ballads in 1880 were of more or less questionable authenticity (ODNB). The final portion of the book prints Sir Walter Scott’s commentary on the original poems, and is taken from correspondence between Scott and his friend Sharpe.

Scarce. Illustrated with a colour frontispiece portrait, woodblock engraving plate and headpiece (as used for the original 1823 edition).

A speculative note regarding the letter - As stated in the editor’s introduction (ix) ‘
Mr Sharpe’s own annotated copy’ was carefully followed to produce this work, a copy that was ‘in the possession of Sir James Gibson-Craig’. Gibson-Craig had one of the finest collection of Scottish works ever assembled, and other correspondence from Sharpe to Gibson-Craig did begin with ‘Signor Mio’, leading us to speculate that this letter accompanied the original and rare 1823 printing of which only 30 were produced, and which in this case was later given by Sharpe to Gibson-Craig. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - William Milligan Sloane

1896 - The Century Co., New York - First Edition
Four magnificent and finely bound quarto volumes of this monumental history on Napoleon, ‘the product of many years of elaborate investigation, it was sumptuously illustrated and composed’. [DAB].

First edition, profusely illustrated with 80 colour plates, 200 black & white and tinted plates, and 17 maps.

Generally there is no mystery in the power of domination: he rules who is indispensable. The Jacobins needed a man, they found him in the unscrupulous Bonaparte; the Directory needed a man, they found him in the expert artillerist; France needed a man, she found him in the conqueror of Italy.’

‘Sloane, who believed "
there exists no record of human activity more complete" than Bonaparte's, also summed up Napoleon's failure in one word -- exhaustion. It was not until his opponents learned the lessons "which he taught his generals by a series of object demonstrations lasting 20 years, that the teacher began to diminish in success and splendor. Judged either historically or theoretically, the strategy of Napoleon is "original, unique and unexcelled." Sloane noted that this was Napoleon's greatest achievement, because it was "his most creative."’ [Vance] 
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Price HK$ 13,000



An Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava - Michael Symes

1800 - W. Bulmer and Co., London - First Edition, Large Paper Copy
A stunning and rare large paper copy of ‘the first full account of Burma to be published’, finely illustrated with two folding engraved maps, eighteen engraved plates, and eight engraved botanical plates (four of which are folding). In contemporary full polished calf armourial binding of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 2nd Baronet, and once housed in the Hoare Library at Stourhead.

Michael Symes was sent by Sir John Shore, governor-general of India, on a mission to Ava in Burma, to obtain from the emperor of Ava a permit to allow a British agent to reside at Rangoon, and to induce him to close his borders to French shipping. In diplomatic terms Symes’ mission was a success.

His detailed account, is highly interesting with keen observations and insight. ‘It is a mass of information on the history, religion, government, social systems, language, geography and economy of Burma, together with a narrative of Symes’ seven months stay in Burma, his journey to the capital and reception at court.’
 
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Price HK$ 42,000



RESERVED - Poems - Alfred Lord Tennyson

1857 - Edward Moxon, Dover Street - First Illustrated Edition
‘It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.’

A superbly bound, illustrated collection of Tennyson’s poetry featuring his celebrated works ‘
Mariana’, ‘The Lotos-Eaters’, ‘Godiva’, and ‘Ulysses’, among many others. Beautifully illustrated with portrait frontispiece and 54 engraved vignettes designed by prominent Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Millais, William Holman Hunt, Thomas Creswick, and Clarkson Stanfield. Many of the artists much-admired Tennyson, and found inspiration from his poems. 
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Price HK$ 8,500



Record of the University Boat Race, 1829-1880 and of the Commemoration Dinner 1881 - George G. T. Treherne, J. H. D. Goldie

1883 - Bickers & Son, London - First Edition
James Neville McQueen’s own copy. McQueen (page 83) rowed bow in the 1860 Oxford crew, and according to Goldie ‘a better race than that of 1860 has seldom been seen’ (page 173).

Illustrated with two large and beautiful engraved plates -
A Boat-race on the Cam in 1838, and The Oxford Boat in 1829, as well a facsimile of The Card of the Invitation to Dinner, a Plan of the Tables, and two vignettes titled The Old Style and The New Style. A copy of the ornate and decorated original letter press Menu is also tipped in.

‘The account of the dinner is followed by verbatim reports of the speeches, the text of two odes on the jubilee of the race, and alphabetical lists of Blues. The analytical appendices include summaries of the races, and lists of the schools, colleges, academic and athletic honours and subsequent professions of the oarsmen and coxswains. No less than 188 of 285 took Holy Orders.

Pages 131 to 201,
Old Blues and Their Battles, give a detailed account of each race by W. B. Woodgate, slightly altered by the compilers.’ – Brittain, Oar, Scull & Rudder . 
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Price HK$ 4,500



 
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