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A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour - Samuel Rush Meyrick

1824 - Robert Jennings, London - First Edition
A beautifully illustrated huge three volume folio set of this landmark work.

Illustrated with three additional engraved titles and eighty engraved plates from Meyrick’s own paintings, seventy of which are hand coloured many embellished with gilt and silver, and twenty seven large hand-coloured and gilt historiated initials. Additional copies of colour plates XLV and LI laid in.

‘This most superb archeological work is animated with numerous novelties, curious and historical disquisitions, and brilliant and recondite learning... Sir Walter Scott justly describes this collection as the “incomparable armory, plates as fine as the monuments of Westminster Abbey. Really and truly the work is admirably executed, and deserves every eulogy"’. (
Edinburgh Review, quoted in Lowndes).

With the history of the wars of mankind, obviously, and from the remotest periods, it is connected; with the mythology and sacred rites of almost all nations and religions; with the rise and progress of a large portion of the arts; with questions of jurisprudence and civil polity; and with some of the most favorite amusements of all ranks in antient, as well as modern, times’. (preface). 
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Price HK$ 22,000



The English Lakes (In the neighbourhood of Keswick and Penrith) - Nelson

1868 - T. Nelson &, London - First Edition
12 Chromolithograph plates of the area. Original blue cloth, lettered and blocked in gilt with a colour-printed and varnished paper title in the centre panel.

Nelson's began colour printing in 1857 and `over the next two years greatly improved their use of just five inks to create extremely convincing full-colour chromolithographs.' Gascoigne discusses their `Series of views', attractive collections of souvenir prints for tourists, at some length and notes that they were frequently updated to reflect changes. He also states that Nelson launched their series of `Pictorial guide-books' in 1869 bound in paper covers.
 
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Price HK$ 1,200



Life and Writings of Thomas Paine - Thomas Paine, Daniel Edwin Wheeler (editor)

1908 - Vincent Parke and Company, New York - Independence Edition of the Centenary Issue
These are the times that try men's souls

Elegantly bound ten volume set of the de luxe independence edition, number 166 of just 500 hand-numbered sets signed by the editor Daniel Edwin Wheeler, published to celebrate the centenary of Paine's death.

Included are Paine’s ‘
Common Sense’, ‘The American Crises’, ‘The Rights of Man’, and ‘The Age of Reason’, as well as essays, letters and speeches. Each volume with three photogravure or facsimile plates, as well as a frontispiece, title-pages printed in two colours, autographed limitation leaf to volume one.

‘On January 10, 1776, an obscure immigrant published a small pamphlet that ignited independence in America and shifted the political landscape of the patriot movement from reform within the British imperial system to independence from it. One hundred twenty thousand copies sold in the first three months in a nation of three million people, making
Common Sense the best-selling printed work by a single author in American history up to that time. Never before had a personally written work appealed to all classes of colonists. Never before had a pamphlet been written in an inspiring style so accessible to the “common” folk of America.’ - Jack Miller Center. 
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Price HK$ 35,000



The Masonic Offering, A Gift for All Seasons. Faith, Hope, Charity. - Rev. John Perry, Paschal Donaldson (editors)

1854 - Lamport, New York - First Edition
An ornately bound first edition of thus remarkable book featuring a selection of Masonic stories, histories, poems, and guidance, illustrated with eight full page lithographic pates and wonderful chromolithograph (colour) title page.

Scarce in such nice condition.
 
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Price HK$ 7,500



History of the Royal Residences - William Henry Pyne

1819 - Printed for A. Dry, London - First Edition
A beautiful and luxurious first edition of one of the most ambitious aquatint books to be published on English interiors. Three finely bound volumes containing one hundred exquisite hand-coloured plates with accompanying text.

This celebrated work was the first to illustrate royal palaces and houses in any detail: volume I is a valuable record of the state rooms of Windsor Castle formed for Charles II, and concludes with the more domestic scenes of Frogmore, purchased by Queen Charlotte as a country retreat in 1793; volume II is devoted to Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace; volume III's subjects are St James's Palace and Carlton House; the twenty plates devoted to the Prince Regent's residence depict what were regarded as the most spectacular interiors in Regency London.
 
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Price HK$ 80,000



Antiquarian, Architectural, and Landscape Illustrations of the History of Java - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles

1844 - Henry G. Bohn, London - First Thus
Magnificent large quarto volume of illustrations with great provenance, formerly from the library of Admiral Sir James Gordon (1782-1869) who served as a Midshipman under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, and went on to command ships during the later stages of the Napoleonic Wars. He eventually attained the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, and is considered to be one of the main inspirations for C.S. Forester's character Horatio Hornblower, alongside Thomas Cochrane, George Cockburn and others.

This separate volume of topographical, archaeological, linguistic and anthropological plates was published in 1844 to accompany the 1830 second edition of Sir Stamford Raffles’ landmark work ‘
The History of Java’, including twenty four additional plates not found in the first edition of 1817.

With 92 illustrated plates, including 10 fine hand-coloured aquatints and a very large folding map. No text. In the publisher’s original gilt and red cloth binding.
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



The History of the World, in Five Books - Sir Walter Raleigh, John Shirley

1677 - Printed for Robert White, London - Tenth Folio Edition
Magnificently bound folio, the first to contain the additional ‘Life of the Author’. Illustrated with the memorable engraved allegorical frontispiece, engraved portrait of Raleigh, six double page engraved maps, two double page engraved battle plans, three in-text schematics, twenty-six pages of chronological tables, and a title page printed in red and black.

‘Among the noblest of literary enterprises. Throughout it breathes a serious moral purpose. It illustrates the sureness with which ruin overtakes "great conquerors and other troublers of the world" who neglect law, whether human or divine, and it appropriately closes with an apostrophe to death of rarely paralleled sublimity.’

‘Too Saucy in Censuring Princes’ - King James on confiscating all unsold copies and suppressing further sales, several months after publication.

Written whilst imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1603 to 1616 and intended to outline historical events from creation to modern times, drawing on the Bible, Greek mythology, and other sources. Raleigh dedicated it to the young Prince Henry, his patron and supporter who was trying to secure his release from prison. The prince's death in 1612 discouraged Raleigh, and the book ends abruptly with the second Macedonian War instead of continuing through two more volumes as originally intended. Raleigh was released from the Tower in 1616 to lead one final expedition to South America, but his men attacked a Spanish outpost and he was executed upon his return in 1618.
 
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Price HK$ 25,000



Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character - Inscribed - Edward B. Ramsay

1871 - Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh - Twentieth Edition
A fine inscribed edition, magnificently bound by Bayntun-Rivière of Bath.

First published in 1857, and extended throughout Ramsay’s life, it consists of his personal recollections, anecdotes and opinions. In addition to the entertaining preface, chapters cover
Scottish Religious Feelings, Old Scottish Conviviality, The Old Scottish Domestic Servant, Humour Proceeding from Scottish Expressions Including Scottish Proverbs, and Scottish Stories of Wit and Humour.

An important association copy, inscribed by Ramsay to Doctor Robert Carruthers of Inverness, with Ramsay’s hand written note going on to say that this ‘
is the 20th edition and I suppose to be my last - the concluding part from page 316, on the subject of a “closer union amongst Christians is entirely new in the Edition’. Dr. Carruthers is also thanked by Ramsay in the introduction (see page X). This work actually went through a further two editions before Ramsay’s death in 1872 
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Price HK$ 5,500



 
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