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The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton - Gilbert White

1900 - Macmillan and Co. Limited, London - Library of English Classics Edition
A Bayntun-Riviere bound edition of Gilbert White’s best known work – Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne – his compilation of letters written to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, both leading naturalists of their day, in which he discusses his observations and theories regarding the local flora and fauna in a charming, thoughtful, and immediate style.

One of the most published books in the English language, it ‘delighted both Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin’ and has never been out of print since its first appearance in 1789.

‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986. 
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Price HK$ 1,200



Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo - John Whitehead

1893 - Gurney and Jackson, London - First Edition
A beautiful copy of this stunningly illustrated and unsurpassed large folio containing 32 lithographed plates, comprising 11 natural history plates, hand-coloured and heightened with gum arabic, and 21 tinted lithographed views and ethnographic subjects, and with map and an additional 21 woodcut illustrations in the text.

A detailed narrative of John Whitehead's (1860-1899) travels from October 1884 to August 1888 in Borneo, Java, Palawan and Balabac Islands, especially of his three efforts (the last one successful) to ascend Mount Kina Balu. He brought back examples of many new animals, including no fewer than forty-five new species of birds. The author's primary interest was ornithology, but he also provides much information on head-hunting, religion and custom of the peoples of the region. Besides visiting North Borneo he spent several months in Java and Palawan, and made an expedition into the state of Malacca.
 
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Price HK$ 40,000



The Genesis of the Diamond - Alpheus F. Williams

1932 - Ernest Benn Limited, London - First Edition
A fine set of this 'truly monumental work of increasing scientific importance, not so much for its information on the diamond and its mining as for its detailed studies of the petrology and mineralogy of kimberlitic pipe-fillings. Such treatment of originally deep-seated mantle-derived rocks was well ahead of its time.

The significance of Williams' studies escaped even himself, and certainly most others. The lukewarm reception accorded the book resulted in an issue of relatively few copies and the book is now difficult to find.' - Capt. John Sinkankas [7224].

Two large volumes illustrated throughout, 31 photographic coloured plates, 306 black & white photographic plates, tables, maps and diagrams.
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



The Eastern or Turkish Bath - Erasmus Wilson, F.R.S.

1861 - John Churchill, London - First Edition
An interesting little work by the English surgeon and dermatologist Sir Erasmus Wilson (1809-84), for whom we can owe in great measure the habit of a daily bath. In 1869 he founded the chair and museum of dermatology in the Royal College of Surgeons, of which he was chosen president in 1881. Wilson also paid to bring the landmark Egyptian obelisk to London, after the Government refused to do so citing high transport costs.

With seven engravings in the introduction.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



 
Results 33 - 36 of 36 results