A Pilgrimage To Nejd - Lady Anne Blunt

1881 - John Murray, London - First Edition
First edition of the second of Lady Blunt’s two classic travel accounts, in publisher’s original gilt pictorial cloth, and describing the journey that she and her husband, the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, made in the winter of 1878–7, across the Nejd from Beirut, south into the Great Nefud, north to Baghdad and east to the Persian Gulf. Lady Anne was the first European woman to reach the Nejd and, together with her husband, they were the first Europeans to enter the Jebel Shammar in the Nejd. At Hail they met the Emir who received them courteously, having recently knifed his nephew and cut off the feet of his cousins, leaving them to bleed to death.

With over 30 black and white illustrations including fifteen wood-engraved plates, and large folding colour map.

‘To find out how the Bedouin lived, Lady Anne lived like one herself: she became a temporary nomad, riding the two thousand miles from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf for the most part in Arab dress, and without guides or the usual caravan. This was quite an innovation, and prompted Blunt to dub his wife ‘the first bona-fide tourist who has taken the Euphrates road'. - Jane Robinson,
Wayward Women. 
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Price HK$ 12,000



The Borders and Beyond - Abel Chapman

1924 - Gurney and Jackson, London - First Edition
A bright copy of this informative work of field exploration and natural history in Northumberland and the Anglo-Scottish borderlands.

Hunter-naturalist Chapman includes chapters on the British red grouse, the wildfowl of the north east coast, a search for the ‘moorland nymph’, salmonology, seagulls, woodcocks and herons, ravens, and the otter, together with a commentary on ‘modern zoology’, and extensive particulars on the migrations and plumage-phases in certain waders, to which he gave the name ‘Globe-Spanners’.

Profusely illustrated throughout with seventeen wonderful colour illustrations (on fourteen plates) by W.H. Riddell, twenty one black and white plates, two folding maps, and 170 sketches by the author.
 
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Price HK$ 1,000



The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook, with "The Death of Captain Cook" Plate - James Cook, John Hawkesworth, James King

1773 - Strahan, London - Second Edition, First Edition, Second Edition
A complete set of the best possible editions, superbly bound in full tree calf and with the additional ‘Death of Captain Cook’ drawn by the John Weber who witnessed the dispute and ensuing fight. Eight quarto volumes and the elephant folio volume of plates. Magnificently illustrated with two hundred and five engraved charts and plates, many of which are double page or larger.

There is no greater set of travel works, Cook was the first scientific navigator, these three voyages made great contributions to numerous fields of knowledge,, and did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than his predecessors had done together [Hill].

The first voyage is in its second and best edition, complete with the ‘
Directions for placing the cuts’ and the ‘Chart of the Straights of Magellan’, and with the new Preface containing Hawkesworth's virulent eight-page reply to Dalrymple's whining reviews of the first edition, and the whole volume revised by the voyage's astronomer William Wales.

The third voyage is in its second and best edition, with the printing by Hughs (rather than Strahan who printed the first edition) with the text itself entirely re-set. Isaac Smith presenting a set on behalf of Cook's widow in 1821 noted that '
I am desired by Mrs Cook to request your acceptance of the 4 books sent herewith being her Husbands last Voyage round the World, as a mark of her respect the letter press of the second edition being much superior to the first both in paper & letter press' (quoted by Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography, 85). King George III's copy of the official account, preserved in the British Library, is also an example of this second edition. This particular set with variant title pages, dated correctly, but without edition statement or vignette of Royal Society medal. 
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Price HK$ 500,000



Natural History of the Strait of Magellan and West Coast of Patagonia - Robert O. Cunningham

1871 - Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh - First Edition
A superior example of the first edition, illustrated with folding colour map and 21 lithograph plates, some in colour.

‘The Scottish naturalist Robert O. Cunningham (1841-1918) began his 1866 voyage to South America in inclement weather, and, by the eleventh day of travel, noted a 'pond' forming in his tiny cabin aboard HMS Nassau. With never-failing humour, Cunningham presents here a record of the zoological, botanical and geological observations made across the three years he spent at sea.

As the ship's naturalist (recommended for the post by Joseph D. Hooker), his time was given wholly to research and exploration, and his findings are both fascinating and thorough. Included are his anecdotal records of seamen's slang, research into the history of the changing landscapes he visited, which had been previously documented by travellers as diverse as Drake and Darwin, statistical data on various species of animals and plants, and numerous original images. An absorbing testament of the breadth of the explorer-naturalist's interests. [C.U.P.]
 
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Price HK$ 7,800



1912 - George Allen &, London - Early Illustrated Edition
A large and beautifully illustrated volume. With thirteen mounted coloured plates by Edward Julius Detmold, whose love of natural history and talent (exhibiting works at the Royal Academy when he was 13 years old), have combined perfectly with Maeterlinck’s exuberantly poetic work, in which he expresses his philosophy of the human condition.

The renowned Belgian poet and dramatist offers brilliant proof in this, his most popular work, that ‘
no living creature, not even man, has achieved in the centre of his sphere, what the bee has achieved.’ From their amazingly intricate feats of architecture to their intrinsic sense of self-sacrifice, Maeterlinck takes a ‘bee's-eye view’ of the most orderly society on Earth. 
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Price HK$ 4,500



Mountain Monarchs : Wild Sheep & Goats of the Himalayas - George B. Schaller

1977 - University of Chicago Press, Chicago - First Edition
First edition in elusive dust jacket. The first detailed behavioural study of mountain ungulates in a little studied region - the Himalaya. Illustrated throughout.

In 1968, the intrepid George Schaller began a three year study in the vast mountainous and forested regions of Central and Southern Asia, focusing his research on six species of wild sheep and goat – Punjab urial, Persian wild goat, markhor, Himalayan tahr, Nilgiri tahr, and bharal, or blue sheep.

During part of his travels through the Himalayas to study the bharal, or blue sheep, and to possibly to catch a glimpse of the rare and elusive snow leopard, Schaller was accompanied by writer Peter Matthiessen, who would later write his own account of the journey in his award-winning book,
The Snow Leopard, referring to Schaller throughout the work as ‘GS’.

Schaller is indeed one of only two Westerners known to have seen a snow leopard in Nepal between 1950 and 1978.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



The Gentleman's Stable Directory or Modern System of Farriery - William Taplin

1791 - G. G. J. and J. Robinsons, London - The Tenth Edition, Considerably Enlarged and Carefully Corrected.
Two volumes in fine contemporary bindings, volume I with an engraved portrait of Taplin. The second volume contains "Experimental Remarks upon Breeding, Breaking, Shoeing, Stabling, Exercise, and Rowelling. To which are added, particular Instructions for the General Management of Hunters and Road Horses; with Concluding Observations upon the present State of the Turf".

During the latter part of the eighteenth century there appears to have been a considerable demand for veterinary knowledge, and William Taplin (d.1807), part of a group of British surgeons who switched to become veterinarians, sailed on this tide into a fortune by selling medicine for horses by agencies all over the kingdom and advertising them by means of his books.
 
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Price HK$ 7,500



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