A Plain and Easy Account of British Fungi - M.C. Cooke

1898 - W. H. Allen and Co., London - Sixth Edition, Revised
An informative Victorian-era reference to British fungi, wonderfully illustrated with 20 full page colour plates of thirty-four species and numerous woodcuts throughout the text.

Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825-1914) was an English botanist and mycologist. From 1872 to 1894, he edited
Grevillea, a monthly periodical devoted to the study of mushrooms.

The word ‘esculent’ means ‘edible’.
 
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Price HK$ 700



From China to Hkamti Long - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1924 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - First Edition
In 1922-1923 the great plant hunter Kingdon-Ward travelled "westward from the Yangtze, across the narrow strip of the earth's crust where the great rivers of South-East Asia escape from Tibet and through the jungles which hide the headwaters of the mighty Irawaddi, Burma's great river" (from preface).

Illustrated with twenty one black and white photographs on 16 plates and a folding map outlined in colour to the rear.

‘The author's second attempt to march overland to India from Likiang, on the borders of Yunnan. He explored Yunnan and Szechwan in 1921, and Yunnan, Szechwan, Tibet and North Burma in 1922. This is a feat which had been performed only three times; in 1895 by Prince Henry of Orleans, with two companions; in 1906 by E. C. Young; and in 1911 by F. M. Bailey.’ (Yakushi).
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



The Lorette System of Pruning - Louis Lorette, W. R. Dykes (translator)

1925 - Martin Hopkinson & Company Ltd., London - First Edition in English
The classic work which revolutionized the pruning of fruit trees, rare in first edition and such nice condition. Illustrated with diagrams and photographic plates. 
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Price HK$ 900



Mountains and Moorlands - with The Sea Shore - New Naturalist Series No. 11 & 12 - W. H. Pearsall, C. M. Yonge

1950 - Collins, London - First Editions
Two finely bound first editions from the acclaimed ‘New Naturalist Series’.

The Sea Shore illustrated with 61 colour and 62 black and white photographic plates as well as 88 in-text illustrations.

Mountains and Moorlands with With 47 colour and 34 black and white photographs by John Markham, B. A. Crouch and others, and 48 maps and diagrams. 
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Price HK$ 1,500



The Naturalist in Manchuria - Arthur de Carle Sowerby

1922 - Tientsin Press, Tientsin - First Edition
A remarkably clean set in original illustrated cloth, profusely illustrated with three tipped-in colour plates, three folding maps, 127 black and white photographic illustrations on 79 plates, 38 black and white sketches on 9 plates, a folding black & white line drawing, and numerous in-text sketches and diagrams.

China-born Arthur Sowerby began his career as a naturalist by collecting specimens for the Museum in Tai-yuan Fu. In 1906, he was appointed to the staff of the Anglo-Chinese College at Tientsin as lecturer and curator of its Natural History Museum. In 1908, he joined American millionaire Robert Sterling Clark on an expedition into Shansi and Kansu provinces of north China for the Smithsonian Institute. This began a long association with Clark, who financed four expeditions into Manchuria from 1913 to 1915, during which Sowerby gathered new facts and made original observations on ‘
every type of country-wide and fertile plains, heavy coniferous forests, or lighter woods of deciduous trees, low, grassy hills, or high, rocky peaks, reeking swamps, the valleys of great rolling rivers, or lesser stream-cut ravines’.

Five volumes bound in three, titled:
Travel and Exploration; Mammals; Birds; The cold-blooded Vertebrates and Tunicates of the Manchurian Region; and The Invertebrates and Flora of the Manchurian Region.

 
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Price HK$ 32,000



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