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La Montre Chinois. Relations de l’Horologie Suisse avec la China - Alfred Chapuis, Gustave Loup

1919 - Attinger Frères, Neuchatel - First Edition
A superb and fine copy, text in French, illustrated with 33 colour and black & white plates, and 245 half-tone illustrations. Included is an introduction on ‘L’Horométrie et le Système cosmologique des Chinois’ by Léopold de Saussure.

A survey of European cosmological instruments and mechanical amusements introduced to the Chinese Imperial Court from the 14th century, and the elaborate Swiss timepieces made for that market in Europe and in China, the first seeming to be by Francois-Louis Stadlin, a Swiss Jesuit in China from 1707-1740. The whole is referenced with texts from the contemporary writings of ambassadors, merchant traders and churchmen; preceded by de Saussure’s essay on ancient Chinese cosmology.

Prominent Swiss makers included Charles de Constant in the 18th century and the Bovet family in the 19th century, and many examples of their timekeepers could be found in the imperial palaces.

Formerly owned by Le Comte Alain de Suzannet.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



A Treatise on Cobbett's Corn - William Cobbett

1828 - By William Cobbett, London - First Edition
In 1820 on returning from the United States, were he had fled fearing arrest for his arguably seditious writings, Cobbett established a plant nursery at Kensington, where he trialed a dwarf strain of maize he found growing in a French cottage garden which grew well in England’s shorter summer. To help sell this variety, Cobbett published Treatise on Cobbett’s Corn. Charmingly written, including anecdotes of his travels through America, and the farming techniques and people he encounters there. The title and contents pages are printed on paper made from the husks and stalks of ‘Indian Corn’ (Maize).  
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Price HK$ 2,500



The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook Round the World. - Captain James Cook

1821 - Longman, London
A handsomely bound seven volume set of all of Cook’s three voyages. Illustrated with twenty five striking aquatint plates, including frontispieces in each volume, large folding map, and a table.

‘The famous accounts of Captain Cook’s three voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors had done together. He was really the first scientific navigator and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge’. [Hill]

On his first voyage, 25 August 1768 to 12 July 1771, Cook circumnavigated New Zealand and for the first time explored the east coast of Australia, of which he took possession for Great Britain; he also sailed through the straits separating New Guinea and Australia. On the second, and historically most important, voyage (13 July 1772 to 30 July 1775) he began by cruising as far south as possible around the edge of the antarctic ice. He again visited New Zealand and, cruising through the Pacific, discovered, or explored again, many of the islands, in particular New Caledonia, Palmerston and Norfolk Islands, Easter Island, the Marquesas, New Hebrides, Tonga, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia. The third voyage (11 July 1776 to 4 October 1780) was undertaken to find the North-West Passage from Europe to the East. After again visiting Tasmania, New Zealand and many Pacific Islands, Cook sailed on to North America, discovering on the way the Cook Islands and the Hawaiian group. He charted the North American coast from Oregon as far north as the Bering Strait, where ice turned him back. On the way back the great explorer was killed [in 1779] in a fight with natives in Hawaii.
 
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Price HK$ 62,000



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$ 430,000



The Wild Life of Scotland - James Hunter Crawford

1896 - John Macqueen, London - First Edition
A beautiful copy, illustrated throughout by John Williamson.

Including chapters on bird life, the moors, marine mammals and fish, the stag, lochs and the Shetlands.

 
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Price HK$ 1,200



Highland Sport - A Grimble

1894 - Chapman and Hall Ltd., London - First Edition
A large and beautifully bound work Illustrated with eleven full page plates by Archibald Thorburn.

Personal recollections and views on fishing and shooting in the highlands of Scotland.

Grimble was the first to call for a close time to the Salmon fishing season in Scotland after witnessing the alarming drop in catch, and rise in netting technology and quantity. He was successful.
 
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Price HK$ 4,200



Bird Notes in Angus and in the Far North - Douglas G. Hunter

1934 - By the Editor, Arbroath - First Edition
Edited by Rev. John Adams, B.D. Illustrated with many full page black and white plates, as well as in text drawings.

Inscribed by the daughter of Douglas G. Hunter. Nice bookplate.
 
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Price HK$ 1,200



Voyage dans les Mers de l'Inde - Guillaume Joseph Le Gentil de la Galaisière

1779 - Imprimerie Royale, Paris - First Editions
‘Two monumental volumes... crammed with details on astronomy, navigation, and natural history... His descriptions of life in Manila, Pondicherry, and Madagascar are invaluable’ (Dunmore).

A stunning set In contemporary bindings and illustrated with twenty seven folding copper engravings showing two world maps, maps charts and plans of Eastern and Western Philippines, Bay of Manila, Philippine Harbours, Manilla, Madagascar and it’s coastline, Isle de France (Mauritius), Isle de Bourbon (Réunion), Quartier S. Denis on Réunion, Eastern and Western Straits of Malacca, and Pondicherry. Together with engraved plates of animals and plant life, the ruins of Pondicherry, pagodas, Indian deities, and charts of comets and constellations.

‘In addition to the scientific details for which the voyage was undertaken, the first volume treats of the manners, customs, and religion or the people of the Malabar Coast and of the astronomy of the Brahmins. The second volume contains elaborate accounts of the Philippine Islands, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bourbon and their inhabitants, including views and charts of the Philippines. Le Gentil gives details of the Islands, their climate, volcanoes, fertility, fruits, birds, animals, peoples, language, history, and description of Manila, the government, ecclesiastical and civil, commerce, &c.’ (Edwards).
 
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Price HK$ 37,000



 
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