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Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo - Odoardo Beccari, F. H. H. Guillemard (editor)

1904 - Archibald Constable & Co Ltd, London - First Edition in English
An exceptionally clean and sharp copy of this important work by one of the great botanical explorers and naturalists of the nineteenth century, containing three folding maps and illustrated throughout with 61 black and white photographs, sketches and diagrams.

Odoardo Beccari (1843-1920), an orphan from Florence, studied at the universities in Pisa and Bologna, and after graduating spent a few months at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he met Charles Darwin, William and Joseph Hooker, and James Brooke, the first Rajah of Sarawak. The latter connection lead to him spending three years from 1865 to 1868 undertaking research in Sarawak, Brunei and other islands off present-day Malaysia and New Guinea. He made a second trip to New Guinea, this time with ornithologist Luigi Maria d'Albertis, in 1872, collecting many zoological specimens, especially birds of paradise, and ethnographic materials.
 
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Price HK$ 8,500



Among Primitive Peoples in Borneo - Ivor H. N. Evans

1922 - J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia - First Edition
A scarce and considered one of the best, early works on the tribes of Northern Borneo [Sabah]

With 21 black and white photographic plates and folding map.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



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



The Game Animals of India, Burma, Malaya, and Tibet. - R. Lydekker, J. G. Dollman

1924 - Rowland Ward, London - Second and Best Edition Revised by J. G. Dollman
The definitive work on the big game species of South Asia, Lydekker describes in detail the natural history and habitat of game types. He also includes numerous sporting vignettes and observations culled from the writings of sportsmen of the era.

Nine full page plates, four folding plates, and fifty seven text illustrations many full page.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



A Dictionary of the Malayan Language - William Marsden

1812 - printed for the author by Cox and Baylis, London - First Edition
A finely bound copy of this scarce important and innovative dictionary, using Malay phrases, customs, beliefs, and quotations from manuscripts in Marsden’s collection to describe the use and meaning of each word.

With interesting provenance, formerly owned by Jonas Daniel Vaughan [1825-1891] a prominent lawyer in Singapore, who attempted but ‘found the task of compiling a supplement to the Malay-English dictionary to be too complex’, as can be seen by his numerous pencil notes and marginalia in this copy. It was later owned by Dr. C. H. Wheeler a Singapore surgeon.

William Marsden DCL FRS (1754-1836) was a distinguished Irish orientalist, linguist, numismatist and pioneer in the scientific study of Indonesia. He joined the East India Company at the age of 16, and was sent to Sumatra. ‘While in Sumatra Marsden developed an academic interest in the Malay language and related tongues that was to last the whole of his life’. He began work on his dictionary in 1786, it was published together with his ‘
Grammar’ in 1812. ‘These were his most significant and enduring linguistic works. The dictionary, in particular, broke new ground in terms of methodology. Unlike many previous dictionaries and word lists, Marsden used Arabic characters for the Malay words and arranged the entries following the alphabetical order of the Arabic characters. Another innovation is the inclusion of examples of phrases from native sources, many of which were taken from manuscripts in his collection.’ - King’s College London, The Marsden Collection. 
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Price HK$ 19,000



Memoirs of a Malayan Family. Written by Themselves. Translated from the Original. - Inscribed - N. Muda, W. Marsden (translator)

1830 - Printed for the Oriental Translation Fund, London - First Edition
A very scarce copy of this little work, which was originally written 1756-66 concerning a Dutch East India Company settlement in Sumatra.

With wonderful provenance, as it is
inscribed by Marsden ‘For Charles Wilkins Esq. with the Translator’s love.’ In addition, tipped in is a hand-written note explaining that this book was gifted to Wilkins by Marsden, and then passed from Miss Lucy Wilkins to Felix Seddon, the writer of this note, and finally to his sister Harriet.

Not only was Marsden Wilkins’ solicitor as noted in the letter, but they were close friends. Sir Charles Wilkins was also an orientalist and founding member of the Asiatic Society, both men spoke numerous Asian languages fluently, and had spent many years in the orient. In 1807 Marsden married Wilkins’ daughter Elizabeth. As the letter indicates, the book was then passed on by Lucy Wilkins to Felix Seddon, Professor of Oriental Languages at King's college, London, another multilingual polyglot orientalist, who along with Wilkins had spent 15 years in India.
 
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Price HK$ 9,000



Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula - Walter William Skeat, Charles Otto Blagden

1906 - Macmillan & Co., London - First Edition
A large and comprehensive two volume ethnographic study on the manners, customs, religion, and language of the peoples of the Malay Peninsula.

Profusely illustrated. Skeats adds a bibliography of most of the early literature, consisting of mainly travelogues and reports by colonial administrators and a few scholarly journal articles.

‘Skeat went to much trouble to obtain a large and comprehensive collection of photographs for use as illustrations, which are an excellent record of aboriginal life in his time. He also wrote an Introduction entitled '
Environment', which is a first-rate description of the Malayan jungle and its flora and fauna as a habitat, and he also included a bibliography which, among other things, takes in the work of continental scholars of his day on Malayan aborigines.’ - [J.M. Gullick, The Skeat Collection, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford] 
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Price HK$ 3,800



1649 - Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, Amsterdam - First Edition
Two little volumes bound in one stunning contemporary vellum binding (11.9 x 6.5 cm), with additional engraved title page and folding out table.

Volume I contains the first comprehensive description of Japan from a European perspective, which Varenius based on a diversity of sources, without visiting Japan himself, together with a Latin translation of the first reliable work on Siam (Thailand, and provinces of Cambodia, Malaysia, and Burma) by Joost Schouten. Volume II contains a discourse on religion in Japan by Varenius, and his writings on diverse races and their religions (including Schouten on the religions of Siam), followed by short excerpts from
Leo Africanus on religion in Africa. 
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Price HK$ 7,800



 
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