Swimming - The All-England Series - Martin and J. Racster Cobbett

1891 - George Bell & Sons, London - First Edition
A scarce superb copy of the first edition. With 60 illustrations.

Wonderfully written in the Victorian manner, with chapters headings which include:
floating; parlour practice; the kick; the racing stroke; tricks; plunging and diving; sea-bathing; and an appendix with Directions issued by the Royal Society for restoring the apparently dead. 
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Price HK$ 1,800

“Plate-Swimming” with Notes on the Science of Natation - R.H. Wallace-Dunlop

c. 1877 - George Routledge and Sons, London - First Edition
‘What are “swimming-plates”? is the natural inquiry of a stranger to the system, and its answer may be prefaced by an extract from the manufacturer’s circular describing their aim and object, or what they effect.’

What are swimming-plates indeed! A likely question even today, more than 140 years since the publication of this rare, informative and rather amusing little book on the benefits of swimming with ‘plates’ and ‘flippers’, which according to the manufacturer’s description ‘give marvellous float power, diving power, endurance, and speed to swimmers’.

Illustrated throughout, and with a detailed appendix, including a list of London swimming baths, and directions for ‘Restoring the Apparently Dead’ from drowning, suffocation, and ‘narcotic poisoning’, as recommended by The Royal Humane Society.
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Price HK$ 1,200

RESERVED - The Art of Swimming - Captain Matthew Webb, A. G. Payne (editor)

1875 - Ward, London - First Edition (Published in two formats)
Rare and important little (10.6 x 18.3 cm) work. Captain Matthew Webb (1848-83) was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids. On August 24 1875, smeared with porpoise oil and wearing a red silk costume, Webb dived off from Dover Pier. He reached Calais, having been forced by adverse currents to swim 64 km in order to complete the straight-line crossing of 34 km, in a little under 22 hours.

This is the first account of that swim, and Webb’s earlier attempt, contributed by sports editor Arthur Gay Payne. As well as this, there is a chapter on the author’s life, including some of his early experiences as a sailor and a rather unfortunate scuffle with two Chinamen during a stop in Hong Kong, together with informative chapters on various swimming styles, advice on diving and swimming in the surf, and other records of recent and remarkable swimming feats. Webb’s final feat, an attempt to cross the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls in 1883, cost him his life.

Illustrated with coloured lithographic frontispiece portrait of Webb, and three full page engraved plates.
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Price HK$ 2,800