Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-General of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China - John Crawfurd

1830 - Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, London - Second Edition
Crawfurd’s intelligent and comprehensive account of his mission to Siam and Vietnam via Singapore and Malaysia, volume one being his narrative of the mission itself, whilst volume two describes the people, places, customs, manners and other observations made during that time. In original boards and spine, full margins and partially unopened. Profusely illustrated throughout, with engraved maps, engraved plates some of which are large fold-out panoramas, and woodcuts.

‘In 1821 Crawfurd, then based in Calcutta, was appointed to head a mission to Siam and Vietnam, with the primary objective of opening up commerce. He made little headway with the suspicious local authorities and achieved no political and little commercial advantage, despite instructions to seek trade on liberal terms without demanding the exclusive privileges customary in the past. But the official report, which he submitted on his return to Calcutta in December 1822, provided invaluable information.’
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



The Eastern Seas - George Windsor Earl

1837 - Wm. H. Allen and Co., London - First Edition
A very important association copy, with the signature of Margaret, Lady Brooke. Earl was a strong admirer of Raffles, who had died in 1826’ and Earl’s book ‘greatly impressed James Brooke, who was also an admirer of Raffles and his writings’. Brooke’s prospectus for his voyage to Singapore and then Borneo (published in October 1938), reflected the influence of Earl’s book.

Brooke later encouraged the work of Wallace, whose ‘
Wallace Line’, showing the boundary between Asian and Australian faunal regions, was critical to Wallace and Darwin’s evolutionary theory. But the ‘Line’ had been earlier presented to the Royal Geographical Society by Earl in 1845, and Wallace acknowledged that ‘Earl believed that there had been a former connection between Asia and Australia’. Darwin also wrote to Wallace, after reading a draft of his paper on Malay zoogeography, to ask: ‘Are you aware that Mr. W. Earl published several years ago the view of distribution of animals in Malay Archipelago in relation to the depth of the sea between the islands?’.

An entertaining and insightful work, with extensive chapters on Indonesia, Borneo, Malaysia, and Singapore, as well as a lengthy treatise in the Appendix titled ‘
Observations on the Commercial Resources of the Indian Archipelago’. Illustrated with four folding maps. 
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Price HK$ 15,000



The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel

1846 - Chapman and Hall, London - Second Edition
Keppel and Brooke, a friendship that united two of the most accomplished, unorthodox, and tactically brilliant mariners to Command, or in Brooke’s case ‘Commandeer’ the British navy around the ‘pirate’ infested waters of Borneo in the mid 19th century.

Two volumes, profusely illustrated with lithographed frontispiece, nine tinted lithographic plates, three folding engraved plans, three folding engraved maps, and a folding table. Published in the same year as the first but with a large additional appendix and many revisions.

The first volume concerns itself with Brooke's exploits in Sarawak from 1838-42, prior to his meeting with Keppel. Brooke attempted to open Borneo for foreign trade and tried to pacify the tribes. As a reward for success in the latter endeavour, he was given his title in 1841. Volume two recounts the military exploits of Brooke, Keppel, and Sir Edward Belcher, who occasionally came to Keppel's aid; gives a geographical overview of Borneo; and includes accounts of the Dyaks, the aboriginal Bornean tribes.
 
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Price HK$ 6,500



Borneo and the Indian Archipelago. With Drawings of Costume and Scenery - Frank S. Marryat

1848 - Longman, London - First Edition
A superbly illustrated work on Indonesia, and Rajah Brooke, with additional detail on Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

Illustrations include a chromolithographed colour frontispiece and additional title, twenty tinted lithographic plates, and thirty-seven woodcuts. Many of Marryat’s expertly lithographed drawings represent the earliest ethnographical records of life in Borneo and the Indian Archipelago

Frank Marryat served as a Midshipman on board the H.M.S. Samarang on a surveying expedition to the Indian Archipelago, 1843-1846, cut short in consequence, as Mr. Marryat infers, of the ill-conditioned behaviour and unpopularity of her captain, Sir Edward Belcher.
 
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Price HK$ 21,000



The History of Java - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles

1817 - Printed for Black, London - First Edition, Large Paper Copy
A beautiful set of this landmark work, in stunning contemporary presentation full calf bindings. One of only 250 ‘large paper’ copies, printed on Balston’s superior paper. These copies were printed first and the impressions of the coloured plates are in an exceptionally bright state.

‘In 1817 appeared the monumental work of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. He was interested in every aspect of his subject, and devotes whole sections to Javan ethics, literature, poetry, music and musical instruments, drama, games of skill and methods of hunting, besides the more ordinary matters of interest, population, natural history, religion, antiquities, and the military system. At the end of the second volume a hundred and fifty pages are given up to the comparative vocabularies of Java and the neighbouring islands, and the whole is a unique monument erected by a great ruler to those over whom he rules, and incidentally, to his own honour, stands very high in its own class and the aquatint plates are full of interest’ - Prideaux.

‘The marriage of a scientifically original text with beautiful illustrations by an accomplished aquatint engraver resulted in a book about Indonesia of outstanding quality; indeed a masterpiece.’ - Bastin and Brommer.

Those illustrations include a large folding engraved
Map of Java outlined in colour, ten finely hand coloured aquatint costume plates engraved by William Daniell who visited the island in 1785 and 1793, two soft-ground etched frontispieces, nine engraved vignettes, and fifty six black and white plates which include one map, seven of temples (one of which is double page), two musical scores, ten of alphabets and inscriptions, one folding statistical table, eight of weapons and tools, two of musical instruments and masks, and twenty five others. 
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Price HK$ 0



RESERVED - 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