China - Pictorial, Descriptive, and Historical. With some account of Ava and the Burmese, Siam, and Anam - Julia Corner

1853 - Henry G. Bohn, London - First Edition
A compilation of various writings on China, with steel engraved map, and 85 black and white woodcut illustrations. Beautifully bound in modern pictorial cloth.

A large portion of the writing is from Julia Corner’s
History of China, other authors include John Davis and Wells Williams. 
More details

Price HK$ 3,000



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.’
 
More details

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. 
More details

Price HK$ 15,000



Ah King - Six Stories - William Somerset Maugham

1933 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
"But human beings are incalculable and he is a fool who tells himself that he knows what a man is capable of."

A fine copy in bright sharp dust jacket.

Six short stories which, as Maugham explained in the preface, revolve around Ah King, a Chinese boy that he had as a servant to look after him during his trip to Borneo, Indo-China and Siam. It is to be a commemoration for the emotion that Ah King, who otherwise was placid and indifferent, showed when they were to part. The stories were set in places in which the two travelled together.
 
More details

Price HK$ 5,500



Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat - Edmund Roberts

1837 - Harper & Brothers, New York - First Edition
Important account of an early American embassy to the east. Roberts was appointed as special agent of the United States to negotiate treaties with Muscat, Siam, Cochin China and Japan. Includes about 120 pages describing the culture and business practices of China. 
More details

Price HK$ 7,500



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. 
More details

Price HK$ 7,800