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.

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.

Brooke 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?’. 
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Price HK$ 9,000



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



The Handbook of Sarawak. Comprising historical, statistical and general information concerning the Colony obtained from official and other reliable sources and compiled - B. A. St. J. Hepburn

1949 - Printed for the Government of Sarawak, Singapore - First Edition
Produced shortly becoming a British Crown Colony, after the cessation of the Brooke dynastic administration, this is a detailed and profusely illustrated work, with photographic plates combined with many fascinating pages of local advertisements. To the rear there is a large [75 x 71 cm] folding map of Sarawak [Sarawak Series 7, First Edition, Nov. 1949]. 
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Price HK$ 1,500



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



Sepia - Owen Rutter

1926 - George H. Doran Company, New York - First Edition
One of the first works of fiction based in North Borneo. It's a story about a newly arrived British government officer's experiences and his struggles to find a woman to love. The book was subsequently published under the title "Passion Fruit." Rutter was a civil servant employed in British North Borneo and wrote several non-fiction works about Government and the people of what is now Sabah. [k@borneo] 
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Price HK$ 1,000



Golden Rain - Owen Rutter

1928 - Longmans, New York - First Edition
‘Against a background of Borneo jungle Mr. Rutter has told a story of a white girl and a native chief. A war is provoked by the stupidity of an English official. Adventure, fighting and vivid delineation of human character are blended. It is a story that Mr. Conrad would have loved to tell. Mr. Rutter has his own effective way of developing this tale of a beautiful, violent, and mysterious land.’ - [publisher] 
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Price HK$ 900



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



Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo - John Whitehead

1893 - Gurney and Jackson, London - First Edition
A beautiful copy of this stunningly illustrated and unsurpassed large folio containing 32 lithographed plates, comprising 11 natural history plates, hand-coloured and heightened with gum arabic, and 21 tinted lithographed views and ethnographic subjects, and with map and an additional 21 woodcut illustrations in the text.

The detailed narrative of John Whitehead's (1860-1899) travels from October 1884 to August 1888 in Borneo, Java, Palawan and Balabac Islands, especially of his three efforts (the last one successful) to ascend Mt. Kina Balu. He brought back examples of many new animals, including no fewer than forty-five new species of birds. The author's primary interest was ornithology, but he also provides much information on head-hunting, religion and custom of the peoples of the region. Besides visiting North Borneo he spent several months in Java and Palawan, and made an expedition into the state of Malacca.
 
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Price HK$ 40,000