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Typical Photographs of Burma – Burmese Life and Scenes -

Circa 1920 - Rowe & Co. Ltd., Rangoon
A nice tourist album produced for the luxury department store Rowe & Co., containing 111 photographs, each numbered and indexed. The majority of photographs have been accredited to Felice Beato, considered one of the first war photographers and well known for his work in Burma where he had his own studio.

Rowe & Co. whose beautiful building can be seen in the second photograph, was one of the British colonial emporia or department stores in Rangoon (as was Whiteaway, Laidlaw in Calcutta, Spencer's in Madras, Cargill's in Colombo and Lane, Crawford was in Hong Kong ). Established in 1866 as a drapers and general merchants by Mr RV Rowe, the Company published a 300-page illustrated catalogue four times annually, exhibiting wares from its various departments; of course, ladies' and gentlemen's outfitters, drapery, millinery, crockery & glassware, trunks, cutlery, watches & clocks, saddlery amongst others.
 
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Price HK$ 2,900



The Naked Island, with drawings made in Changi Prison Camp - Russell Braddon, Ronald Searle (illustrator)

1951 - Werner Laurie, London - First Edition
There were twenty-two steps altogether from the courtyard of the gaol up to the cells. I had got into the habit of counting those steps. Made them seem shorter, or easier. Anyway I had got into the habit of counting. And at the fourteenth I stopped, done. Because I could go no further, I lowered myself on to the step above me and took stock of my surroundings.

First edition in the delicate dust jacket, of Russell Braddon’s powerful chronicle of his four years as a Japanese prisoner of war after the brief, but disastrous, Malayan campaign of 1942, dramatically enhanced by the illustrations of his P.O.W. friend Ronald Searle. One of the first books to really go into the P.O.W. experience,
The Naked Island had sold over 1 million copies by the mid-seventies, and is still considered one of the finest books of its kind. 
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Price HK$ 1,300



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. 
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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.’
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



1878 - C. Kegan Paul and Co., London - First Edition
Written in the form of an autobiography, the work gives much information of early British-Burmese relations. The author served as Chief Commissioner of British Burma from 1867 to 1871.

Two volumes, beautifully illustrated with ten colour chromolithographic plates, two engraved portraits, five engraved plates, one plate of Burmese Writing, two in-text engravings, and a large colour engraved folding ‘
Map of Burma and Adjacent Countries with Routes of Various Explorers by Lieut. General Albert Fytche’ [68.5 x 42 cm], and additional contemporary colour map of ‘Farther India’ tipped in at rear of volume II. 
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Price HK$ 15,000



The River of Golden Sand, the narrative of a journey through China and eastern Tibet to Burmah - Captain William Gill, Edward Colborne Baber, Colonel Henry Yule

1883 - John Murray, London - First Edition Thus
Altogether his journey is one of the most successful and useful which has been performed ion Western China’ - Baron Von Richthofen.

The abridged edition of Captain William Gill’s remarkable account of his expedition from Chengdu, China through Sichuan, along the eastern edge of Tibet via Litang, and finally to Bhamo in Burma, a region little explored by westerners before him. Travelling by train through Europe, and then by sea to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, he reached the British legation at Peking in September 1876, before setting out on his five week journey. In 1879 Gill was awarded the Royal Geographical Society gold medal for his scientific work and maps made during this expedition. Gill describes in vivid detail the landscapes, cultures, societies, and settlements of the region, along with their political and economic systems

This edition was published after Gill’s death in 1882, and to it is added a memoir of Gill written by Henry Yule, in addition to his original Introductory essay detailing the exploratory history of the region and briefly outlining those of his friend Captain Gill. Certain portions were adjusted to bring the whole up to date, and a number of additional illustrations added, whilst the number of maps were reduced to two, including a large folding colour map of China showing Gill’s routes.
 
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Price HK$ 2,500



1947 - Longmans, London - Third Edition
The standard history of Burma, based on Burmese chronicles and on Western archival sources, focusing on everything from politics to dynastic events.’

Three works on Burmese History bound into a charmingly petite volume for Charles Booth, British diplomat who served in Burma three times between 1950 and 1978.

Harvey’s ‘
Outline of Burmese History’ contained in the compilation was once considered the definitive work on the subject. The educational tone set by the first work is carefully balanced with the wonderful and exhilarating account of Gribble’s near death trek across the country during the Japanese invasion in 1942, based primarily on the author’s diaries and letters that he was able to retain during his travels. 
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Price HK$ 1,800



The Lacquer Lady - Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse

1930 - The MacMillan Company, New York - First Edition
‘Fanny, white, draggled, and almost speechless, arrived to find a Mission House already frantic with alarm. No reliable news had escaped the Palace, but everyone in the kalā town knew that murder and perhaps wholesale massacre was abroad’

A lovely copy in an uncommonly bright dust jacket, the novel was inspired by the author’s trip to Burma, and based on the true story of King Thibaw’s downfall in 1870. Seen through the eyes of naive, yet destructive, Fanny Patterson, we witness the decay of an empire, as the king brings a crucial ultimatum to the British army, resulting in the occupation of Mandalay a fortnight later, with devastating consequences for all of Burma.
 
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Price HK$ 4,000



 
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