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



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.
 
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Price HK$ 5,500



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



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. 
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Price HK$ 7,800