A Voyage Round the World, In the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. - George Anson, Richard Walter

1748 - Printed for the Author, London - First Edition
A finely bound ‘Royal Paper’ copy of this beautifully illustrated work which ‘has long occupied a distinguished position as a masterpiece of descriptive travel’ (Hill), and ‘a model of what such literature should be’ (Cox).

Containing forty-two copper-engraved maps, charts, views, and coastal profiles, all but one folding, including views of Brazilian harbours and cities, Acapulco, Tenian, Port St. Julian, Magellan’s Straits, the Bay of Manila, Saipan, Lama, Lantau, Chinese junks, and others, and large folding maps of South America, the Philippines, and the Pacific Ocean, as well as a twelve-page subscriber list, and the two-page instructions to the binder.

England, at war with Spain in 1739, equipped eight ships under the command of George Anson to harass the Spaniards on the western coast of South America for the purpose of cutting off Spanish supplies of wealth from the Pacific area. Seven ships were lost and of 900 men 600 perished. As usual, scurvy took an appalling toll.

The Spanish fleet sent to oppose the British ran into storms; provisions ran out and many ships were wrecked. Thus the primary objective of the expedition was not attained. Anson, however, continued taking prizes off the Pacific coast during 1741-42, and in June 1743, near the Philippines, he captured the Spanish galleon
Nostra Seigniora de Cabadonga and its treasure of £400,000 sterling, which allowed Anson and the surviving members of his crew to reach England much the richer. 
More details

Price HK$ 59,000



Natural History of the Strait of Magellan and West Coast of Patagonia - Robert O. Cunningham

1871 - Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh - First Edition
A superior example of the first edition, illustrated with folding colour map and 21 lithograph plates, some in colour.

‘The Scottish naturalist Robert O. Cunningham (1841-1918) began his 1866 voyage to South America in inclement weather, and, by the eleventh day of travel, noted a 'pond' forming in his tiny cabin aboard HMS Nassau. With never-failing humour, Cunningham presents here a record of the zoological, botanical and geological observations made across the three years he spent at sea.

As the ship's naturalist (recommended for the post by Joseph D. Hooker), his time was given wholly to research and exploration, and his findings are both fascinating and thorough. Included are his anecdotal records of seamen's slang, research into the history of the changing landscapes he visited, which had been previously documented by travellers as diverse as Drake and Darwin, statistical data on various species of animals and plants, and numerous original images. An absorbing testament of the breadth of the explorer-naturalist's interests. [C.U.P.]
 
More details

Price HK$ 7,800



Brazil and the Brazilians, Portrayed in Historical and Descriptive Sketches - Rev. D. P. Kidder, Rev. J. C. Fletcher

1857 - Childs &, Philadelphia - First Edition
A finely bound first edition of this classic early work on Brazil, which combined Kidder’s earlier more academic work with Fletcher’s anecdotal style.

Illustrated throughout with 150 wonderful engravings and maps of the area, and a frontispiece engraving of Dom Pedro II (Emperor of Brazil), and two hand-coloured plates. A delightful work in excellent condition.
 
More details

Price HK$ 3,500



Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes - Richard Spruce, Alfred Russel Wallace

1908 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition
A superior first edition set of one of the great 19th century travel and botanical works on the Amazon, compiled and with a biography by his friend the great Alfred Russel Wallace, 15 years after Spruce’s death. In publisher’s original cloth, seven maps (four of which are folding), over 70 engraved illustrations, and the wonderful frontispiece portrait of Spruce.

Having previously embarked on a collecting expedition to the Pyrenees, backed by Sir William Hooker and George Bentham, the botanist Richard Spruce (1817–93) travelled in 1849 to South America, where he carried out unprecedented exploration among the diverse flora across the northern part of the continent. After his death, Spruce's writings on fifteen fruitful years of discovery were edited as a labour of love by fellow naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), whom Spruce had met in Santarém. The work includes many of the author's exquisite illustrations. Showing the determination to reach plants in almost inaccessible areas, Spruce collected hundreds of species, many with medicinal properties, notably the quinine-yielding cinchona tree, as well as the datura and coca plants.
 
More details

Price HK$ 15,000