Cadet to Commodore - Albert B. Armitage

1925 - Cassell and Company, London - First Edition
‘This fine personal record shows us the spirit of the British Merchant Service in peace and war, and repeats the unchanging call of the sea. Late Commodore of the P. & 0. Co.'s fleet, Captain Armitage (1864-1943) was not too late, in his early days, to learn the hard discipline of sails, " to shoot the sun," and take a trick at the wheel. Going " into steam," he rose rapidly in rank and took part in two Polar expeditions, with Scott on the Discovery Expedition as second in command, and on the Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition to meet up with Nansen.

Here are amusing experiences of passengers, royal or otherwise. We like the alluring advertisement of a small steamship company—" A Surgeon, a Stewardess and an Experienced Cow." The cow, -presumably, knew all about the crying needs of infants-in-arms.’ - from
The Spectator review of October 1925. 
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Price HK$ 1,400



The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook Round the World. - Captain James Cook

1821 - Longman, London
A handsomely bound seven volume set of all of Cook’s three voyages. Illustrated with twenty five striking aquatint plates, including frontispieces in each volume, large folding map, and a table.

‘The famous accounts of Captain Cook’s three voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors had done together. He was really the first scientific navigator and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge’. [Hill]

On his first voyage, 25 August 1768 to 12 July 1771, Cook circumnavigated New Zealand and for the first time explored the east coast of Australia, of which he took possession for Great Britain; he also sailed through the straits separating New Guinea and Australia. On the second, and historically most important, voyage (13 July 1772 to 30 July 1775) he began by cruising as far south as possible around the edge of the antarctic ice. He again visited New Zealand and, cruising through the Pacific, discovered, or explored again, many of the islands, in particular New Caledonia, Palmerston and Norfolk Islands, Easter Island, the Marquesas, New Hebrides, Tonga, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia. The third voyage (11 July 1776 to 4 October 1780) was undertaken to find the North-West Passage from Europe to the East. After again visiting Tasmania, New Zealand and many Pacific Islands, Cook sailed on to North America, discovering on the way the Cook Islands and the Hawaiian group. He charted the North American coast from Oregon as far north as the Bering Strait, where ice turned him back. On the way back the great explorer was killed [in 1779] in a fight with natives in Hawaii.
 
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Price HK$ 62,000



The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook, with "The Death of Captain Cook" Plate - James Cook, John Hawkesworth, James King

1773 - Strahan, London - Second Edition, First Edition, Second Edition
A complete set of the best possible editions, superbly bound in full tree calf and with the additional ‘Death of Captain Cook’ drawn by the John Weber who witnessed the dispute and ensuing fight. Eight quarto volumes and the elephant folio volume of plates. Magnificently illustrated with two hundred and five engraved charts and plates, many of which are double page or larger.

There is no greater set of travel works, Cook was the first scientific navigator, these three voyages made great contributions to numerous fields of knowledge,, and did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than his predecessors had done together [Hill].

The first voyage is in its second and best edition, complete with the ‘
Directions for placing the cuts’ and the ‘Chart of the Straights of Magellan’, and with the new Preface containing Hawkesworth's virulent eight-page reply to Dalrymple's whining reviews of the first edition, and the whole volume revised by the voyage's astronomer William Wales.

The third voyage is in its second and best edition, with the printing by Hughs (rather than Strahan who printed the first edition) with the text itself entirely re-set. Isaac Smith presenting a set on behalf of Cook's widow in 1821 noted that '
I am desired by Mrs Cook to request your acceptance of the 4 books sent herewith being her Husbands last Voyage round the World, as a mark of her respect the letter press of the second edition being much superior to the first both in paper & letter press' (quoted by Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography, 85). King George III's copy of the official account, preserved in the British Library, is also an example of this second edition. This particular set with variant title pages, dated correctly, but without edition statement or vignette of Royal Society medal. 
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Price HK$ 430,000



Night Without End - Alistair MacLean

1960 - Collins, London - First Edition
An airliner crashes in the Polar ice-cap. In temperatures 40 degrees below zero, six men and four women survive. But for the members of a remote research station who rescue them, there are some sinister questions to answer - the first one being, who shot the pilot before the crash?

A stunning copy.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



Captain Scott's Message to England - Robert Falcon Scott

1913 - St. Catherine's Press, London - First Edition
A nice copy of this memorial to Scott, containing ‘Scott’s Last Message’ quoting from the last pages of Scott’s diary, obituaries and tipped-in photographs of Scott, Oates and Bowers,; a photograph of a ‘Group of Officers on board the “Discovery”’ ; the patriotic poem ‘England’s Debt’, followed by ‘A Brief Record of the Dead

Normally found in poor condition.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



The Voyage of the 'Discovery' - Captain Robert F. Scott C.V.O., R.N.

1905 - Smith, London - First Edition, First Impression
‘With 260 full-page and smaller illustrations by Dr. E. A. Wilson and other members of the expedition, photogravure frontispieces, 12 coloured plates in facsimile from Dr. Wilson’s sketches, panoramas and maps.’.

A bright sharp set of the first edition first impression, chronicling Scott's first journey to Antarctica, from 1901 to 1904. The first major British effort in the Antarctic.

‘During this journey, Scott became the first man to see the South Polar ice cap and achieved a new 'farthest south' record. He explored the continent from the air via balloon and made a trip across the frozen wastes with Ernest Shackleton. In
Voyage of the ‘Discovery’, the only work he lived to see published, Scott tells of his exciting and at times horrifying journey, in which he and his men faced blizzards, snow-blindness, the deaths of two crewmates, and a ship so trapped by ice that only dynamite could free it’.

Scott’s account of the ‘Discovery’ expedition was commissioned by the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society. Scott was unsure of his writing ability, but the work was published to great acclaim in 1905, feeding the public’s enthusiasm for polar exploration. It also helped to pay the expedition’s outstanding debts.
 
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Price HK$ 9,500



1913 - Smith, London - First Edition
‘A worthy memorial of one of the great achievements of our time.’ – Winston Churchill

An exceptionally bright and clean set of the first edition, describing Scott's final, fateful and fatal journey in quest of the South Pole. Both volumes are illustrated with numerous plates from photographs by H. G. Ponting, plates from sketches and water colours by Edward A. Wilson, some colour; photogravure frontispiece portraits of Scott & Wilson, and two large folding maps.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more – R. Scott – For God's sake look after our people

Volume I containing the diaries of Scott, including the letters written to Wilson's mother, Bowers' mother, a string of notables including his former commander Sir George Egerton, his own mother and his wife, together with his ‘
Message to the Public’. Without these diaries, which were found on Scott’s body, we would never have known Oates’ immortal line ‘I am just going outside and may be some time’. 
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Price HK$ 7,500



South - The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 - Ernest Shackleton

1919 - William Heinemann, London - First Edition, First Impression.
A legendary account of leadership. It was on this expedition that the marooned Shackleton made his famous voyage in a 22-foot boat with five companions through 800 miles of some of the stormiest seas in the world, finally reaching South Georgia and a Norwegian whaling station [Spence].

With 86 full page plates, and large folding map to the rear, many classic photographs existing only due to the stubbornness of Hurley, Shackleton’s photographer, in refusing to leave the plates behind to conserve energy and food.

Formerly owned by Vice-Admiral Sir William Gladstone Agnew KCVO CB DSO. This is a particularly nice copy of a book that is notorious for the cheap paper quality and binding used in the first edition, prone to heavy toning, rubbing of silver lettering and splitting of binding.
 
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Price HK$ 38,000