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A Treatise on Cobbett's Corn - William Cobbett

1828 - By William Cobbett, London - First Edition
In 1820 on returning from the United States, were he had fled fearing arrest for his arguably seditious writings, Cobbett established a plant nursery at Kensington, where he trialed a dwarf strain of maize he found growing in a French cottage garden which grew well in England’s shorter summer. To help sell this variety, Cobbett published Treatise on Cobbett’s Corn. Charmingly written, including anecdotes of his travels through America, and the farming techniques and people he encounters there. The title and contents pages are printed on paper made from the husks and stalks of ‘Indian Corn’ (Maize).  
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Price HK$ 2,500



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



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.]
 
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Price HK$ 7,800



The Riddle Of The Tsangpo Gorges - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1926 - Edward Arnold &, London - First Edition
A near fine example of this important work, describing the period spanning 1924-25, during which Kingdon-Ward made what was probably his most famous and successful expedition, in the company of Lord Cawdor, to Bhutan and south-east Tibet, during which, in addition to ‘The Riddle’, related to the existence, or not, of the ‘Falls of Brahmaputra’, he collected ninety-seven varieties of rhododendron, and the first viable blue poppy seed.

The Brooke-Hitching copy, housed in custom slipcase. Illustrated with a folding coloured map, and 21 photographs on 16 plates.
 
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Price HK$ 16,000



The Lorette System of Pruning - Louis Lorette, W. R. Dykes (translator)

1925 - Martin Hopkinson &, London - First Edition in English
A rare first edition of this classic work which revolutionised the pruning of fruit trees, profusely illustrated throughout with a total of 129 photographs and diagrams. First published in French in 1914, and then into this First Edition in English in 1925. 
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Price HK$ 2,200



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.
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



A Treatise on Cyder-Making - Hugh Stafford, Anonymous

1753 - Printed for E. Cave, London - First Edition
Legendary and rare first edition of this anonymous work, all of which is generally but erroneously attributed to Hugh Stafford who contributed the sixteen page ‘Dissertation on Cyder and Cyder-Fruit’ at the beginning.

Covering the entire process from identifying and growing the best cider apples, collection, pressing, fermentation, racking, preserving and remedial action for a variety of issues ‘
which are incident to Cyder’. With fold-out engraving of cider press (opp. p.32), in-text wood-cut diagrams to pages 43 and 68 (‘One side of the framed Press...’.) and wood-cut decorations to pages v, 47, and 61.

As Cyder therefore is generally allowed to be an wholesome drink, and as it is the natural product of our own country, he will surely be thought to contribute something towards the good of the public, who gives infallible directions for making it universally agreeable by varrying it so as to suit every palate, and by improving the flavour and the quality, both of the rough and the smooth, divesting it of its tendency to produce cholics, and giving it the sparkle of Champaign, without an eager and windy fermentation, and rendering it more spirituous than a small wine tho' less inflaming’. [Preface]

An influential work, Benjamin Franklin, who was partial to a drop himself, ordered three copies to be reprinted as pamphlets and distributed amongst the New England farmers after failing with their vineyards. It was plagiarised into various publications including encyclopaedias, cookbooks and later reference works related to cider.
 
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Price HK$ 42,000



 
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