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List of the Higher Metropolitan and Provincial Authorities of China - Walter C. Hillier

1889 - Kelly & Walsh, Shanghai
The second printing of this publication which continued to be regularly updated and published until 1907.

Large quarto (31 x 25 cm) giving details of Chinese officials, positions held (with dates), rank, education, relations, where they were originally from (Manchu, Hunan, Yunnan, etc). The last two pages being a separate listing for the members of the Tsung-Li Yamên (the Chinese Foreign Ministry).
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



1857 to 1858
The original hand written journal of Captain Robert Jenkins, during his time as Commander of HMS Actaeon for the year 1857 and HMS Comus in 1857, both ships active off the coast of China, mostly around Canton. Included is a hand drawn and water coloured sketch of Chinese villagers being forced to kowtow to the Union Jack. Finely bound in contemporary black calf and brass locks.

HMS Actaeon was commissioned in 1857 to serve as a survey vessel off the coast of China, under the command of Captain William Thornton Bate. She was present at the bombardment of Canton in 1857,where Bate was shot and killed on 29th. December. Captain Robert Jenkins took over the command of the ship and his journal refers to the bombardment of Canton, surveying factories, disputes over land between British and Chinese merchants. It also covers skirmishes with armed junks and defence of the Barrier. Locations include Hong Kong ,Canton, Macao and Amoy.

According to the Journal it appears that Jenkins was wounded seriously on June 30th 1858, and on September 16th ‘Joined Commander J Ward, [vice?] Captain R Jenkins discharged to Half Pay’, September 18th ‘I went to Shanghai with Commander Ward’, from wence Jenkins travelled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Galli, Aden, Alexandria, Malta, Gibralter, Falmouth, arriving in Southampton 19th November, one month after leaving Shanghai.

(29 x 23.5 cm) pp. 46 [1st January to 31st December 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus] 10 [Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus] 8 [January 1-19th, last days as Commander of HMS Comus] 92 [January 20th to 19th November as Commander of HMS Actaeon] [4] 8 [Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Actaeon] 47 blank pages. Paper watermarked ‘1852’ ‘Fellows’.
 
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Price HK$ 130,000



Hong-Kong to London; or Our New Road Home from China. by the author of "A reminiscence of Canton", &c. - Peter George Laurie

1872 Circa - Simmons & Co., London - First Edition
A fine and rare travelogue of an expatriate’s journey home from the Far East in the 1870’s. With his signature to the title page.

This is no twelve hour Cathay business class flight for Peter Laurie [1838 - 1912] who worked with Jardine Matheson & Co. as an agent in Hong Kong, then Shanghai.

The twelve month journey begins with ‘
a good blow down the China Sea to Singapore, and fine weather thence to Penang and Calcutta’. Then overland on the new main railway line from Calcutta to Benares, which he describes as in a state of incompletion, with the stations not yet finished. From Benares they tour India on the old railway lines between Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow, and Delhi, returning to Allahabad. The final leg of the recenyl completed Calcutta to Bombay rail link, took them through Jubbulpore ‘the junction of the two great Indian railways’ (a combined network of 4,000 miles). This route was one inspiration for Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.

Interlaced with Laurie’s details of the railways are thoughts and observations on the recent Indian rebellion and the sieges of both Cawnpore and Lucknow and subsequent massacres.

Embarking on one of the Peninsular & Oriental Company’s steamers, Laurie proceeds direct through the Suez Canal to Port Said and then Alexandria.

Squeezed into the last two pages is the final leg, being passage to Brindisi, rail through Europe - Rome, Florence, and ‘
owing to the Franco-Prussian war, and the impossibility of passing through France’, Venice, Munich, Cologne, Brussels, and they ‘are once again in “Merrie England”’ 
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Price HK$ 8,000



China and Japan, and A Voyage Thither; an Account of a Cruise in the Waters of the East Indies, China, and Japan - James B. Lawrence USMC

1870 - Case, Hartford - First American Edition
A scarce work in the form of letters covering Lawrence’s service in the marine corps on the US Steamer Wachuset, sailing from Boston in 1865 through the West Indies, via South America, the Cape and up to Java, arriving in Hong Kong to join the Asiatic Squadron in March 1866. The majority of this work covers his two years service mostly in China, with a short description of Japan of about 50 pages. Lawrence later served as a surgeon in the Army.

Very personal and interesting observations of the people, places and happenings throughout his tour. With nine full page illustrations.
 
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Price HK$ 2,900



Borneo and the Indian Archipelago. With Drawings of Costume and Scenery - Frank S. Marryat

1848 - Longman, London - First Edition
A superbly illustrated work on Indonesia, and Rajah Brooke, with additional detail on Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

Illustrations include a chromolithographed colour frontispiece and additional title, twenty tinted lithographic plates, and thirty-seven woodcuts. Many of Marryat’s expertly lithographed drawings represent the earliest ethnographical records of life in Borneo and the Indian Archipelago

Frank Marryat served as a Midshipman on board the H.M.S. Samarang on a surveying expedition to the Indian Archipelago, 1843-1846, cut short in consequence, as Mr. Marryat infers, of the ill-conditioned behaviour and unpopularity of her captain, Sir Edward Belcher.
 
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Price HK$ 21,000



On a Chinese Screen - William Somerset Maugham

1922 - William Heinemann, London - First English Edition
Maugham spent the winter months of 1919 travelling fifteen hundred miles up the Yangtze river. Always more interested in people than places, he noted down acute and finely crafted sketches of those he met on countless scraps of paper. In the resulting collection we encounter Western missionaries, army officers and company managers who are culturally out of their depth in the immensity of the Chinese civilisation. Maugham keenly observes, and gently ridicules, their dogged and oblivious persistence with the life they know [from the introduction to the Penguin Vintage Edition). In total 58 sketches.

A near fine and mostly unopened copy.
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



The Treaty Ports of China and Japan. A Complete Guide to the Open Ports of Those Countries, Together with Peking, Yedo, Hongkong and Macao. Forming a Guide Book & Vade Mecum for Travellers, Merchants, and Residents in General. - Wm. Fred. Mayers, N.B. Dennys, Chas King.

1867 - Trübner & Co. / A. Shortrede and Co., London / Hong Kong - First and only edition
As trade between the East and the West grew in the mid-nineteenth century, increasing numbers of Westerners travelled to China and Japan, and in 1867 this guide to the key port cities such as Hong Kong and Nagasaki was published in both Hong Kong and London. Its editor, Nicholas Belfield Dennys (1813-1899) claimed it was the first such comprehensive handbook printed for public distribution. Intended for visitors and new residents, the guide was originally typeset in China, allowing place names and other words to be printed in Chinese characters.

The book includes physical descriptions and brief histories of twenty three Chinese cities and six Japanese cities, details of schools and libraries, population statistics and much practical information, as well as a list of other publications on China and Japan. Published shortly after the major expansion in Treaty Ports effected by the Second Opium War in China (1858 -1860) and the Harris Treaty in Japan (1858).

A complete copy of this rare guide book, a fascinating and detailed study of 23 ports in China and 6 in Japan, The 28 fragile and specially commissioned maps, engraved in China, 27 of which are printed in red, are almost invariably missing from the few copies which turn up. In addition to the invaluable maps, the book is a mine of information on every imaginable facet of China. It is also one of the best early sources of information on Hong Kong.
 
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Price HK$ 45,000



A Short Account of the remarkable clock made by James Cox in the Year 1766 by Order of the East India Company for the Emperor of China - William Meyrick

1868 - Printed by Wertheimer, London - One of three known copies.
One of only three copies believed to have been printed, Illustrated with a full page engraving of the clock, and four engraved in-text vignettes.

James Cox, a most prolific clock and watchmaker of the late seventeenth century was commissioned by the East India Company in 1766 to produce a pair of elaborate clockwork automata as a gift for the Qianlong Emperor (1711-99). This is the rare privately published account of one of the pair, which is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the second piece has never been found.

Each clock was made of gold in the form of a chariot embellished with rubies and diamonds (dimensions of the remaining clock at the Met - 26 × 16.2 × 8.3 cm). A woman sits atop the chariot with one arm resting on the clock, the face of which is signed ‘Jas Cox London”. A small bird that flutters rests on the finger of one hand; in the other is a circular rotating ornamental piece atop a fluted rod. A double umbrella is mounted overhead, surmounted by a jewelled dragon. At the front of a chariot by the feet of the female figure sits a dog made of gold; nearby two small birds (which are attached to springs) pop up and appear to fly away from the chariot. A small figure of a man in Oriental dress supports one end of the chariot as if pushing it.
 
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Price HK$ 180,000



 
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