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Tai-Pan – A Novel of Hong Kong - James Clavell

1966 - Michael Joseph, London - First Edition
‘Grand entertainment…packed with action…gaudy and flamboyant with blood and sin, treachery and conspiracy, sex and murder…fresh and vigorous.’ —New York Times

Clavell’s memorably epic historical novel, the second in his series of Asian sagas. Set during the 1840s, it follows the changing fortunes of Dirk Straun, the ‘tai-pan’ of powerful trading company, The Noble House, as he guides the development of the desolate island of Hong Kong into a jewel of the British Empire. 
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Price HK$ 2,600



The China Coast – Signed - Ivon A. Donnelly

1931 - Tientsin Press, Tientsin - First Edition
Boldly signed by Donnelly on the front free endpaper.

A wonderful account of voyages on China’s coast and waterways, Profusely illustrated throughout with Donnelly’s charming line sketches, six wonderful full page colour plates from water colours, and nine maps. With a poem by Joan Power at the end of each section.

Chapters on the Gulf of Pechili, Taku Bar, the Yellow Sea, the Yangtze estuary, the Chusan archipelago, and the South China Sea.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



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



China, Its Marvel and Mystery - T. Hodgson Liddell

1909 - George Allen & Sons, London - First Edition
A large, scarce, and nicely illustrated work with forty colour plates from paintings by Liddell.

"
I undertook this journey to China solely to paint pictures of a country I had during all my life heard a great deal of, and, in my book, I try to convey my impressions as an artist."

The journey took Liddell to Hong Kong, Macau, Canton, Shanghai, Soochow, Hangchow, a short spell in Japan to avoid the summer heat, Pei-Tai-Ho, Tientsin, and Peking where he is issued with an edict by the Empress Dowager allowing him to visit the Summer Palace and paint there.
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



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



 
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