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Days and Nights of Shikar - Mrs. W. W. Baillie

1921 - John Lane, London and New York - First Edition
‘Mrs Baillie seems to have been an incurable big-game hunter. She was married to a clergyman stationed in the Deccan; from there (rarely accompanied by the gentle padre) she made expeditions as far afield as Chamba in the Himalaya and Dharwar towards the south, in search of trophies to bring home to England.

‘This book is less bloodthirsty, than many; the worst moments in it are not concerned with the poor animals’ appointment with death, but with the author's own, which she managed to postpone twice at the very last minute.

‘The first time was on a night shoot from Bilaspur, near Simla. She had placed a goat’s carcass as a decoy under the hammock; unfortunately, just as an obliging tiger was approaching, the hammock string snapped and bowled Mrs Baillie into the mess below. Meanwhile the tiger fled away.

‘A closer shave involved a black bear, who caught our heroine as she fell from a rock, first chewing her leg and then making off with her head–for which it luckily mistook her sola topi, The leg healed after five weeks in hospital, and nothing daunted, Mrs Baillie lived to shoot another day.’ – Jane Robinson,
Wayward Women. 
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Price HK$ 900



The Game-Birds of India, Burma and Ceylon - E. C. Stuart Baker

1921-30 - The Bombay Natural History Society, London - Second Edition
Three volume set of Baker’s exhaustive work, in the original publisher’s bindings, and Illustrated throughout with sixty magnificent full page colour plates by H. Gronwold, G. E. Lodge, and J. G. Keulemans, eighteen black and white full page plates, two maps, and individual illustrated title pages.

Originally begun as a series of articles in the
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, in 1918 Baker gathered the first series of articles ‘Indian Ducks and their Allies’ into a book, however ‘due to the war and the resulting dislocation’ the remaining articles where not published in book form. Thus in 1921 he republished ‘Ducks and their Allies’ with improved plates and the addition of a ‘very large amount of information’ that ‘has been published’ since he was originally in India. In 1921 volume II ‘Snipe, Bustards and Sand-Grouse’ was published for the first time followed in 1930 by volume III ‘Pheasants and Bustard-Quail’. 
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Price HK$ 4,200



Selections from the Popular Poetry of The Hindoos - Thomas Duer Broughton (editor translator)

1814 - Printed by Whittingham and Rowland for John Martin, London - First Edition
A pretty and scarce first edition of the first published anthology of Hindi Poets. Internally fine and unopened. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



1912 - Macmillan & Co., London - Edition de Luxe, first to be illustrated by Warwick Goble
A stunning large vellum bound collection of twenty-two traditional Bengal Fairy tales, the ‘Edition de Luxe’ limited to 150 copies, enchantingly illustrated with thirty-two colour plates by Warwick Goble tipped on to brown paper each with a lettered tissue guard.

Collected and translated by the Bengali journalist and missionary Reverend Lal Behari Day (1826-94) and first published in 1833, this edition of 1912 was the first to combine the tales with Warwick Goble’s magical drawings.
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



“Tried Favourites.” Being a collection of Recipes by some Mamsahibs of Bombay together with Menus and useful Information to House=keepers of both sexes - Mrs. Fett

1928 - Published in aid of A Special Branch of Y.W.C.A. Work. Printed at The Industrial Press, Bombay - First Edition
When the Memsahib has chewed off the end of her pencil in her effort to think of “something different” – and when the cook has achieved his blankest and most aloof expression then will this little book be triumphantly brought forth and opened at the “MENU” pages, and calm will be restored ! !

Rare little work, which not only provides recipes and menus but also prie lists of the Bombay market, details on domestic servants, stores, and more. With a number of wonderfully illustrated advertisements targeting the modern Memsahib.
 
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Price HK$ 900



Sport on the Nilgiris and in Wynaad - F. W. F. Fletcher

1911 - Macmillan & Co., London - First Edition
‘Fletcher introduces both the terrain and the history of the Nilgiris and Wynaad regions in India, then provides big game chapters on a species-by-species basis. Each of these chapters features not only the natural history of the animals, but also the author's experiences hunting them. Included are chapters devoted to elephant, tiger, leopards, bison, beer, tahr, ibex, sambur, and other deer species.

Fletcher switched from a .450 rifle to a .600 Jeffery: “
In cold blood the recoil from his rifle is somewhat severe; but in the excitement of shooting it is not noticeable.”’ - Czech.

Illustrated with 18 plates, and folding coloured map as frontispiece.
 
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Price HK$ 2,200



Illustrations of the Literature and Religion of the Buddhists - Brian Houghton Hodgson

1841 - Self-published – Bound at the Baptist Mission Press, Serampore - First Edition in Book Form
Hodgson’s rare and important work – the first collected edition of papers on the literature and religion of Buddhism – fifteen in total, originally published in Transactions and Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and London, and which for the first time revealed to the West the Sanskrit literature of northern, or Mahayana, Buddhism, which had been preserved in Nepal. For the collection Hodgson adds a preface and many footnotes.

Features two folding lithographed alphabet tables. Interestingly, Hodgson published this book in Serampore, at the time a Danish colony, it would have been printed at the former Serampore Mission Press, set up by the Baptist missionary William Carey, which closed in 1837 merging with the Baptist Mission Press, where this copy was also bound (see small bookplate to front pastedown).

Hodgson later reprinted 12 of the 15 papers as part one of
Essays on the Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet (1874), the second part being on the tribes and geography of Nepal and Tibet, and in 1880 he published Miscellaneous Essays Relating to Indian Subjects (2 volumes, 1880), containing his papers on Indian languages and ethnology.

Brian Houghton Hodgson (1801-1894) was a pioneering naturalist and ethnologist working in India and Nepal, where he was a British civil servant. He arrived in Calcutta in 1818, and while observing local institutions and commerce, also studied Sanskrit, Nepali (a language closely related to Bengali or Hindi) and Newari, the Tibetan-Burman tongue of the Kathmandu Valley’s indigenous inhabitants. He published more than 200 articles in journals and newspapers, writing extensively on Nepal and the Himalayas, and became an avid collector of Sanskrit manuscripts and Tibetan printed volumes, of which he donated around 400 of these to various libraries in Britain, France, and Germany, and to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. Hodgson’s contributions to Nepalese studies were the first significant effort by anyone of his stature, and still cited today.
 
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Price HK$ 16,500



Culinary Jottings: A Treatise in Thirty Chapters on Reformed Cookery for Anglo-Indian Exiles - Colonel Kenney-Herbert “Wyvern”

1885 - Higginbotham & Co., Madras - Fifth Edition
A scarce example of this popular cook book by ‘Wyvern’, expanded and revised from the first edition (’Culinary Jottings for Madras)published seven years earlier. All early editions are scarce because being a working cook book it is prone to all the usual issues that modern cookbooks are also in danger of, combined with the original cheap paper and glues used for its production in Madras.

With numerous chapters including two on ‘
Our Curries’ and ‘Curries and Mulligatunny’, as well as ‘Camp Cookery’, ending with a fascinating essay about the British kitchens of India.

Recipes include helpful hints and advice, for example ‘
Potted Prawns ought to be oftener seen at Madras than they are’ and suggestions on where to purchase the best potted meats, anecdotes (see ‘Mulligatunny’), a complete chapter titled ‘Notes on Curing of Meat’.

Published by legendary Indian book sellers Higginbotham’s, this work and other titles by ‘Wyvern’ ‘swept Higginbotham’s from being just a book establishment into becoming a part of India’s print and publishing history’ [
Bangalore Mirror] 
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Price HK$ 3,800



 
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