Himalayan Journals - Joseph Dalton Hooker

1854 - John Murray, London - First Edition
Finely bound first editions of this landmark work of Himalayan literature, and one of the earliest accounts of Himalayan exploration. British botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Hooker’s fascinating journal recounts his expedition through Sikkim and East Nepal Himalaya between 1847 and 1851, as well as recording his numerous, detailed botanical observations. During his expedition Hooker also attempted to climb Donkia and Kinchinjhow, on one occasion reaching between 19,000 and 20,000 feet – higher than any other European before him.

Hooker dedicated his journals to his close friend, Charles Darwin, who he had first met prior to embarking on a voyage to the Antarctic in 1839, and later assisted with the classification of plants collected in South America and the Galåpagos.

Wonderfully illustrated throughout, with twelve coloured chromolithographs (one folding) mostly from Joseph Hooker’s original sketches, one woodcut plate printed in red, 79 black and white woodcut engravings (both full page and in-text), large folding ‘
Map of part of Bengal, The Himalaya & Tibet’ (with coloured inset showing ‘The Course of Yangma River’ and four smaller black and white insets ), and a large folding ‘Map of Sikkim and Eastern Nepal’ with Hooker’s routes outlined in colour. Together with an appendix with details of meteorology, climate, humidity, and a table of elevations of the areas travelled.

This set was formerly owned by the accomplished water colour artist Colonel Charles J. Cramer Roberts of Darjeeling, with his signatures dated 1881. Later presented to the Lyceum Alpine Club in 1908 by a relative.
 
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Price HK$ 9,500



Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula - Walter William Skeat, Charles Otto Blagden

1906 - Macmillan &, London - First Edition
A large and comprehensive two volume ethnographic study on the manners, customs, religion, and language of the peoples of the Malay Peninsula.

Profusely illustrated. Skeats adds a bibliography of most of the early literature, consisting of mainly travelogues and reports by colonial administrators and a few scholarly journal articles.

‘Skeat went to much trouble to obtain a large and comprehensive collection of photographs for use as illustrations, which are an excellent record of aboriginal life in his time. He also wrote an Introduction entitled '
Environment', which is a first-rate description of the Malayan jungle and its flora and fauna as a habitat, and he also included a bibliography which, among other things, takes in the work of continental scholars of his day on Malayan aborigines.’ - [J.M. Gullick, The Skeat Collection, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford] 
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Price HK$ 3,800



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