Through Shên-kan. The Account of the Clark Expedition in North China 1908-9 - Robert S. Clark, Arthur De Carle Sowerby

1912 - T. Fisher Unwin, London - First Edition
An exceptional and mostly unopened example of this celebrated and profusely illustrated account of Robert Sterling Clark’s thirteen month expedition across China’s northern frontier, covering nearly 2,000 miles of largely uncharted territory, primarily on mule and horseback. Beginning in Taiyuan in Shanxi province, Clark and his team, which included the young naturalist Arthur de Carle Sowerby, traversed “Shên-kan” (the provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu), with the intention of creating a detailed topographical map of the expedition route, study the animals native to the region, and collect meteorological and geological data.

With over sixty-five photographic plates, six tipped-in colour plates, a map of the region outlined in colour, and a large folding map (96 x 51.5 cm) housed in a pocket at the rear.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



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



Mountains and Moorlands - with The Sea Shore - New Naturalist Series No. 11 & 12 - W. H. Pearsall, C. M. Yonge

1950 - Collins, London - First Editions
Two finely bound first editions from the acclaimed ‘New Naturalist Series’.

The Sea Shore illustrated with 61 colour and 62 black and white photographic plates as well as 88 in-text illustrations.

Mountains and Moorlands with With 47 colour and 34 black and white photographs by John Markham, B. A. Crouch and others, and 48 maps and diagrams. 
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Price HK$ 1,500



1712 - for R.Bonwicke, London - First Edition in English
A complete two volume first edition in English of the most important illustrated book on medicinal plants and animals during the 17th century, and among the first to act as a handbook to apothecary. It includes a catalogue of seeds brought back from America,

Amongst the 86 magnificent copper-engraved plates of over 400 images are descriptions and plates of sugar-refining, indigo & tobacco preparation, beekeeping, and silk-manufacture.

Pierre Pomet (1658-99), apothecary to the French court, was a renowned and much travelled chemist and botanist. He opened a `drug-house' in Paris and taught botany at the Jardin des Plantes. He was distinguished by his knowledge of all manner of materia medica. Physician to Louis XIV.

Louis Lemery
(1677-1743), doctor and chemist, brilliant son of the distinguished chemist Nicolas Lemery. Physician to Louis XV.

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, (1656-1708), French botanist and physician, a pioneer in systematic botany, whose system of plant classification represented a major advance in his day and remains, in some respects, valid to the present time. 
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Price HK$ 24,000



The Naturalist in Manchuria - Arthur de Carle Sowerby

1922 - Tientsin Press, Tientsin - First Edition
A remarkably clean set in original illustrated cloth, profusely illustrated with three tipped-in colour plates, three folding maps, 127 black and white photographic illustrations on 79 plates, 38 black and white sketches on 9 plates, a folding black & white line drawing, and numerous in-text sketches and diagrams.

China-born Arthur Sowerby began his career as a naturalist by collecting specimens for the Museum in Tai-yuan Fu. In 1906, he was appointed to the staff of the Anglo-Chinese College at Tientsin as lecturer and curator of its Natural History Museum. In 1908, he joined American millionaire Robert Sterling Clark on an expedition into Shansi and Kansu provinces of north China for the Smithsonian Institute. This began a long association with Clark, who financed four expeditions into Manchuria from 1913 to 1915, during which Sowerby gathered new facts and made original observations on ‘
every type of country-wide and fertile plains, heavy coniferous forests, or lighter woods of deciduous trees, low, grassy hills, or high, rocky peaks, reeking swamps, the valleys of great rolling rivers, or lesser stream-cut ravines’.

Five volumes bound in three, titled:
Travel and Exploration; Mammals; Birds; The cold-blooded Vertebrates and Tunicates of the Manchurian Region; and The Invertebrates and Flora of the Manchurian Region.

 
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Price HK$ 32,000



Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West - Wallace Stegner, Bernard DeVoto

1954 - Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston - First Edition
A fine first edition of Wallace Stegner’s epic work, with an introduction by Bernard DeVoto.

With a large folding panoramic frontispiece painting of the Grand Canyon by William H. Holmes, and illustrated throughout from engravings, paintings, sketches, maps, and photographs.

Stegner recounts the successes and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest.

‘This book goes far beyond biography, into the nature and soul of the American West. It is Stegner at his best, assaying an entire era of our history, packing his pages with insights as shrewd as his prose.’ – Ivan Doig.

‘Wallace Stegner ... has summarized the frontier story and interpreted it as only one who was a part of it could do. The result is a memorable and rewarding book.’ – Hal Borland,
New York Times Book Review. 
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Price HK$ 4,500



The Genesis of the Diamond - Alpheus F. Williams

1932 - Ernest Benn Limited, London - First Edition
A fine set of this 'truly monumental work of increasing scientific importance, not so much for its information on the diamond and its mining as for its detailed studies of the petrology and mineralogy of kimberlitic pipe-fillings. Such treatment of originally deep-seated mantle-derived rocks was well ahead of its time.

The significance of Williams' studies escaped even himself, and certainly most others. The lukewarm reception accorded the book resulted in an issue of relatively few copies and the book is now difficult to find.' - Capt. John Sinkankas [7224].

Two large volumes illustrated throughout, 31 photographic coloured plates, 306 black & white photographic plates, tables, maps and diagrams.
 
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Price HK$ 3,500