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



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



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