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Her Majesty’s Navy including Its Deeds and Battles - Lieut. Chas Rathbone Low FRGS

1890-93 - J. S. Virtue & Co., London - First Editions
A spectacular example of this splendid six large quarto volume set, illustrated with forty six full page colour plates, from pictures painted expressly for this work by W. Christian Symons and noted British naval and marine artist W. Fred Mitchell. In bright original navy blue cloth with gilt titles, red lettering, all edges gilt.

No Englishman could wish for a more inspiring theme than to record the deeds of the British Navy.’

Celebrating one thousand years of British naval history, beginning with King Alfred’s construction of a naval fleet, and their victory over the Danish fleet off the coast of Essex in the year 885, the final volume ending with the Navy’s support of the doomed ‘Nile Expedition’ to relieve Gordon at Khartoum in 1885. There is a supplementary chapter detailing the Navy’s assets in 1892, and a comparison with other foreign navies.
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - William Milligan Sloane

1896 - The Century Co., New York - First Edition
Four magnificent and finely bound quarto volumes of this monumental history on Napoleon, ‘the product of many years of elaborate investigation, it was sumptuously illustrated and composed’. [DAB].

First edition, profusely illustrated with 80 colour plates, 200 black & white and tinted plates, and 17 maps.

Generally there is no mystery in the power of domination: he rules who is indispensable. The Jacobins needed a man, they found him in the unscrupulous Bonaparte; the Directory needed a man, they found him in the expert artillerist; France needed a man, she found him in the conqueror of Italy.’

‘Sloane, who believed "
there exists no record of human activity more complete" than Bonaparte's, also summed up Napoleon's failure in one word -- exhaustion. It was not until his opponents learned the lessons "which he taught his generals by a series of object demonstrations lasting 20 years, that the teacher began to diminish in success and splendor. Judged either historically or theoretically, the strategy of Napoleon is "original, unique and unexcelled." Sloane noted that this was Napoleon's greatest achievement, because it was "his most creative."’ [Vance] 
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Price HK$ 13,000



Taking One's Own Ship Around the World - Inscribed - William K. Vanderbilt

1929 - Privately Printed, New York - Number 81 of 500 copies. In deluxe binding.
A wonderful association copy inscribed “To Harrison Williams, with the compliments of the author, W.K. Vanderbilt, Dec. 25th, 1929". Williams, one of the richest men in America, owned the ‘Warrior’ the largest motor yacht of its day at 240 foot, pipping Vanderbilt’s ‘Ara’ by 27 feet. Both men had an interest in marine research in addition to taking these magnificent world cruises, statements to the changing of the guard, Old World to New World.

A superb and large format work, Vanderbilt’s descriptions of incidents and ports of call mingle nostalgically with the photographs and exquisite colour plates. Vanderbilt also includes a brief account of his seafaring life, and the history of the
Ara,

In 1921 Vanderbilt chanced to see the “Ara”, a 1918 213ft steel British Navy sloop of war, in Camper & Nicholson’s yard which appealed to him. He bought and converted her into a yacht and then “cruised” 97,446 miles before undertaking this 28,738 mile circumnavigation westward starting in New York and ending in Miami.

Vanderbilt and his wife made the entire voyage, together with a crew of 34, several guests went along for part of it. Ports of call included Havana, Hawaii, the Marshalls, Carolines, Philippines, Saigon, Singapore, Malacca, Sri Lanka, Bombay, Aden, various Mediterranean and Aegean ports, Gibralter, Tangier, Casablanca, the Canaries, Cape Verdes, Guadalupe, and Puerto Rico.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



A Missionary Voyage to the Southern Pacific Ocean, Performed in the Years 1796, 1797, 1798, - William Wilson, James Morrison, Samuel Greatheed

1799 - Printed for T. Chapman by T. Gillet, London - First Edition [The Gillet Edition]
Large quarto with six engraved plates and seven folding engraved maps.

‘The London Missionary Society was founded in 1795, mainly to send missions to Polynesia. The voyage of the
Duff was undertaken for the purpose of establishing a mission in Tahiti, and a settlement of twenty-five persons was formed. Apart from the missionary interest of this account, the voyagers made many important discoveries of islands, including Timoe, Mangareva, and Pakarua in the Tuamoto Archipelago; Ongea and Fulanga Islands; Vanua Mbalavu, and Satawal, Lamotrek, Elato, Ifalik, and Woleai atolls in the Western Carolines, before putting in at Macao. A new group of islands, named the Duff Group, was discovered among the Santa Cruz Islands. On the outward voyage, the expedition visited Rio de Janeiro.

The narrative is fresh, although sometimes naive, and provides a glimpse of everyday life on the islands that the mariner or naturalist didn't consider worth reporting.’ -Hill,
Pacific Voyages. 
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Price HK$ 8,000



 
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