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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 no 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



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 the first published anthology of Hindi Poets. Internally fine and unopened. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



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



Round Kangchenjunga - Douglas W. Freshfield

1903 - Edward Arnold, London - First Edition
Freshfield’s incredible account of his dangerous and exhausting circuit of Kangchenjunga, considered one of the greatest early works on Himalayan exploration, and a standard reference to the Kangchenjunga massif. The party’s entire route followed previously unknown areas, much of it at a great height: they climbed the Zemu glacier reaching 5,350 metres, then crossed the Lhonak valley and proceeded west over Jongsong La into Nepal, descending along Kangchenjunga glacier, before trekking ahead to Tseram and finally crossing back to Sikkim.

Accompanying Freshfield was Italian photographer Vittorio Sella, whose remarkable photographs feature in this book.

Profusely illustrated with two large folding colour maps of Sikkim and the glaciers of Kangchenjunga, forty full page black and white plates, two in-text illustrations of the peaks of Kathmandu and a geological map of Sikkim, and one folding panoramic black and white photographic plate of Kangchenjunga Glacier, taken by Sella.
 
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Price HK$ 6,500



Narrative of the late Victorious Campaign in Affghanistan - Lieutenant Greenwood

1844 - Henry Colburn, London - Second Edition
Scarce in both first and second edition, especially in the original cloth. Illustrated with large folding map to rear, and tinted lithographic frontispiece of the Battle of Mazeera and four lithographic plates showing the Fort of Jamrod in the valley of Peshawar, Fort Ali Musjid in the Khyber Pass, Bala Hissar at Cabul, City and valley of Cabul.

‘Here is a volume which must at once take its place beside those of Lady Sale and Lieut. Eyre, to which it forms a natural and necessary sequel... It narrates in the words and with the appliances of en eye-witness, the details, both personal and professional, of that glorious but terrible "measure of revenge," which it was the lot of General Pollock and his gallant band to inflict on the assassins of Cabool. The tale is infinitely better for being a "plain unvarnished" one... A considerable amount of amusement, as well as of utility, is added to this volume by the writer having made it the medium for his recollection of seven years' service in India, previously to the stirring events which give the chief attraction to the work. These recollections touch upon all the usual features of Anglo-Indian life, and are written in the same natural and easy vein which mark the more important portion of the narrative’ –
Coburn’s New Monthly Magazine 1844. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



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. 
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Price HK$ 16,500



The City Of Dreadful Night - Rudyard Kipling

1899 - Alex. Grosset, New York - The First American Edition
The text’s initial appearance in the United States was through its inclusion in ‘Out of India’ , published in 1895, but this unauthorised printing constitutes the first separate American edition. all eight sketches from the authorised 1891 London edition ‘The City of Dreadful Night and Other Places’.

All that aside, this is a superb example of the most magnificently presented edition, including a full page frontispiece of the author from Strang, and two full page black and white illustrations by Charles Farrand.

In 1898 Kipling first travelled to Calcutta and this is the account of the visit, and if you have travelled to what is now ‘Kolkata’ over the past 30 or so years and been taken aback but its sheer personality, then I believe the Calcutta of the late 1800’s was an even more powerful visual and tactile experience, as Kipling here wonderfully describes.
 
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Price HK$ 1,400



Hong-Kong to London; or Our New Road Home from China. by the author of "A reminiscence of Canton", &c. - Peter George Laurie

1872 Circa - Simmons & Co., London - First Edition
A fine and rare travelogue of an expatriate’s journey home from the Far East in the 1870’s. With his signature to the title page.

This is no twelve hour Cathay business class flight for Peter Laurie [1838 - 1912] who worked with Jardine Matheson & Co. as an agent in Hong Kong, then Shanghai.

The twelve month journey begins with ‘
a good blow down the China Sea to Singapore, and fine weather thence to Penang and Calcutta’. Then overland on the new main railway line from Calcutta to Benares, which he describes as in a state of incompletion, with the stations not yet finished. From Benares they tour India on the old railway lines between Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow, and Delhi, returning to Allahabad. The final leg of the recenyl completed Calcutta to Bombay rail link, took them through Jubbulpore ‘the junction of the two great Indian railways’ (a combined network of 4,000 miles). This route was one inspiration for Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.

Interlaced with Laurie’s details of the railways are thoughts and observations on the recent Indian rebellion and the sieges of both Cawnpore and Lucknow and subsequent massacres.

Embarking on one of the Peninsular & Oriental Company’s steamers, Laurie proceeds direct through the Suez Canal to Port Said and then Alexandria.

Squeezed into the last two pages is the final leg, being passage to Brindisi, rail through Europe - Rome, Florence, and ‘
owing to the Franco-Prussian war, and the impossibility of passing through France’, Venice, Munich, Cologne, Brussels, and they ‘are once again in “Merrie England”’ 
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Price HK$ 8,000



 
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