Voyage dans les Mers de l'Inde - Guillaume Joseph Le Gentil de la Galaisière

1779 - Imprimerie Royale, Paris - First Editions
‘Two monumental volumes... crammed with details on astronomy, navigation, and natural history... His descriptions of life in Manila, Pondicherry, and Madagascar are invaluable’ (Dunmore).

A stunning set In contemporary bindings and illustrated with twenty seven folding copper engravings showing two world maps, maps charts and plans of Eastern and Western Philippines, Bay of Manila, Philippine Harbours, Manilla, Madagascar and it’s coastline, Isle de France (Mauritius), Isle de Bourbon (Réunion), Quartier S. Denis on Réunion, Eastern and Western Straits of Malacca, and Pondicherry. Together with engraved plates of animals and plant life, the ruins of Pondicherry, pagodas, Indian deities, and charts of comets and constellations.

‘In addition to the scientific details for which the voyage was undertaken, the first volume treats of the manners, customs, and religion or the people of the Malabar Coast and of the astronomy of the Brahmins. The second volume contains elaborate accounts of the Philippine Islands, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bourbon and their inhabitants, including views and charts of the Philippines. Le Gentil gives details of the Islands, their climate, volcanoes, fertility, fruits, birds, animals, peoples, language, history, and description of Manila, the government, ecclesiastical and civil, commerce, &c.’ (Edwards).
 
More details

Price HK$ 37,000



Borneo and the Indian Archipelago. With Drawings of Costume and Scenery - Frank S. Marryat

1848 - Longman, London - First Edition
A superbly illustrated work on Indonesia, and Rajah Brooke, with additional detail on Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

Illustrations include a chromolithographed colour frontispiece and additional title, twenty tinted lithographic plates, and thirty-seven woodcuts. Many of Marryat’s expertly lithographed drawings represent the earliest ethnographical records of life in Borneo and the Indian Archipelago

Frank Marryat served as a Midshipman on board the H.M.S. Samarang on a surveying expedition to the Indian Archipelago, 1843-1846, cut short in consequence, as Mr. Marryat infers, of the ill-conditioned behaviour and unpopularity of her captain, Sir Edward Belcher.
 
More details

Price HK$ 18,000



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

1906 - Macmillan & Co., 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] 
More details

Price HK$ 3,800



An Authentic Account of an embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China - Sir George Staunton, Earl of Macartney, Sir Erasmus Gower

1797 - Printed by W. Bulmer and Co. for G, London - First Edition
A clean and exquisitely bound set of this cornerstone of China related travel literature, together with the magnificent Elephant Folio Atlas showing forty-four engraved maps and plates (mainly after Alexander), of which two are folding and six are double-page.

‘An account of the first British embassy to China, under Lord Macartney. Great Britain was anxious to establish formal diplomatic relations with China and thus open the way for unimpeded trade relations, but centuries of Chinese reserve and self-sufficiency presented a formidable obstacle to the embassy, and the Chinese emperor effectually resisted Lord Macartney’s arguments and gifts. The visit of the British embassy nonetheless resulted in this remarkable account of Chinese manners and customs at the close of the eighteenth century’ -
The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages. 
More details

Price HK$ 220,000



Extraordinary Hardships and Adventures of Captain Woodard... Including their Escape from the Malays - William Vaughn, Captain David Woodard

Circa 1808 - Printed for Thomas Tegg, London - First Edition Thus
A rare little account, with folding frontispiece engraving depicting Woodard dramatically ‘defending himself from the Treachery of the Malays’. Woodard had sailed in the American ship Enterprise from Batavia (Jakarta) bound for Manila. He and five companions were sent off in small boat to purchase provisions, but found themselves cut off by a storm, finally landing at Celebes where one of them, Archibald Millar, was killed in a fight with the local Malays. Imprisoned by their captors, they finally escaped with the help of a Muslim priest, and made their way back to Batavia. Woodard later recounted the story to William Vaughn who wrote this account. 
More details

Price HK$ 2,500



In the Nicobar Islands - George Whitehead

1924 - Seeley, London - First Edition
‘A full, clear and sympathetic description of the inhabitants, and of their life and customs. The book makes pleasant reading and offers much interesting material to the ethnographer and the folklorist; the pictures are very good and sometimes quite amusing, and the general value of the work is considerably enhanced by the extensive foreword by Sir Richard Temple.’ - Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April 1924.

Comprehensive and well written account of the isolated Nicobar Islands in the Andaman sea, an Indian territory 1,300 km from India, and 150 km north of Sumatra. Illustrated with 20 full page black and white photographic plates and a map.
 
More details

Price HK$ 900



Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo - John Whitehead

1893 - Gurney and Jackson, London - First Edition
A beautiful copy of this stunningly illustrated and unsurpassed large folio containing 32 lithographed plates, comprising 11 natural history plates, hand-coloured and heightened with gum arabic, and 21 tinted lithographed views and ethnographic subjects, and with map and an additional 21 woodcut illustrations in the text.

A detailed narrative of John Whitehead's (1860-1899) travels from October 1884 to August 1888 in Borneo, Java, Palawan and Balabac Islands, especially of his three efforts (the last one successful) to ascend Mount Kina Balu. He brought back examples of many new animals, including no fewer than forty-five new species of birds. The author's primary interest was ornithology, but he also provides much information on head-hunting, religion and custom of the peoples of the region. Besides visiting North Borneo he spent several months in Java and Palawan, and made an expedition into the state of Malacca.
 
More details

Price HK$ 40,000