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A Description of the Empire of China - Jean-Baptiste Du Halde

1738-1741 - Printed by T. Gardner...for Edward Cave, London - First folio edition in English.
Two large folio volumes in contemporary bindings, housed in separate cloth slipcases.

One of the most celebrated of all 18th century works on China, illustrated with 64 engraved plates, including D’Anville’s exceptional maps (42 large maps most engraved by Bowen), 9 city and temple plans, and 13 full-page plates depicting dress, customs and ceremonies. With exquisitely engraved headpieces and initial letters.

The completest [sic] and most valuable history of the Chinese Empire which had appeared up to the time of its publication.’ [Cox,
Literature of Travel]

The maps by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville are based on the extensive Jesuit surveys carried out for the Emperor Kangxi between 1708 and 1718. These maps ‘remained the principal cartographical authority on China during the rest of the 18th century’. [Tooley]
 
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Price HK$ 245,000



Trans-Himalaya. Discoveries and Adventures in Tibet - Sven Hedin

1909 - Macmillan and Co., London - First English Edition
Sven Hedin’s popular three volume account of his three year campaign in Tibet between 1906 and 1908, the second part of which he carried out ‘aware that there still remained vast blanks on the map, and plagued by an old illness which had left him all but blind in one eye, he was determined to make the best use of what he considered was the little time left to him.’ (Howgego).

In original gilt cloth, with 4 folding colour maps, 10 monochrome maps, and over 540 illustrations

In 1906 Hedin arrived in Lahore,’ having travelled overland through Persia and the Indus valley. Lord Curzon, viceroy of India, had arranged for three Indian surveyors to be specially trained at the headquarters of the Survey of India, to accompany Hedin, but at the moment of his departure Curzon was withdrawn from India and the new Liberal government in Britain gave orders that under no circumstances was Hedin to be allowed to enter Tibet (he was seen as pro-German and thus a threat to British interests). Furious that the British had broken their promise of support, Hedin headed rapidly for Kashmir, assembled a caravan in Srinagar and made his way to Leh in Ladkah. By the time word had got through to the British representative in Leh, ordering him to restrain Hedin by force if necessary, the Swede was already on his way to Tibet.’ (Howgego)
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



The Riddle Of The Tsangpo Gorges - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1926 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - First Edition
A near fine example of this important work, describing the period spanning 1924-25, during which Kingdon-Ward made what was probably his most famous and successful expedition, in the company of Lord Cawdor, to Bhutan and south-east Tibet, during which, in addition to ‘The Riddle’, related to the existence, or not, of the ‘Falls of Brahmaputra’, he collected ninety-seven varieties of rhododendron, and the first viable blue poppy seed.

The Brooke-Hitching copy, housed in custom slipcase. Illustrated with a folding coloured map, and 21 photographs on 16 plates.
 
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Price HK$ 16,000



From China to Hkamti Long - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1924 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - First Edition
In 1922-1923 the great plant hunter Kingdon-Ward travelled "westward from the Yangtze, across the narrow strip of the earth's crust where the great rivers of South-East Asia escape from Tibet and through the jungles which hide the headwaters of the mighty Irawaddi, Burma's great river" (from preface).

Illustrated with twenty one black and white photographs on 16 plates and a folding map outlined in colour to the rear.

‘The author's second attempt to march overland to India from Likiang, on the borders of Yunnan. He explored Yunnan and Szechwan in 1921, and Yunnan, Szechwan, Tibet and North Burma in 1922. This is a feat which had been performed only three times; in 1895 by Prince Henry of Orleans, with two companions; in 1906 by E. C. Young; and in 1911 by F. M. Bailey.’ (Yakushi).
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



In the Forbidden Land: An Account of a Journey in Tibet - A. Henry Savage Landor

1898 - William Heinemann, London - First Edition
A near fine and thus scarce first edition of Landor’s autobiographical narrative about his failed attempt to reach Lhasa from the West, during which he was captured and tortured (at one point forced to ride many miles on a saddle mounted with iron spikes), and his discovery of the sources of the Indus and the Brahmaputra rivers.

Together with a letter dated February 7th 1889 to a Mr. Browne from Landor, offering to show his sketches any day that would be convenient, and saying that he will be staying at 903, 16th Street, Washington DC for ‘about a fortnight’.

This was the first expedition in which Landor, an accomplished painter, used a camera as well as paintings and drawings, resulting in these profusely illustrated volumes containing photogravure frontispiece, eight colour chromolithographic plates, fifty full-page black and white plates, 196 in-text drawings schematics and vignettes, and a folding map to the rear (outlined in colour) drafted from Landor’s own surveys.

A detailed account, which pays a great deal of attention to geography and science, and one of the earliest works about the high Himalayas, which were virtually unknown to Europeans during Landor’s time. Although there was heated disagreement about the veracity of his tale, it was an international best-seller.

‘The book about his experiences,
In the Forbidden Land, was translated into all the major European languages… In energy and resourcefulness, in courage and power of endurance, Landor was the equal of any of the previous generation of great explorers’ – Dictionary of National Biography. 
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Price HK$ 9,000



The Game Animals of India, Burma, Malaya, and Tibet. - R. Lydekker, J. G. Dollman

1924 - Rowland Ward, London - Second and Best Edition Revised by J. G. Dollman
The definitive work on the big game species of South Asia, Lydekker describes in detail the natural history and habitat of game types. He also includes numerous sporting vignettes and observations culled from the writings of sportsmen of the era.

Nine full page plates, four folding plates, and fifty seven text illustrations many full page.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



The Great Plateau - Captain C. G. Rawling

1905 - Edward Arnold, London - First Edition
First Edition of Rawling’s important account of his unofficial and official surveys through Tibet, illustrated with 57 photographs (on 32 plates) and two folding maps.

‘In 1903 Rawling explored the Zoji La, Leh, Chang Chemmo, Lanak La with Hargreaves and Ram Singh. Then he explored and surveyed, with C. H. D. Ryder, from Lhasa to Simla by the valley of the Brahmaputra and Lake Manasaro-war, as a detachment of the Younghusband Tibet Mission in 1904’.

In addition to taking part in a survey that established Everest as the highest mountain in the world, Rawling would have also been the first man to attempt a climb of the North Face of Everest if his senior officers had allowed!
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



Mountain Monarchs : Wild Sheep & Goats of the Himalayas - George B. Schaller

1977 - University of Chicago Press, Chicago - First Edition
The first detailed behavioural study of mountain ungulates in a little studied region - the Himalaya. Illustrated. Unusual in this fine condition.

In 1968, the intrepid George Schaller began a three year study in the vast mountainous and forested regions of Central and Southern Asia, focusing his research on six species of wild sheep and goat – Punjab urial, Persian wild goat, markhor, Himalayan tahr, Nilgiri tahr, and bharal, or blue sheep. The result was this book: the first illustrated and detailed behavioural study of mountain ungulates in the Himalayas.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



 
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