The Game Birds of India, Burmah, and Ceylon - Allan Octavian Hume, Charles H. T. Marshall

1879-81 - Hume and Marshall, Calcutta - First Editions
A superb and thus rare example of this three volume work, in the original gilt decorated bindings, and containing the complete set of 144 colour plates. All three illustrated title pages are also present.

Hume, ‘
the Father of Indian Ornithology’, put together this work using contributions and notes from a network of 200 or more correspondents. Hume delegated the task of getting the plates made to Marshall. The chromolithographs of the birds were drawn by W. Foster, E. Neale, (Miss) M. Herbert, Stanley Wilson and others and the plates were produced by F. Waller in London. Hume had sent specific notes on colours of soft parts and instructions to the artists. He was unsatisfied with many of the plates and included additional notes on the plates in the book. This book was started at the point when the government demoted Hume and only the need to finance the publication of this book prevented him from retiring from service. He had estimated that it would cost £4,000 to publish it and he retired from service on 1 January 1882 after the publication. 
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Price HK$ 18,000

Eighteen views taken at & near Rangoon [Views in the Birman Empire] - with - Rangoon Views and Combined Operations in the Birman Empire - Lieutenant Joseph Moore, Captain Frederick Marryat

October 1825 - January 1826 - Kingsbury &, London - First Editions
A rare set of these twenty three hand-coloured aquatint plates from the first and second series, exceptionally bright colours. Together with the engraved allegorical title-dedication leaf for the ‘Eighteen Views’ [First Series] by R. W. Smart after Thomas Stothard, the aquatint leaf listing the eight most important subscribers with large vignette by J. Bromley after Thomas Stothard, and six page lithographed list of subscribers in England and India.

These aquatint plates, published during the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824-1826, concentrate on Rangoon, captured by the British in 1824. In the subject matter of the plates there is an interesting comparison between graphic battle scenes and picturesque views of the Burmese countryside and architecture. Although Moore wished to record the details of the battles he was involved in, he also wanted to depict the pagodas, temples and views around Rangoon.

A complete set of the first series of eighteen plates from drawings by Lieutenant Joseph Moore, together with five plates from the second series from original sketches by Captain Marryat, which were published eight months later.

With rather fabulous provenance, coming from the Honourable East India Company’s East India College Library (with their armourial bookplate), which was founded in 1806. The ‘
Eighteen Views’ are dedicated to the Court of Directors of the East India Company. The contemporary binding is by Stephen Austin of Hertford, Stephen Austin had been associated with the East India College since boyhood. When it closed in 1858 he was a leading member of the group which set up the public school in William Wilkins’s classical buildings at Hertford Heath.

Plate 16, in first state with ‘ajacent’ (corrected to adjacent in the second state), and plate 14 of the first series and plates 1, 2, & 3 of the second series marked ‘Proof’. The Abbey catalogue notes that ‘... it does not seem that the appearance or non-appearance of the word 'Proof' can be made into an issue point, and, in fact, it seems that all the plate differences must be ascribed to states, not issues’.
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Price HK$ 135,000

1925 - The Rangoon Times Press, Burma - First Edition
An extremely rare and wonderfully illustrated collection of forty-five ‘Rhymes’ and songs, a clever and cheeky presentation of expatriate life in early 20th century Burma, by Rodway Swinhoe (1863-1927), a Rangoon based Barrister.

Ranging from ‘
The Song of the Upper Burma Club’ (relating the unfortunate removal of the ‘Club’ from the King’s Palace in which it was founded) to ‘On the Roads of Mandalay’ (dedicated to the opening of the Mandalay Tramway System in 1904), ‘The Kuchparwanay House’ to ‘The Making of Rangoon’.

Creatively Illustrated throughout by Burma’s most prominent cartoonist of the time, Martin Jones’ with assistance from Winifred Edge. In the publisher’s original illustrated cloth covers.
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Price HK$ 8,000

An Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava - Michael Symes

1800 - W. Bulmer and Co., London - First Edition
‘The first full account of Burma to be published and it contains a mass of information on the history, religion, government, social systems, language, geography and economy of Burma, together with a narrative of Symes’ seven months stay in Burma, his journey to the capital and reception at court.’

A handsome first edition, finely illustrated with two folding engraved maps, eighteen engraved plates, and eight engraved botanical plates (four of which are folding).

Michael Symes was sent by Sir John Shore, Governor-General of India, to obtain from the Emperor of Ava a permit to allow a British agent to reside at Rangoon, and to induce him to close his borders to French shipping. In diplomatic terms Symes’ mission was a success.

‘Symes was accompanied by Dr. Francis Buchanan and his
Account contains eight botanical plates and descriptions of ‘the most rare and curious’ plants he collected. Other illustrations are taken from drawings by the Indian artist Singey Bey who accompanied the mission and whose accurate representational style attracted some attention at the Burmese court.’ 
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Price HK$ 29,000

The Traveller in Asia - Priscilla Wakefield

1817 - Darton, London - First Edition
This lovely little book is the final title of Priscilla Wakefield’s fictional travel series, for the purpose of educating children, and based upon the narrative of Arthur Middleton. Illustrated with a colour folding map.

‘In the book Arthur Middleton travels around India and visits China with his impressions and experiences recorded in a journal format. He makes an acquaintance with a Mr Melville who accompanies him on part of the journey and asks Arthur to take charge of his nephew Charles Melville who is fourteen. Arthur and his new companion Charles continue the journey and Priscilla begins to include into the text letters from Charles to his sister Adele. The visit to China at the end of the book is brief in comparison to the volume of information about India. At the end of the book Arthur returns Charles to his uncle and plans his return to England.’ -
Priscilla Wakefield., Travels in Juvenile Literature (Blog). 
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Price HK$ 3,000