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California from 1769 to 1909: An Illustrated History Issued in Commemoration of the Portola Festival - Benjamin Shannon Allen (editor)

1910 - Privately Printed - Benjamin Shannon Allen - editor., San Francisco - First Edition
Elegantly produced tribute to the Golden State, in two large format volumes, the first volume consisting of historical sketches, the second of biographies of leading Californians. Each page is separated by a glassine guard, with vignette sketch of a miner in the margins throughout.

Profusely illustrated from photographs. Includes 11½x16" colour silk American flag with 48 stars (approximately 100 years old), folded and laid in.
 
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Price HK$ 6,800



The Okavango River - Charles John Andersson

1861 - Hurst and Blackett, London - First Edition
With engraved frontispiece, engraved extra title page, and fifteen further engraved plates.

A scarce example in original publisher’s cloth, of Swedish explorer, hunter, trader and naturalist Charles John Andersson’s second book, describing his hunting expeditions through Namaqualand and Damaraland (Namibia). Andersson intended to explore these countries right up to Cunene or Nourse River but the difficulties of the expedition, though encountered with indomitable courage, proved to be insuperable, and he had to turn back. He obtained, however, much valuable information and his success as a hunter and collector was unique in this part of the continent. The coast-line of South-West Africa is carefully described and there is an interesting account of the once-famed guano island, Ichaboe.’ – Mendelssohn.

Charles John (Karl Johan) Andersson (1827-67) - The Swedish explorer, hunter, trader and naturalist Charles John Andersson was born on 4 March, 1827 in Vårmland, Sweden, and died on 9 July, 1867 in Angola. He was the illegitimate son of Llewellyn Lloyd (1792– 1876), a British bear hunter, and his Swedish servant. Andersson grew up in Sweden, where he hunted with his father and started to collect natural history objects. In the years 1847–1849 he studied in Lund. In 1849 he went to London, hoping to sell his natural history collection in order to finance his travels. There he met Francis Galton (1822–1911), and they decided to make a joint expedition to Southern Africa. In June 1850 they arrived at the Cape and travelled from there to Walvis Bay by boat. They went far inland on their expedition, aiming to reach Lake Ngami, which had been discovered not long before by David Livingstone (1813–1873), but were unsuccessful. Galton then returned to England, but Andersson remained in Africa and finally managed to reach Lake Ngami from Namibia in 1853.

In 1853 he returned to London, where he eventually published
Lake Ngami (1854), the record of his two expeditions. He returned to Africa the same year, 1854. For a short time he worked as a manager of a number of mines in Namibia, but he preferred to continue his explorations, reaching the Okavango river in 1859 (The Okavango River, 1861).

Next he went to Cape Town where he married and then settled with his wife in Otjimbingwe in central Namibia (then South-West Africa), where Andersson made a living as a breeder of cattle and a trader. In 1867 he travelled north, to the Portuguese settlements in Angola, in the hope of opening up a better route of communication with Europe. However, he did not manage to cross the Kunene River and had to return. On his way back he died after a short illness, and was buried by his companion. After his death his wife and children went to live in Cape Town. His
Notes of Travel (1875) were posthumously published by his father. Andersson had collected some 400 species of birds on his travels; his notes on the ornithology of Namibia were published posthumously as Notes on the birds of Damaraland and the adjacent territories of South-West Africa (1872).’ – Anne S. Troelstra, Bibliography of Natural History Travel Narratives (Wallis 1936). 
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Price HK$ 18,000



A Voyage Round the World, In the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. - George Anson, Richard Walter

1748 - Printed for the Author, London - First Edition
A finely bound ‘Royal Paper’ copy of this beautifully illustrated work which ‘has long occupied a distinguished position as a masterpiece of descriptive travel’ (Hill), and ‘a model of what such literature should be’ (Cox).

Containing forty-two copper-engraved maps, charts, views, and coastal profiles, all but one folding, including views of Brazilian harbours and cities, Acapulco, Tenian, Port St. Julian, Magellan’s Straits, the Bay of Manila, Saipan, Lama, Lantau, Chinese junks, and others, and large folding maps of South America, the Philippines, and the Pacific Ocean, as well as a twelve-page subscriber list, and the two-page instructions to the binder.

England, at war with Spain in 1739, equipped eight ships under the command of George Anson to harass the Spaniards on the western coast of South America for the purpose of cutting off Spanish supplies of wealth from the Pacific area. Seven ships were lost and of 900 men 600 perished. As usual, scurvy took an appalling toll.

The Spanish fleet sent to oppose the British ran into storms; provisions ran out and many ships were wrecked. Thus the primary objective of the expedition was not attained. Anson, however, continued taking prizes off the Pacific coast during 1741-42, and in June 1743, near the Philippines, he captured the Spanish galleon
Nostra Seigniora de Cabadonga and its treasure of £400,000 sterling, which allowed Anson and the surviving members of his crew to reach England much the richer. 
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Price HK$ 59,000



Cadet to Commodore - Albert B. Armitage

1925 - Cassell and Company, London - First Edition
‘This fine personal record shows us the spirit of the British Merchant Service in peace and war, and repeats the unchanging call of the sea. Late Commodore of the P. & 0. Co.'s fleet, Captain Armitage (1864-1943) was not too late, in his early days, to learn the hard discipline of sails, " to shoot the sun," and take a trick at the wheel. Going " into steam," he rose rapidly in rank and took part in two Polar expeditions, with Scott on the Discovery Expedition as second in command, and on the Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition to meet up with Nansen.

Here are amusing experiences of passengers, royal or otherwise. We like the alluring advertisement of a small steamship company—" A Surgeon, a Stewardess and an Experienced Cow." The cow, -presumably, knew all about the crying needs of infants-in-arms.’ - from
The Spectator review of October 1925. 
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Price HK$ 1,400



The Splendid Idle Forties. Stories of Old California - Gertrude Atherton, Harrison Fisher (illustrator)

1902 - The Macmillan Company, New York - First Edition
‘Perhaps the best known collection of stories of that romantic period of California history when the incoming Americans were first intermingling with the Californians of rancho and presidio...’ – The Zamorano 80: A Selection of Distinguished California Books Made by Members of the Zamorano Club.

A fine bright example, of this collection of short stories, illustrated with eight plates by Harrison Fisher.

‘The finest stories ever written about early California’ – Phil Townsend Hanna.

The stories are:
The Pearls of Loreto; The Ears of Twenty Americans; The Washtub Mail; The Conquest of Dona Jacoba; A Ramble with Eulogia; The Isle of Skulls; The Head of a Priest; La Perdida; Lukari's Story; Natalie Ivanhoff: A Memory of Fort Ross; The Vengeance of Padre Arroyo; The Bells of San Gabriel; and When the Devil was Well. 
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Price HK$ 3,500



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 not 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



1928 - Maurice de Becque, Paris
The romantic account of Sonnica of Saguntum, and the eight month siege of her city by Hannibal which took place between 219 BC and 218 BC between the Carthaginians and the Saguntines. Text in French, illustrated with 60 colour etchings by Maurice Becque, and two monochrome portraits opening and closing the text. A limited edition of 270 of which this is number 176. Originally in wraps this copy has been placed in a smartly bound in half morocco and patterned endpapers. 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Paddiana; or, Scraps and Sketches of Irish Life, Present and Past - Dr. A. Blenkinsop [R.F. Walond]

1847 - Richard Bentley, London - First Edition
A scarce set of two near fine volumes. Entertaining early anecdotes together with a history, and Introduction to Ireland and The Irish.

With titles such as
Head-Breaking; Mrs. Fogarty’s Tea Party; Cads, Fools and Beggars; Ronayne’s Ghost; The Green Traveller; The Last Pigtail; Priests: Catholic and Others; Dublin Carmen; and An Irish Stew.

In the original publisher’s gilt and green cloth, each with wood-engraved title-vignette.
 
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Price HK$ 7,800



 
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