A "teaser" selection of images from our latest catalogue on Asian Travel & Exploration. The printed catalogue will be out on approximately the 22nd of January, and will be posted online a few weeks afterwards.
For more information on this catalogue, or if you have any other queries relating to Asia and Asian books, please contact our specialist Julian MacKenzie.
This is the first catalogue on Africa we have produced since 2005 and we hope you find it worth the wait. Discover first editions and rare books, including copies in fine bindings, relating to Western exploration and adventuring in Africa over 350 years. We have tried to make it as varied as possible with wonderful colour plate books documenting the botany of South Africa and subjects including colonial encounters, big-game hunting and politics. Throughout there is a solid backbone of the great African explorers from the Victorian era including Stanley, Livingstone and Burton.
Back_to_the_Cradle_catalogue - View PDF
ALLEN, William. Picturesque views on the River Niger, 1840.
Rare first edition with 10 hand-coloured plates and map
William Allen was an English naval officer and explorer involved in fighting the African slave trade. He was also a talented artist, painting scenes of his travels, whose work was exhibited several times at the Royal Academy. On publication this book of illustrations sketched while navigating the River Niger with Richard Lemon Lander, attracted a strong list of subscribers including Robert Schomburgk, the eminent explorer. It includes several panoramas and views of the river, its natural surroundings and riverside towns such as Rabba, Nigeria.
EDWARDS, AMELIA B. A Thousand Miles up the Nile, 1877.
First edition, 17 full-page plates, 62 vignettes, 2 coloured folding maps
A Victorian travel classic, this is Amelia Edward's account of her travels in Egypt that led her to become a leading Egyptologist. The author was one of a party, which, in February 1874, discovered and excavated an interesting group of ruins at Aboo Simbel, in Nubia. Now out of print, this copy is one of the earliest dust-wrapped books that we have handled with original richly decorated cream cloth gilt cover lettered in red.
LOPES, Duarte; Philippo Pigafetta.
A report of the kingdome of Congo, a region of Africa
Printed by Iohn Wolfe, London, 1597
First edition in English complete with the Lopes-Pigafetta map of Africa which overthrew the old Ptolemic idea of the Mountains of the Moon being the source of the Nile with a vast central lake, and instead showed that the Nile flowed from a pair of lakes, one above the other on the same meridian.
BOWDICH, Thomas Edward. Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, 1819.
First edition with fine hand-coloured aquatint plates
Bowdich was appointed conductor of the African Company mission to Ashantee in 1815, superseding his chief. He led the negotiations with the King of Ashantee which resulted in a treaty bringing peace to the British settlements on the Gold Coast. This book recounts his mission and it has been called “The most important [work] after Bruce’s, it excited great interest, as an almost incredible story, recalling The Arabian Nights, of a land and people of warlike and barbaric splendour hitherto unknown.”
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For more information concerning these newly catalogued items or to request our Africa catalogue please contact Julian MacKenzie in our Travel Department.
The Ottoman Empire ranks alongside the Roman and Byzantine as one of the most powerful imperial systems in world history. In existence from the late thirteenth century until 1923 and embracing at its height most of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, it was arguably the most influential political system over the course of more than a millennium of Islamic history. Our latest catalogue of 100 books and prints gives a full picture of the global reach of the Ottoman state from a European perspective, not just synonymous with Turkish history but many others.
View PDF catalogue: Shapero_LookingEast_LookingWest
BURTON, Richard F., Personal narrative of a pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah. 1855-56
First edition, 3 volumes. £6750
In 1853 intrepid British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton disguised himself as an Islamic pilgrim and made the trek into the heart of Arabia visiting the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. If his true identity as a European Christian had been exposed, the penalty for his indiscretion would have been death. The publication of his account of the journey brought him fame as an adventurer and also as a man of considerable knowledge about Arabs, their customs and way of life.
Further Reading - Larger than Life - the explorer Richard Buron
MAYER, Luigi. Views in Egypt. 1805
First editions. Three separately published works bound in one volume, folio.
Luigi Mayer (1755-1803) was an Italian-German artist and one of the earliest and most important late 18th-century European painters of the Ottoman Empire. A student of Piranesi, he made the illustrations when he was employed as the personal view painter for Sir Robert Ainslie, British ambassador at Constantinople.
The scenes here are quite memorable, not only for the impressive views of ancient monuments, but for their glimpses in to the lives and culture of the people including a rather thrilling depiction of the exploration of Egyptian tombs.
PREZIOSI, Amadeo, follower of. Pair of watercolours depicting scenes inside the Grand Bazaar at Istanbul. Second half of the nineteenth century.
Watercolours with gouache on paper, framed and glazed. £25,000
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The watercolours depict the Bazaar before the advent of shops as we know them. In one, a merchant and his wife, in another a group of well-dressed lightly veiled Ottoman beauties.
A native of Malta, Preziosi first visited Istanbul in 1842, and depicting the city and its people in their distinctive costumes and attitudes was to be the focus for his artistic career thereafter. Preziosi’s gift for depicting people and costume, and free flowing lines, along with attention to small details, make his work particularly appealing, and inspired a school of followers.
Talk & Catalogue Launch: The Ottoman Empire: 22 Feb. 18:00–21:00
Coinciding with the launch of our new catalogue we have arranged for one of the UK's leading historians to give a short talk about the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Philip Mansel's latest book is Aleppo: Rise and Fall of a Syria’s Great Merchant City.
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For more information concerning these newly catalogued items or to request our Ottoman catalogue please contact Julian MacKenzie in our Travel Department.
For the travel aficionado this Christmas, buy them a Baedeker. From Croydon to Cancun our guidebooks leave no geographical stone unturned.
Welcome to our first ever catalogue devoted to the Pacific regions
- A complete set of The Bligh Court Martial Pamphlets
- Berkh's first edition illustrated account of the Arctic and Russian America
- Sarychev's voyage of Captain Billings
- The rare atlas to Lisianskiy's voyage
For further information please contact Julian MacKenzie (Head of the Travel Department)
FIRE AND ICE
From the Tropics to the Ice World
- - Worsley's Boat Journey with original letters;
- - A wonderful album of photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on the Terra Nova expedition;
- - David Livingstone's Missionary Travels;
- - The earliest account by a Russian of the United States;
- - The original typed engineer's report for the reconnaissance of routes for the proposed Waichow to Hoi Fung Yuen highway.
These might be my personal favourites but there are plenty of other books to enjoy here. Also, these recent acquisitions represent just a small part of our travel stock, so please contact me if you are looking for any other travel books. In case you are wondering why there are no Pacific books here, fear not! Our next travel catalogue will be devoted to the Pacific. If this floats your boat, contact me to make sure you receive a copy.
Julian MacKenzie (Head of the Travel Department)