Venetia: presso a Francesco Ziletti, 1585. First and only Italian edition (first published in Burgos, 1578, under the title Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias Orientales); 4to, pp. , 342 (i.e. 340); printer's woodcut device on title page; 45 full-page botanical woodcuts of medicinal plants and 2 others of Indian elephants; woodcut initials and ornaments; later full parchment, title in manuscript on spine; very good and sound. Cristóvão da Costa or Cristóbal Acosta (Latinized as Christophorus Acosta Africanus, 1525 - 1594) was a Portuguese doctor and natural historian and is considered a pioneer in the study of plants from the Orient, especially their use in pharmacology. Acosta's treatise on the elephant, likely the first published in Europe, occupies pp. 320-342, and the woodcuts of the elephant are the first to appear in Europe. These were widely copied and reproduced over the next two centuries. It was also among the first works to record words from the Basque language. The text also includes bibliographical references to American products (Brazilian rubber, pages 93; pineapples, p. 266-267 with an illustration on p. 268). Chapter 68 is devoted to opium. In most cases, this is the first time these Asian species were introduced in Europe, where they were otherwise completely unknown. Adams, A121; BM STC Italian, p. 5; Graesse I, p. 15; Palau 1964; Sabin 114; European Americana 585/17; Pritzel 43.
January 29, 2019 eList: Asia
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Bombay: lithographed for the Bombay Native Education Society, 1837. Lithographed throughout. Approx. 7¾" x 6" (197 x 150 mm), title leaf plus 186 leaves, paginated in Marathi: , 14, 357, ; 184 lithograph illustrations (each approx. 54 x 72 mm) after woodcuts illustrating 184 fables; contemporary and likely original native maroon goat, 5 sets of double fillets on spine; minor cracks at spine ends, rear hinge with a 2" crack at the top; light overall wear; 2 gatherings extended; very good copy. A very rare book. OCLC locates 9 titles published by the Bombay Educational Society 1828-1837. The first, Anwari Sohili : a Paraphrase, in Persian, of the Fables of Pilpay, shows 8 locations in OCLC. All the others are found in 2 or fewer locations, and this one in only one: Albion College in Michigan. Not in COPAC. Not in the Carlson Collection at Creighton University. Not in the Heffelfinger Collection at Minneapolis Public. This appears to be the last production of the press. The text is based on Croxall's English translation. A note at the bottom of the first page of the table of contents notes that it was the 20th edition which was used, i.e. the London, 1810 edition. The numerous illustrations seem to follow the format of the small neat illustrations attributed to Elisha Kirkall in the 1810 edition; at least one cut in that edition is signed 'E. Dyas scul.' These Indian lithographs are far enough removed from those in the 1810 edition that they warrant their own inspection and appreciation. Not the first translation of Aesop into Marathi, as that distinction belongs to the 1809 Tanjore edition, which is the first edition of Aesop into an Indian language. This Tanjore edition was also likely taken from the English of Croxall, though from which edition remains unknown, and it is also illustrated with woodcuts at the head of each fable. In Tanjore edition, however, only 110 fables were printed. (See Graham Shaw's "The Tanjore 'Aesop' in the Context of Early Marathi Printing," in The Library, September 1978, pp. 207-14.) The Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (1988) identifies the first Marathi edition as that of 1859.
Ultrajecti: Franciscum Halma, 1685. Thick 8vo, pp. , 1-847, ; engraved title page, folding engraved map and 10 engraved plates (6 folding); a nice copy in old paste-paper boards, neatly rebacked in brown calf gilt, red morocco label. Alexander (356-323 B.C.) devoted himself early to invading the Persian Empire and other parts of Asia which had been a part of his inheritance, liberated the Greek cities there, occupied Phoenicia, Palestine and Egypt, and in his greatest military achievement, captured the city of Tyre, from which time Persia ceased to be a military power. This edition contains a chronological synopsis, Alexander's genealogy, and interesting illustrations of ancient monuments.
[Hanoi]: [Imprimé par G. Taupin et Cie], . First edition, 8vo, 2 volumes in 1; pp. [iii]-xvi, -294,  (errata); volume two contains plates only (I-LXXVII); original printed front wrappers bound in; volume I has some minor worming, pages toning, else very good in ca. 1968-74 native Vietnamese blue calf with gilt-lettered spine. Contains chapters on European, Greek, Hindu, and Asian anatomical art, with volume two illustrating human proportions, muscles of the face, and various types of male and female anatomy. Issued in the publisher's "Collection de la Direction de l'Instruction Publique en Indochine" series. 9 comple copies in OCLC, only 3 (Yale, LC and the National Library of Medicine) in the U.S.
Paris: A. Maisonneuve, 1947. First Paris edition, 12mo, pp. x, 210, ; folding plan, 4 plates; previous owner's upper corner of front wrap, pages toned, else very good in later native full red calf, gilt-lettered direct on spine, original front wrapper bound in. Originally published in Hanoi in 1943.
Hanoi: Imprimerie d'Extrême-Orient, 1927. First edition, 8vo, pp. 250; folding tables (1 with tear), tables in the text; pages toning, else very good in later native full blue calf, gilt lettering on gilt-paneled spine. First published as Notions d'histoire d'Annam in 1909, and first under this title in 1919.
Paris: Éditions Eugène Figuière, . 12mo, iv, -286; Cambodian bookbinder's ticket on front paste-down, marbled endpapers, owner's name on half-title, rear paste-down and rear free endpaper lightly wormed, extremities a bit rubbed at edges, small worm holes on spine, else very good in later marbled boards backed in black calf with gilt lettering on spine.
New York: American Book Exchange, 1880. 12mo, pp. 121; bookplate of Nellie B. Miller & bookseller's ticket on front paste-down, front free endpaper has small hole at lower corner of leaf, corners very lightly rubbed, else a very good copy in original green cloth with gilt-decorated upper cover. Nellie Burget Miller, was an author and Poet Laureate of Colorado. The most popular work by the journalist, translator, and poet, first appearing in the UK in 1879.
London: A. & S. Arrowsmith, 1824. Beautiful engraved map with contemporary hand-coloring measuring approx. 32" x 26" in mat and approx. 42 x 36" in handsome and appropriate frame. Shows inset of Crete at the lower left, and includes also Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the western parts of Turkey and all of the Greek Archipelago.
London: Royal Geographical Society, February, 1913. 8vo, pp. xiv, -200; Bentinck's article contains 15 photographic illus. on rectos and versos of 3 plates, and a folding map of India's northeast frontier; spine a little perished at the bottom, but generally a very good copy in orig. blue printed wrappers. Also contains "From the Victoria Nyanza to the Kisii Highlands," by Felix Oswald; "A Geographical Interpretation of Missouri," By Frederick V. Emerson; "The Putumayu and the Question of Boundaries between Peru and Columbia," by Clements R. Markham; plus others, as well as a review by Hugh Robert Mill of Amudsen's The South Pole.
London: Eveleigh Nash, 1912. First edition, 8vo, pp. xi, , 13-352; folding map, 87 illustrations, mostly from photographs, on rectos and versos of 32 plates; worn, spine a bit faded, tear in front joint closed, moderate spotting and foxing; otherwise a good copy in original terracotta cloth lettered in gilt on spine. The author was the correspondent and photographer for the Central News Agency on these missions whose surveys provided the data for the McMahon Line in 1914. The Abor Mission was actually a 'frontier campaign' led by Hamilton Bower against the Abor for the murder of Williamson, Assistant Political Officer at Sadiya. The Mishmi Mission was led by Dundas to ascertain the precise extent of Chinese encroachment on the Mishmi/Abor border.
Stockholm: Nyström & Stolpe, 1760. 2 volumes in 1, parts 5 and 6 (of 6?) only; contemporary three-quarter calf over boards, spine separated into 5 compartments with label; boards badly rubbed, spine cracking; contemporary inscriptions on front endpapers and title page, stain to t.p. gutter affecting all pages through p. 37; overall a good copy. OCLC does not locate any copies in the United States.
New York: Harper & Bros. 1865. 8vo, pp. [iii]-xvi, 533, 2 (ads); large folding map (with short, neat tape repair on verso), 20 full-p. illustrations plus numerous wood-engraved illus. in text; slight cracking at spine extremities, edges worn, remains of a small, 19th century shelf label at base of spine, but generally a good, sound, and reasonably bright copy in original terracotta cloth stamped in gilt on spine.
Bangkok: Imprimerie de la Mission Catholique, 1861. First edition of the first bilingual Vietnamese dictionary in a western language; 2 volumes in 1, 8vo, pp. , xcv, , 96, ; , 157; sectional title-pp. for both parts; contemporary calf-backed, marbled boards, uncut; a very nice copy. In Genebril's introduction to his French-Annamite-French dictionary (Saigon, 1898) he is indebted to Caspar's bilingual dictionary published in 1877, but apparently was unaware of Aubert's work published 15 years before. Louis Gabriel Aubaret (1825-94) commanded the French vessel Prégent on the expedition to Cochinchina in 1860. He was appointed the first French consul at Bangkok. Widely held by the obvious institutions, but uncommon in commerce. Not in Collinson, Vancil, or Zaunmuller. Cordier, Indosinica, 774.
Osaka: Awoki Szandow, Meiji 18-19, [1885-86]. One of a series of 7 volumes published by Szandow (Suzando), this one covering East Asia (China and Southeast Asia); 16mo, pp. ; double leaves; illustrated throughout with 146 wood-engraved illustrations with English captions for the first 50 pages, and with Japanese captions for the balance (including a number full-page and several double-page); original color pictorial boards rubbed; front hinge cracked, lacking rear free endpaper; good copy otherwise. The illustrations in this volume are a little muddy and it may be this is a later printing.
Osaka: Awoki Szandow, [1885-86]. One of a series of 7 volumes published by Szandow (Suzando), this one covering the Middle East and India; 16mo, pp. , ; double leaves; illustrated throughout with 138 wood-engraved illustrations with English captions, title page printed in olive and black; original black cloth-backed pictorial boards, paper spine label, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers; upper cover (in this the lower cover) quite rubbed with substantial loss of printer's mark; general shelf wear, else a very good, sound copy.
Bangkok: Thailand: Telephone Organization of Thailand, . 4to, pp. xvii, 244; pictorial wrappers, red stamp to front cover of three elephant heads with caption in Thai; edges and corners worn with minor water damage, pages showing discoloration due to the cheap paper; all else good and sound. Includes private and commercial listings, the latter being profusely dotted with advertisements ("Pan Am Makes the Going Great"; "IBM electric typewriters"). The leading directory for Americans in the Bangkok area at the height of the Vietnam War. Not in OCLC.
Hanoi-Haiphong: Imprimerie d'Extreme-Orient, 1929, 1942. 2 chunky 12mo volumes, both 6th editions, pp. viii, 856; vi, , 951; both with pages toned, the first in contemporary half black cloth over marbled boards, the second in original printed paper-covered boards backed in red cloth, printed paper label on spine. Nice pairing.
New York: Robert M. McBride, 1929. 8vo, pp. vii, , 398; frontispiece, plates, maps; original red cloth, spine gilt, top edges stained red; spine slightly faded, otherwise very good or better. Part of the Argonaut series edited by Sir E. Denison Ross and Eileen Power. Translated and selected by H.A.R. Gibb with an introduction and notes.
[London]: Azimuth Editions, 1997. First edition, folio, pp. 248; numerous color and black and white illustrations throughout; fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Written by Abdul-Hamid Lahawri, this "Chronicle of the King of the World" has long been recognized as one of the greatest works made for the Mughal Emeror, Shah-Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.