We stock Western books in European languages, generally – but not exclusively – published before circa 1850. We are especially interested in early travel accounts – from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries – in all areas beyond Europe.Geographical regions in which we have tended to specialise include the Pacific and its surrounding countries – South America, the Northwest Coast of America, Japan, China, the maritime regions of Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia, and Australia. Books on Africa, the polar regions, manuscripts and separately published maps are also handled.
Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.
[Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].
Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia, was written...
[MANTUANUS, Baptista]. De patientia aurei libri tres. [bound with:]
CAPREOLUS, Helias. De confirmatione...
Brescia, Bernardinus de Misintis, 30 May 1497.
First edition of Mantuanus’s work containing -on recto of m3- a lengthy reference to America, one of the very few 15th century instances: a ‘mention of discoveries of islands in the Atlantic, noting their size and the fact that they are inhabited. Because none of the ancient geographers knew of them,...
Divini Platonis operum a Marsilio Ficino tralatorum tomus primus [-quintus].
Lyons, Jean de Tournes, 1550.
The only de Tournes edition of Plato’s corpus, rare. The Latin text is that of Marsilio Ficino, the first complete translation of Plato’s work into a Western language, and ‘the best translation of that author Italy can boast’ (Enc. Brit.), which the translator discussed with the best philologists...
[MAFFEI, Giovanni Pietro, and Emanuel ACOSTA.]
Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volumen.
Naples, ‘apud Horatium Salvianum’, 1573.
Third and best edition of the earliest detailed history of the Jesuit missions in the East, especially Japan. Included for the first time in this edition are five pages of Japanese characters in printed facsimile, ‘Specimen quoddam litterarum vocumque Japonicarum; desumptum e regis Bungi diplomate’...
Compendium universi complectens geographicarum ennarationum libros sex, ex quibus totius terrarum orbis situs universaliter...
Cologne, Wilhelm Lützenkirchen, 1600.
First edition in Latin, rare, the maps all finely coloured by a contemporary hand. First published the previous year as Enchiridion cosmographicum, daß ist ein Handtbuechlin der gantzen Welt gelegenheit, with five maps only. The number of maps in the Latin edition seems to vary, but our copy...
[FULIGNATI, Giuntino (pseud.
for Tommaso BUONI?)]. Della famosissima compagnia della lesina. Dialogo, capitoli, e ragionamenti....
Vicenza, Giorgio Greco, 1601.
Scarce humorous dystopia of indigence, first edition thus: the first to include a section specifically directed at women. Styled as the statutes and histories of a fictitious society, the ‘Company of Stinginess’, founded to promote thrift in an age of economic depression and scarcity, made its debut...
Primera parte de la vida del Picaro Guzman de Alfarache ...
Çaragoça, Angelo Tavanno, 1603.
Rare early edition of the prototype of the picaresque novel, Guzman de Alfarache. The novel prepared the way for the acceptance of Cervantes’ Don Quixote by the literary public of Europe; and, like Don Quixote, it quickly inspired a sequel. The original part I first appeared in 1599; Lujan de Sayavedra’s...
CÉSPEDES Y MENESES, Gonzalo de.
Varia fortuna del soldado Pindaro. Lisbon, Geraldo de la Viña, ‘626’ [i.e 1626].
Rare first edition of this semi-autobiographical picaresque novel, printed while the author was in exile in Lisbon following the publication of his politically controversial Historia apologética en los sucesos del reyno de Aragon (1622).
MENDES PINTO, Fernão (Bernard FIGUIER, translator).
Les voyages advantureux de Fernand Mendez Pinto. Fidelement traduicts de portugais...
Paris: Mathurin Henault, 1628.
First edition in French of Mendes Pinto’s celebrated travel account; rare. The original Portuguese edition was published in 1614, although the first draft of the book had been completed by 1569. The present ‘atmospheric and faithful French translation’ (Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe,...
Istoria del viaggio d’Alemagna del serenissimo Gran Duca di Toscana Ferdinando Secondo …
First and only edition of a rare account of the journey Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Granduke of Tuscany, made to celebrate his coming of age and taking on the running of government. Ferdinando II travelled from February to July 1628 and first visited Rome to pay homage to the Pope, then Loreto, Bologna,...
De Monarchia Hispanica. Editio novissima, aucta & emendata ut præfatio ad lectorem indicat.
Amsterdam, Elzevir, 1641.
Second Elzevir edition in Latin of Campanella’s important political tractate on a universal monarchy, including in Chapter 31, ‘De altero Hemispherio & Mundo Novo’, a discussion of the settlement of America and the importance of defending it from English (Protestant) influence.
A discourse touching the Spanish monarchy. Wherein we have a political glasse representing each particular...
London, printed for Philemon Stephens in Paul’s Church-Yard, 1654.
First edition in English. The translator’s preface to the reader is unsigned, but the translation is usually attributed to Edward Chilmead (see Oxford DNB). He explains that he could not discover in which language the Discourse was originally written in, but that the recent  Latin edition published...
VILLEHARDOUIN, Geoffroy de (Charles du Fresne DU CANGE, editor).
Histoire de l’empire de Constantinople sous les empereurs françois,...
Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1657.
First collected edition, comprising the third edition of Villehardouin’s chronicle, edited and translated by Du Cange, and the first edition of Du Cange’s history of the Latin empire in the Levant. The original and modern French versions of Villehardouin’s chronicle are printed on opposite pages....
[BRUNEL, Antoine de.]
A journey into Spain.
London, printed for Henry Herringman, 1670.
First edition in English. A free and abridged translation of Voyage d’Espagne curieux, historique et politique, first published anonymously in 1665. Setting out from the Netherlands in 1651 in the company of François van Aerssen, Brunel toured France, Germany and Italy before travelling to...
TAVERNIER, Jean Baptiste.
Recüeil de plusieurs relations et traitez singuliers et curieux . . . qui n’ont point esté mis dans...
Paris, Gervais Clouzier, 1679.
First edition, separately published, of the third part of Tavernier’s celebrated collection of voyages. The first two parts, Les six voyages, had appeared in 1676 and were also reissued in 1679.
KERKHERDERE, Jan Gerard.
De situ Paradisi Terrestris ... Praecedit... conatus novus de Cepha reprehenso ex Galatarum secundo capite.
Louvain, Martin van Overbeke, 1729.
First edition. Kerkherdere addresses the question of the location of the Garden of Eden, the earthly Paradise, accompanying his conjecture with a map engraved by P. E. Boultats of Antwerp; the perusal of various sources, geographical studies and toponymic considerations lead the author, an Imperial historian,...
Atlas minimus, or a Book of Geography shewing all the Empires Monarchies Kingdomes, Regions Dominions Principalities...
And are to be sold at his House at the Hermitage in Wapping. And in Pope’s Head Alley … [1678?]
First edition in book form, second issue, of Seller’s charming miniature atlas, first published c. 1676 as playing cards, with the 52 maps divided into four suits and so numbered.
A Collection of Welsh Travels and Memoirs of Wales. Containing I. The Briton Describ’d, or a Journey thro’...
London: Printed for and sold by J. Torbuck … 1738.
First edition of this compilation of whimsical works about Wales, reissued and published as though under the auspices of Swift.
ANSON, George, Lord.
A Voyage round the World, in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV ... Compiled from Papers and Other Materials...
London: John and Paul Knapton for the author, 1748.
First edition. ‘Anson’s voyage of 1740-44 holds a unique and terrible place in British maritime history. The misadventures of this attempt by Royal Navy ships to sail round the world make a dramatic story of hardship, disaster, mutiny and endurance [...]. [When] Anson reached the coast of...
A Catalogue of new and useful Maps, curious & entertaining Prints, Books of Architecture, great Variety of Drawing...
[London, Sayer, 1766 or earlier].
An attractive piece of ephemera, advertising Robert Sayer’s publishing and print-selling business. It shows at the top left corner a double-page spread from one of Robert Morris’ books on architecture, possibly Select Architecture or Architecture Improved, both published by Sayer in...