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.
(Colophon:) Venice, Aldus, May 1502.
A handsome copy of the first edition of the Greek text of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, printed by the great Aldus Manutius, with an interesting provenance.
Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangères, par quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus.
Paris, [variously:] Jean Cusson, Nicolas le Clerc, Jean Barbou, P.G. le Mercier, Boudet, Marc Bordelet, H.L. Guerin, L.F. Delatour, Rualt,...
A very rare complete first edition set of the enormously significant Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, ‘the most valuable 18th-century source on Jesuit activities in frontier regions throughout the world’ (Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages) and a monument to Jesuit missionary and scientific zeal....
De patientia aurei libri tres.
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...
Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Arctic Ocean, in 1833, 1834, and 1835; under the Command of Capt. Back.
London: Samuel Bentley for Richard Bentley, 1836.
First edition. The English naval officer and Arctic explorer Sir George Back (1795-1878) was a veteran of Sir John Franklin’s first two Arctic expeditions, and this experience led to his appointment to command an expedition to search for Sir John Ross, whose party searching for the Northwest Passage...
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).
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.
A Relation of a Journey of the Right Honourable my Lord Henry Howard, from London to Vienna, and thence to Constantinople;...
London, Printed for T. Collins and I. Ford … and S. Hickman … 1671.
First and only edition of this account of a special embassy to the court of Sultan Mehmed IV, undertaken in 1664-5 by Walter Leslie, the Scottish-born Ambassador Extraordinary of the Holy Roman Empire. In his party was Henry Howard, later sixth Duke of Norfolk, along with the author John Burbury, who...
MEYER, Hans Heinrich Joseph.
Across East African Glaciers. An Account of the First Ascent of Kilimanjaro ... Translated from the...
London and Liverpool: George Philip & Son, 1891.
First English edition, standard issue. Hans Meyer (1858-1929), son of bookseller-turned-publisher Herrmann Julius Meyer and grandson of Joseph Meyer, the founder of the publishing house Bibliographisches Institut, built his reputation as one of the most famous explorers and mountaineers of his...
[COYER; VOLTAIRE; WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION.]
‘Recueil des Pieces’.
An extraordinary sammelband of 75 pamphlets – 27 of which are recorded in only 3 or fewer libraries on OCLC – mostly relating to successful French exploits throughout Europe during the War of the Austrian Succession, including the Dutch and Italian campaigns and the conclusion of the war.
Olbie, ou Essai sur les moyens de réformer les moeurs d’une nation.
Paris, Deterville and Treuttel & Wurtz, ‘an VIII de la République’ [1799–1800].[bound with:][ANON]. Principes politiques, par F. M....
Presentation copy with the author’s inscription of the rare first edition of Say’s utopia, written in response to a competition organised by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques on the question: ‘Quelles sont les institutions capables de fonder la morale chez un peuple?’. Say...
ESTRIDGE, Henry Watley.
Six Years in Seychelles; with Photographs from Original Drawings.
[?London: ?the author], 1885.
First edition. Following a period in the army, Estridge (1837-1902) was appointed Collector of Customs at Mahé in the Seychelles (probably in 1880), and held the position until 1885, when he returned to England. In 1886 he took up the position of Receiver and Accountant-General, British Bechuanaland...
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,...
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...
Voyages de l’empereur de la Chine dans la Tartarie, ausquels on a joint une nouvelle découverte au Mexique.
Paris, Estienne Michallet, 1685.
First edition, extremely rare, of two letters in which the Jesuit missionary Verbiest describes the travels made by the emperor Kang Xi to Manchuria in 1682 and Mongolia in 1683.
[MAFFEI, Giovanni Pietro and Emanuel ACOSTA.]
Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volume. In quo hæc ferme continentur....
Naples: Orazio Salviani, 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’...
Peribologia seu muniendorum locor[um] ratio.
Frankfurt, Anton Humm for the author, 1641.
First Latin edition of this monumental work on architecture and fortifications, a book produced by father and son. The imprint makes clear that the son, Johann Wilhelm, not only was responsible for the magnificent plates but also edited and published the work ‘edita sumptus et typos suppeditante Joanne...
Beschryving van Arabie, uit eigene waarnemingen en in ’t land zelf verzamelde narigten. Opgesteld door …...
2 works in 3 volumes, uniformly bound in contemporary Dutch mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, one with traces of lettering-pieces, one in second work numbered directly in gilt. others with central gilt fleurons enclosed by floral sprays, all edges speckled red; endpapers of second work replaced,...
A Voyage to Abyssinia, and Travels into the Interior of that Country, Executed under the Orders of the British Government,...
London: W. Bulmer and Co. for F.C. and J. Rivington, 1814.
First edition, large-paper issue. The traveller, artist and antiquarian Salt (1780-1827) briefly worked as an artist in his native Lichfield and London, before joining Viscount Valentia on his tour of India and the Middle East in 1802 as a secretary and draughtsman. During the expedition, Salt...
[GREAT BRITAIN: PARLIAMENT].
[Drop-head title:] ‘An act for repealing the several duties of customs and excise, and granting...
London, Charles Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1787.
Rare first edition of the consolidation act that revolutionised British handling of customs and excise and the problem of smuggling, in line with Adam Smith’s 1776 recommendations.
[LE MERCIER DE LA RIVIÈRE, Pierre Paul].
Die glückliche Nation, oder der Staat von Felizien. Ein Muster der vollkommensten Freyheit...
Leipzig, Voss, 1794.
First edition in German, originally published as L’Heureuse Nation, ou Relation du gouvernement des Féliciens, peuple souverainement libre et heureux sous l’empire absolu des lois in 1792. Le Mercier de la Rivière (1720–1793/4) was a colleague of Quesnay and Mirabeau, whose physiocratic views...