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...
A Treatise of Commerce, wherin are shewed the commodies [sic] arising by a wel ordered, and ruled trade, such as...
Very rare first edition. With a long authorial presentation inscription on the initial blank to a fellow Merchant Adventurer:
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....
[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...
[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,...
NAPOLEON I, Emperor of the French.
Brevet signed (‘Napole’), for Colonel Marc Nicolas Louis Pécheux, granting him the title...
‘Notre Camp Impérial à Burgo’, 22 November 1808.
This brevet conferred the title of baron upon Colonel Marc Nicolas Louis Pécheux (1769-1831) of the 95e regiment d’infanterie de ligne. It was signed by Napoleon, later countersigned by Cambacérès (Arch-Chancellor of the Empire), and docketed on the verso with details of the transmission of the...
La theorie et la pratique des nombres. Methodiquement proposes dans l’usage des financiers.
Paris, [Jean Bessin] for the author, 1644.
First edition. A rare practical mercantile arithmetic handbook for financiers and tax farmers. The work, beginning with the mathematical ‘alphabet’ of 10 numbers, covers basic arithmetic, as well as more complicated quadratic roots, rules, discounts, change and exchange, all illustrated with numerous...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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].
Presentation copy with the author’s inscription of the rare first edition of Say’s utopia, written in response to a competition organized by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques on the question: ‘Quelles sont les institutions capables de fonder la morale chez un peuple?’. Say treats...
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,...
FOSSÉ, Charles Louis François.
Idées d’un militaire pour la disposition des troupes confiées aux jeunes officiers dans la...
Paris, de l’imprimerie de Franç. Amb. Didot l’Ainé chez Alexandre Jombert, 1783.
First edition. ‘Ouvrage estimé’ (Brunet). A splendidly illustrated military treatise and excellent example of French colour printing written by a French infantry officer and mathematician who distinguished himself in the Seven Years’ War.
pamphlets dating from 1739 and 1740 concerned with the war with Spain, the South Sea Company and the sugar trade in the British...
i). The consequences of his majesty’s journey to Hanover, at this critical juncture. Considered in a letter from a Member of Parliament in town to a noble Duke in the country: to which is added, the Duke of A---l’s speech upon the state of the nation: with the reply to it, by Lord ******. London,...
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...
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...