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 voyage to the South Sea . . . for the purpose of conveying the bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in his majesty’s...
London, George Nicol, 1790.
The rare composite issue of the first edition of the Voyage to the South Sea incorporating the first edition of the Narrative of the mutiny which had been published in 1790. The regular issue of the Voyage simply reprinted Bligh’s account of the mutiny, but this special...
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.
[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,...
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).
SARMIENTO DE GAMBOA, Pedro.
Viage al Estrecho de Magallanes por el Capitan Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa en los años de 1579 y 1580...
Madrid, Imprenta Real de la Gazeta, 1768.
First edition: very rare. The first printing of Sarmiento’s manuscript journal in the Royal Library at Madrid, edited by Don Bernardo de Iriarte. An English translation is found in Clements Markham, Narratives of the Voyages of Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa, Hakluyt Society, 1895 (pp. 1–205, 352–75).
A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board His Majesty's Ship Bounty; and the Subsequent Voyage of Part of the Crew, in...
London, George Nicol, 1790.
First edition. Bligh’s own account of the mutiny on the Bounty, written and published within months of his return to England. Bligh was anxious to ensure that his version of events was widely publicised and the Narrative ‘gives Bligh’s first, and lasting, opinion of what caused...
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...
BURGESS, Walter William, artist.
Bits of Old Chelsea. A Series of Forty-One Etchings ... with Letterpress Description by Lionel...
London: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. for Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1894.
First edition, limited to 110 copies, of which 100 were for sale. This series of etchings was executed by the British engraver and painter Walter William Burgess RE (1856-1908), who exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1874 and 1903, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers...
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...
A journal of transactions and events, during a residence of nearly sixteen years on the coast of Labrador;...
Newark, Allin & Ridge, 1792.
First edition. Cartwright, formerly a major in the British army, made six expeditions to Newfoundland and Labrador between 1770 and 1786. His Journal ‘is, among other things, a detailed seasonal record of the exploitation of coastal resources by one who combined keen entrepreneurial interests with...
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.
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...
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...
BOUGAINVILLE, Louis Antoine de, comte.
A Voyage round the World ... In the years 1766, 1767, 1768, and 1769 ... Translated from...
Nourse and T. Davies, 1772.
First English edition. The first French circumnavigation, undertaken by Bougainville, who had instructions to hand over the Falkland Island, which he had colonised in 1764, to Spain (currently France’s ally), and then to proceed towards China via the Straits of Magellan and the South Sea, investigating...
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...
COOK, Captain James – Johann Reinhold and (Johann) Georg Adam FORSTER.
Characteres generum plantarum, quas in itinere ad insulas...
London: B. White, T. Cadell, & P. Elmsly, 1776.
First edition. Johann Reinhold Forster (1729-1798) and his son Georg Forster (1754-1794) travelled on Cook’s second voyage of 1772-1775 as naturalists, and their Characteres generum plantarum was the first botanical work about the voyage to be published and one of the earliest sources for European...
Nuovo e nobile divertimento del viaggio all’Indie.
Milan, Gaetano Bianchi, [c. 1760].
An ingenious eighteenth-century Italian board game on the theme of a voyage to the Americas, a rare survival.