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Sri Lanka Books & Ephemera


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    $14.95

    Images of Sri Lanka through American Eyes Travellers in Ceylon in the 19th & 20th Centuries by Goonetileke, H. A. I

    Colombia, Sri Lanka: International Communication Agency. Very Good with no dust jacket; Pictorial paperback; clean pages; tight . binding; photographs.. 1978. First Edition; 2nd Printing. Paperback. Anthology of comments by Americans over two hundred years of contact with Ceylon. ; Trade PB; B&W Photographs; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 411 pages .


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    $750.00

    Peninsula Indiae citra Gangem, hoc est, Orae Celeberrimae Malabar & Coromandel Cum adjacente Insula non minus celebratissima Ceylon; 1733 Striking Map of Southern India and Sri Lanka by HOMANN HEIRS

    Nuremburg: Homann, Johann Baptist, 1733. unbound. Map. Copper plate engraving with original hand coloring. Image measures 21 1/4" x 18 3/4" This beautiful 1733 map of Southern India and Sri Lanka or Ceylon was issued by Homann Heirs. Largely based on the cartographic work of Jean Bourcet, it covers from Daman south to include all of Sri Lanka. Mapping the region following the death of Emperor Aurangzeb and the resulting decline of the Mughal Empire, several important towns and cities are noted throughout with beautifully rendered topography noting rivers, hills, mountains, forests, and roads. Some coastal features are also noted including Adams Bank, Pearl Banks near the Pearl Fishery Coast, and others. A curious wall appears near Mangalore. This legendary wall was featured in many maps from the period, however no trace of such a wall has been found. Flags throughtout signify British, Danish, French, Dutch, Portuguese possessions while an illustration of a map leading a camel is seen in the center of the map. An elaborate title cartouche in the lower left features an elephant surrounded by natives, goods and traders. The map is in good condition with minor wear along the original centerfold. Original plate mark is visible. Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) was a renowned German mapmaker of the late 17th and early 18th century who served as geographer to the Holy Roman Emperor. His business was carried on through the 18th century by the Homann Heirs, also prolific and popular mapmakers.


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    £252.00

    Ceylon Motorist's Road Book. by [Ceylon]

    Colombo, 1916. First edition pp.200, large folding linen-backed map. A good copy in the original limp cloth binding.


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    $14.00

    THE GREEN LIGHT Memories of Broadcasting in Sri Lanka by Rathinam, Gnanam

    Vashicara Advertising. Very Good-. 2005. First Edition. Hardcover. Corners of rear cover worn. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 148 pages .


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    $16.50

    Sri Lanka: a Bitter Harvest by Nissan, Elizabeth

    London. London: Minority Rights Group International. Fine with no dust jacket. 1996. Softcover. No defects. This is an oversized stapled booklet printed on coated paper (11.8 inches x 8.2 inches). . The MRG reports are intended for academics, lawyers, journalists, development agencies, and governments. They typically provide the past history and contemporary situation of the group, current problems and issues, recommendations, notes, and bibliography. . Minority Rights Group International Report Series. 4to 11" - 13" tall. 46 pages. M7 .


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    $95.00

    Souvenir of Ceylon. 24 Choice Photographic Character Studies by [Ceylon]

    Colombo: Plate & Co, 1907. Very good condition. Oblong 16mo souvenir brochure with b&w photogravure illustrations, that are mostlyy anthropological in nature, including: Kandyan Chiefs; Singhalese Women; Kandyan Lady; Singhalese Ayah; Groupe (sic) of Singhalese Children; Singhalese Lace Makers; A Village Garden Party; Nautch Girls; Dhobies; Tamil Ladies; Tamil Girl; Tea Pluckers; Jugglers and Snake Charmers; Tamil Barber; Road Side Group; Ginrickshaw; Racing Hackeries; Tamil Theatrical Company; Devil Dancers; Veddhas; Singhalese Man; Rodiya Girl (3 images, topless, slightly risque). Brown printed paper wrappers. With neat owner inscription at exterior & interior of front wrapper: "Bought during a stop in Colombo Ceylon April, 1907". OCLC: 827949467 locates one copy at Monash University Library.


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    £194.25

    Secret Minutes of the Dutch Political Council, 1762. Part I: Translation. Part II: Dutch Text. by Paulusz, J.H.O. (Editor and Translator)

    Colombo, 1954. pp.349, 3 plates A very good ex-library copy in the original cloth-backed boards.


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    £367.50

    Account of Mr. Pybus's Mission to the King of Kandy, in 1762. Printed from the Records of the Madras Government. by Pybus, Mr

    Colombo: W. Skeen, Government Printer, 1862. First edition in book form, pp.113. Front wrapper partially detached (but present). Minor wera. A very good copy.


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    £892.50

    Namawalia: or, A poetical vocabulary of Singhalese synonyms. By Nallurutun. With a liberal rendering into English, interspersed with explanatory notes, and two alphabetical indices; by The Rev. C. Alwis. by Nallurutun, Minisanhas; Cornelis Alwis, editor & translator

    Colombo: Government Printing Office, 1858. First edition. 8vo (21.5 x 13.5 cm), pp.[iv], 123, [1, blank]. With printed Sinhalese text. Bound in contemporary half leather. Spine rubbed and torn at head, with short splits. Otherwise a very good copy. A dictionary of Sinhalese synonyms in verse composed in 1421 and one of the classic texts of the Sri Lankan tradition of philology: "a work of great authority … constantly referred to by Singhalese authors. It holds the same position in Singhalese literature, as the Amarakosa vocabulary in the Sanskrit, and Abbidanappadipika in the Pali." (from editor's preface). This work was composed by one the ministers of Parakrama Bahu VI, king of the Sinhalese kingdom of Kotte, in the 15th century. He was a great patron of the arts and his reign is regarded as the golden era of classical Sinhalese literature. Entries are arranged by broad themes: words relating to Heaven; beneath the Earth; the Earth; town; vegetables; the lion; man; the castes: Brahmins, kings, merchants, and mechanics; miscellanea; and "various significations". Manuscripts of Namavaliya abound, but no critical edition had appeared in print: "There is hardly a Singhalese scholar, who is not in possession of a manuscript copy, or to whom its contents are not familiar. Being a work much used, and for the most part transcribed by laymen uninstructed in the Pali and Sanskrit languages, and, consequently, ignorant of the etymology of the greater part of the Singhalese words, these manuscripts abound with clerical errors. The present edition was prepared for the press by comparing and collecting manuscripts, collected from temples the most famous for Singhalese and Pali literature." The editor, Cornelis Alwis, who also compiled The Romanized handbook of Singhalese conversation, added two appendices useful for the learner of Sinhalese: "The first will serve the purposes of a Singhalese and English dictionary, and the second, as an English and Singhalese, as far as the words of the Namawalia are concerned."


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    £892.50

    Ceylon. A general description of the Island, historical, physical, statistical. Containing the most recent information. by [Suckling, Horatio John, Captain]

    London: Chapman & Hall, 1876. First edition. Two volumes, 8vo (23 x 15.5 cm), pp.xvi, 424; viii, 432, folding map, errata slip. A very good set in slightly dull original publisher's cloth. Spines lightly rubbed, some wear to corners. A detailed study of Ceylon, mixing historical research with the author's firsthand experience of the island. Suckling notes that the only other comprehensive work to date was Tennent's 1858 account. He aimed to supplement Tennent and correct his errors. It draws on sources ranging from medieval travellers' accounts, including those of Arab and Chinese traders, Sinhalese histories, and Portuguese, Dutch, and English colonial records. The first volume contains four chapters on the island's physical geography, with ancient descriptions of the island, notes on coral reefs, and soil and agriculture. Suckling devotes a short chapter to climate, disease, and weather, and another to Ceylon's ancient history. Four further chapters span early trade to east and west and foreign accounts of the island from this period. Five chapters cover modern history, from the arrival of the Portuguese to the war of 1848, when Suckling was first stationed on the island. The last two chapters describe Colombo and the diverse population. The second volume has chapters on travel within Ceylon, the long history of Buddhism on the island, and arts and literature, with notes on languages, weaving, and pottery. Suckling devotes almost three hundred pages to the flora and fauna of the island, with detailed chapters on cinnamon, pearls, and palm trees, including the coconut. Captain Horatio John Suckling (1822-1905) was a career officer who served in the Ceylon Rifles for several decades.


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    £682.50

    Sella Lihini Sandese. The Sella's Message by Sri Rahula of Totagamua. The text and translation, with notes and glossary for the use of students, edited and translated by William Charles Macready. by Sri Rahula; William Charles Macready, editor & translator

    Colombo: Wesleyan Mission Press, 1865. First edition. 8vo (22 x 14 cm), pp.[ii], 72, xxxix, [1, blank], 101, [1, blank], [3, errata], [1, blank]. A very good copy bound in mid-20th century red cloth. Numerous pencil notes. The first published edition in any language of this classical Sinhalese poem by the 15th-century court poet Sri Rahula. The poem tells how the minister Nallurutunaya despatched a bird, Sella, from the court at Kotte to a temple at Kelaniya, seeking a blessing to bestow a son and heir on Ulakuda Devi, daughter of the king. Macready compiled this text for the use of students of Sinhalese. The first part comprises an edited Sinhalese text, followed by his literal English translation. The final hundred pages are an extensive Sinhalese-English glossary. We locate copies at Cleveland, Danish Royal Library, National Art Library, Newberry, and Oxford.


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    £892.50

    The spinning-wheel and the paddy field. A consideration of the problems of our food and clothing. by Bandaranaike, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias

    Colombo: J.D. Fernando, printed at the Granthaprakasa Press, 1933. First edition. 8vo (21.5 x 14 cm), pp.[x], 92, frontispiece portrait and 9 plates. A very good copy in original cloth-backed boards, edges lightly worn. One of the earliest political publications by S.W.R.D. Bandarnaike, edited and revised from his articles on Mahatma Gandhi's Charka Movement published in the Daily News and Silumina. Bandaranaike provides a scathing polemical sketch history of capitalism and industrialisation in Europe and its inevitable decline. "Capitalism, at its last gasp has evolved a remedy that will in the end only quicken the descent into the pit," he writes, identifying the trap of increasing efficiency through mechanisation, cheapening and eliminating labour, and increasing unemployment. Not even ever cheaper power will redeem this system, and socialism is too great a conceptual leap. For Bandaranaike, the Charka Movement bridged the gap between capitalist collapse and socialist ideal. He outlines the present state of cotton cultivation and weaving on the island, and describes the handful of weaving centres active by 1933, the first founded at Kittampahuwa in 1928. These centres trained weavers, mainly local women, and encouraged the collective cultivation of cotton. The final section deals with the poor state of the island's rice paddies, superseded under colonial administration by rubber, coffee, and tea cultivation, and calls for a renewal of self-sufficiency, to insulate Sri Lanka from the wild fluctuations in market prices for cash crops. The frontispiece depicts the author in traditional dress with a spinning wheel, while the illustrations depict Mahatma Gandhi, women working at the weaving centres, cotton cultivation, and paddy fields. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (1899-1959) was a lawyer and leading political figure in Ceylon's National Congress, founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and the fourth prime minister of Ceylon. His term was tragically ended with his assassination by a Buddhist monk. We locate no other copies.


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    $600.00

    The East Indies, with the Roads by JEFFERYS, Thomas

    London: Robert Sayer, 1768. unbound. very good. Map in two sheets. Engraving with hand colored outline. Each image measures 21" x 54.25". This large map of India shows the area during the period of growing British presence in the mid-18th century. It is dedicated to the East India Company, which had gained control over the Bengal region by 1765, only a few years prior to the maps publication. One of the largest English-language maps of India of the period, it was also the most detailed that had yet to been produced, with particular attention given to the wide road network developing at the time. However, there is also a large portion of the country that remains little known and in a manner independent--such that the map shows a fascinating visual contrast between known information and blank space. The map is in very good condition with minor overall toning and slight dampstaining. A few small tears to edges, expert reinforcements to original folds. Thomas Jefferys (c. 1719-1771), was an English cartographer who worked as Geographer to King George III. As a prominent map supplier of his day, he produced cartographic works in both official and commercial capacities. This map of India describes a pivotal moment in the regions history.


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    £1,312.50

    The Oriental Astronomer: being a complete system of Hindu astronomy, accompanied with a translation and numerous explanatory notes. With an appendix. by [Hoisington, Henry Richard, editor]

    Jaffna: American Mission Press, 1848. First edition. Two parts in one volume. 8vo (22 x 14 cm) pp.[iv], 177, [1]; [2], 2, 145, [1, blank], [1, corrigenda], [1, blank]. In English and Tamil. Bound in contemporary half roan by M. Winslow, binder to the American Mission his ticket to front pastedown, morocco lettering-piece to spine. Somewhat rubbed, and spine beginning to come adrift. Contents in very good, clean condition. This text was published to combat popular Hindu astrology and assist Christian proselytizing: "Hindu astronomy is made the foundation of a vast system of astrology … There is probably no part of heathenism which has a more constant and operative influence on all classes of society than astrology in its popular developments. Here you may learn much of the bondage of this people." Henry Richard Hoisington, a missionary, provided the English translation; the Tamil text is ostensibly the translation of "Illamudeian" from an unspecified and unidentified Sanskrit source. Henry Hoisington (1801-58) arrived in Ceylon in 1833 and served repeatedly as Principal of the Batticotta Seminary between 1836 and 1849. Wesleyan missionaries reached Jaffna in 1814, establishing their press in 1825 – the present work is a rare example of a secular text from their press.


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    £262.50

    Ceylon at the Census of 1911, being the review of the results of the census of 1911. by Denham, E.B

    Colombo: H.C. Cottle, Government Printer, 1912. First edition, pp.viii, 538, 24 illustrations and maps. A very good copy in original cloth, spine slightly soiled.


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    £1,417.50

    Ceylon. A general description of the Island, historical, physical, statistical. Containing the most recent information. by [Suckling, Horatio John, Captain]

    London: Chapman & Hall, 1876. First edition. Two volumes, 8vo (23 x 15.5 cm), pp.xvi, 424, errata slip; viii, 432, folding map. A fine bright set in the original publisher's cloth, with decoratively stamped boards, titles gilt on spines. A little light spotting. A detailed study of Ceylon, mixing historical research with the author's firsthand experience of the island. Suckling notes that the only other comprehensive work to date was Tennent's 1858 account. He aimed to supplement Tennent and correct his errors. It draws on sources ranging from medieval travellers' accounts, including those of Arab and Chinese traders, Sinhalese histories, and Portuguese, Dutch, and English colonial records. The first volume contains four chapters on the island's physical geography, with ancient descriptions of the island, notes on coral reefs, and soil and agriculture. Suckling devotes a short chapter to climate, disease, and weather, and another to Ceylon's ancient history. Four further chapters span early trade to east and west and foreign accounts of the island from this period. Five chapters cover modern history, from the arrival of the Portuguese to the war of 1848, when Suckling was first stationed on the island. The last two chapters describe Colombo and the diverse population. The second volume has chapters on travel within Ceylon, the long history of Buddhism on the island, and arts and literature, with notes on languages, weaving, and pottery. Suckling devotes almost three hundred pages to the flora and fauna of the island, with detailed chapters on cinnamon, pearls, and palm trees, including the coconut. Captain Horatio John Suckling (1822-1905) was a career officer who served in the Ceylon Rifles for several decades.


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    £262.50

    Ribeiro's history of Ceilao. With a summary of De Barros, De Couto, Antonio Bocarro and the Documentos Remettidos, with the Parangi Hatane and Kostantinu Hatane. Translated from the original Portuguese and Sinhalese by P.E. Peiris. by Ribeiro, João; P.E. Peiris, translator

    Colombo: Colombo Apothecaries Co. Ltd, 1909. Second edition, expanded. 8vo (22 x 15 cm), pp.xvii, [1, blank], [2], 416, xiv. A very good copy in original publisher's green cloth. Peiris supplemented Riberio's chronicle with translated extracts from the works of João de Barros and Diogo de Couto dealing with the 16th-century history of the Portuguese in Ceylon, and extracts from Bocarro, De Sa e Menezes, and Faria de Souza. This second edition has two new chapters based on the Documentos Remettidos da India ou Livros da Monçoes, which bridge the gaps between other Portuguese histories and Ribeiro's account. COPAC records copies at the British Library, Leeds, and London Library.


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    $175.00

    Survey Department Motor Map of Ceylon by Wickwar, A. J

    Colombo: The Survey Office, 1920. Very good condition. Canvas backed dissected map of Ceylon, (scale 8 miles to 1 inch), showing motorable roads in red, as well as railways, petrol depots, rest houses, telegraph offices, etc. Published under the direction of Mr. A. J. Wickwar, Surveyor General. Wickwar served as Surveyor General from 1923 - 1927. With 21 inset city plans, including: Kandy, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Matara, Ratnapura, Chilaw, Negombo, Kurunegala, Badulla, Nawalapitiya, Galle; with the largest at the upper right, of Colombo. With a Table of Distances measured from the loading platforms at railway stations to places of interest. Unfolded, measures 29 x 37". OCLC 316355319.


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    $475.00

    Ceylon by TEMPLETON, R. S

    Ceylon: The Survey Office, 1910. unbound. Pocket map. Dissected and lined with linen. Map measure 38.5" x 27". This large folding pocket map issued by the survey office of Ceylon was published in 1910 under the orders of Mr. R. S. Templeton who was the Surveyor General of Ceylon from 1910 - 1915. The map covers the entire island and is color coded according to provinces. Notes roads, railways, towns, rivers, lakes, and a host of other topographical features. The map is in good condition. Dissected and lined with linen. Some foxing, especially near the key. A beautiful large example of a map of Ceylon.


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    £183.75

    Thoughts, Talks and Tramps. A Collection of Papers. Edited with a Memoir by R.R. Marett. by Thurn, Sir Everard Im

    London: Humphrey Milford; Oxford University Press, 1934. First edition pp.xxiii, 285, frontis, folding map. A very good copy in original cloth. With a presentation inscription from the author. With "A sketch of the Ceylon Pearl Fishery of 1903".


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    £8.00

    Ceylon: Pearl of the East by Harry Williams

    Robert Hale, 1965. Hardcover. Good/Acceptable. 1965. Seventh Impression. 254 pages. Pictorial dust jacket over red cloth boards. Contains black and white photographic plates. Book is in better condition than most examples of this age. Neat, clean, well bound pages with very minimal foxing, tanning and thumbing. Small inscriptions and neat labels may be present. Boards have mild shelf wear with light rubbing and corner bumping. Some light marking and sunning. Moderate rub wear and markings to grubby jacket with light tanning. Minor foxing and small stains to rear. Light tanning and foxing.


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    £262.50

    Two happy years in Ceylon. Illustrated by the author. by Cumming, C.F. Gordon

    Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1892. First edition Two volumes, pp.x, 438; vii, 442, 19 plates, folding map. A very good set in original pictorial cloth. Corners bumped. Cover of second volume creased.


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    £892.50

    Prodromus Faunae Zeylanicae; being contributions to the zoology of Ceylon. by Kelaart, Edward Frederick

    Colombo: printed for the author by John Bieler at the Observer Press, 1852. First edition. 8vo (21 x 14 cm), pp.[ii], viii, [vi], (ix)-xxxiii, [3], 197, [3], 54, [4, index]. Separately published folding map of Ceylon tipped in. A very good copy in the original quarter cloth, boards. Map torn at fold, not affecting printed surface. A survey of the mammals, birds, and reptiles of Ceylon, describing approximately 200 species, all observed by the military surgeon Edward Frederick Kelaart (1819-1860) between 1849 and 1852. Kelaart's interest in Ceylon's wildlife was sparked by his childhood on the island. The 1857 reprint of Arrowsmith's 1856 edition of Fraser's map of Ceylon, one of the most detailed maps published in the 19th century, is tipped into our copy. It was issued in Barrow's Ceylon: past and present of the same year. Kelaart went on to publish a second volume of papers in 1853 (not present here) and later published several works on the pearl oyster of Ceylon.


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    £367.50

    The Temporal and Spritual Conquest of Ceylon. Translated by Father S.G. Perera. by Queyroz, Father Fernao de

    Colombo: A.C. Richards, Acting Government Printer, 1930. First edition Three volumes, pp.xxviii, 392; (393)-810; (811)-1274. Title page detached (but present), otherwise a very good set in original cloth. "The best single source for the history of the island from the early sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries... a good translation and is well annotated" [de Silva 1220].


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    £682.50

    The Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register. Volume II, Parts 2 & 4; III, Parts 1 & 4; IV, Part 1.

    Colombo, 1916-18. Five parts bound in one, 4to, pp.[vi], (69)-148; (221)-296; [vi], 68; (237)-304; [ii], 63; viii, vi. A few plates, maps and text illustrations. Bound in contemporary buckram, minor wear to spine. Five parts of this scarce journal edited by H.C.P. Bell and John Marcus Senaveratna, with contributions from both as well as J.P. Lewis, S.G. Perera, H.W. Codrington and others. Ten volumes of this journal were published between 1915 and 1924.


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