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From Ceylon Pearl Of the East to The Golden Age Of Sculpture In Sri Lanka, from Ceylon History In Stone to The Reefs Of Taprobane, we can help you find the sri lanka books you are looking for. As the world's largest independent marketplace for new, used and rare books, you always get the best in service and value when you buy from Biblio.co.uk, and all of your purchases are backed by our return guarantee.


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Sri Lanka Books & Ephemera


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    £392.00

    An English-Sinhalese Dictionary. by Carter, Charles Henry, Reverend

    Colombo: George J. A. Skeen, Government Printer, 1891. First edition. 8vo, 22 x 14 cm; pp.xx, 1030. A very good copy in modern morocco-backed boards. Carter's monumental work, begun in 1881 when ill health compelled him to leave Ceylon, the Dictionary surpassed the earlier work of Benjamin Clough and was reprinted as late as 1965. A companion Sinhalese-English dictionary was published at Colombo in 1924. Carter's linguistic work was an offshoot of his main literary endeavor, translating the Bible into Sinhalese for the Baptist Missionary Society, which disapproved of the style of Tolfrey's translation. Hooper, pp.211-212.


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    £280.00

    Ummagga Jataka (The story of the tunnel). Translated from the Sinhalese by T.B. Yatawara. by Yatawara, T.B., translator

    London: Luzac & Co, 1898. First edition. 8vo (23 x 15 cm), pp.viii, 242, [2], 30 [advertisements]. A very good copy in lightly worn original cloth. A translation of a classical Sinhalese story of the Buddha's birth in a previous life, traditionally attributed to a 14th-century Buddhist priest from Tanjore. Yatawara used the Sinhalese text published at Colombo in 1874 rather than the Pali text because of this text's literary significance amongst Sinhalese classics. COPAC records copies at the British Library, Cambridge, Oxford.


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    $700.00

    Ins. Ceilan que incolis Tenarifin dictur by MERCATOR, Gerard and HONDIUS, Jodocus

    Map. Engraving modern with hand coloring. Measures 18.25" x 21.5". Pictorial map of Sri Lanka with wonderful illustrations of giant elephants, trees, mountains and rivers. North is oriented towards the left. Latin text verso Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was an accomplished mathematician, cartographer, globe maker and engraver best known for the Mercator Projection. Incorporating the newly accepted fact that the world is round, Mercator was able to render longitude lines consistently straight on a chart. Although this requires some distortion, it was of great use for navigators; furthermore, it has since become historically important, as it is still the most commonly used projection today. Originally created by Mercator, this plate was issued after his death by the prominent engraver and instrument-maker Jodocus Hondius, who republished Mercator's work in many languages and editions. Although their partnership was only indirect, Mercator and Hondius are one of the most significant pairs in the history of mapmaking.


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    £560.00

    Ceylon through the Stereoscope. by [Photographs. Stereoscopic views]

    New York: Underwood & Underwood, 1901-1903. Thirty stereographic photographs, original card mounts, 9 x 18 cm, with printed captions in English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Russian. In original book-form cloth box, gilt title on spine, in fine condition. Cards fine, curved as issued. A fine set of stereographs of Ceylon, showing tame and wild elephants, the method of their capture, the tea industry, including picking, sorting, the bungalow on Sir Thomas Lipton's Estate, and the Talawakele estate. There are several views of Kandy, including the lake, and a startling view of Lady De Soysa's "Hall of Tusks" in her mansion at Bambalapitiya. The use of curved card mounts to accentuate the three-dimensional view began in 1879, and swiftly became the standard format. We locate a single set of these views with 29 stereographs at New York University.


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    $75.00

    Buddhist Temple, Ceylon by HEINE, Wilhelm

    New York: George Ackerman, 1856. unbound. Color Lithograph. Image measures 7" x 9.25". This lovely view dating to 1856 depicts a Buddhist temple in Ceylon or Sri Lanka. The foreground depicts people sitting and chatting while others are praying on the steps leading up to the temple. Beautifully surrounded by palm trees and woods, the temple is seen in the background. This view, drawn from nature by Wilhelm Heine with figures by Eliphalet Brown Jr. and lithographed by George Ackerman appears in Francis Hawk's 'Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the Command of Commodore M. C. Perry'. In good condition with minor foxing. Dr. Francis Lister Hawks (1798 - 1866) was an American priest of the Episcopal Church, and a politician in North Carolina.


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    £392.00

    Rasavahini. [Two parts.] by Vedeha maha thera, Rt. Venerable, Principal of Pratiraja Parivene

    Colombo: Lankabhinawa Wissrita Press, 1891-1893. Two parts bound in one volume, 8vo (22 x 14 cm), pp.[ii], vi, 104, [i], [iii], 187, [1, blank]. Pali text printed in Sinhalese characters. Bound in original cloth, spine faded. Upper joint split. Contents very good. Original wrappers bound in. An early edition of this 13th-century Pali text by Vedeha Thera containing stories of the Buddha.


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    $175.00

    Memoir of Hendrick Becker, Governor and Director of Ceylon, for his Successor, Isaac Augustyn Rumpf, 1716 by [Sri Lanka]

    Colombo: Government Printer, Ceylon, 1914. Very good condition. Hendrick Becker (1661 - 1722) was Governor of Ceylon from 1707 to 1716, during which time the profits of the Dutch East Indies Company in Ceylon improved significantly. With much information on the "commandements" or fortified cities of Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), including Galle, and Colombo, key cities for Dutch East Indies trade in spices, gems and tea. Under the section pertaining to Colombo, Becker describes the "chief reforms and improvements introduced during my rule" including the Leper Hospital at Hendella. Also detailed descriptions of various products including arecanuts (betel nuts), cotton goods, salt, timber, elephants, slaves and especially cinnamon. Slim 8vo, v, 57pp. Blue paper wrappers, title in black at front cover, sml lib stamp to front cover.


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    £207.20

    The Wonders of the East. Mirabilia Descripta (circa 1330). Translated from the Latin original, as published at Paris in 1839, in the Recueil de Voyages et de Memoires, of the Society of Geography, with the addition of a Commentary, by Colonel Henry Yule. by Jordanus, Friar

    London: The Hakluyt Society., 1863. First edition thus, pp.iv, xvii, 68, 4, 8. A very good copy in original cloth, spine torn along edge. First English translation of the work of the mid-fourteenth century Bishop of Columbum (Quilon). Friar Jordanus begins with an account of his journey east through Armenia and Persia but most of his short account pertains to Southern India and Ceylon.


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    $75.00

    Light House, Point de Galle, Ceylon by HEINE, Wilhelm

    Philadelphia: T. Sinclair, 1856. unbound. Color Lithograph. Image measures 6.5" x 9.5". This beautiful 1856 view of the Lighthouse at Point de Galle, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was issued by T. Sinclair. It features natives in the foreground who are either fishing or with cattle. In the background the Point de Galle light is visible. Known to be Sri Lanka's oldest light station, the lighthouse was built in 1840 and was powered by a weight driven machine. The original lighthouse, pictured here, was destroyed by a fire in 1934 and a new lighthouse was built in its place. > This view, drawn from nature by Wilhelm Heine with figures by Eliphalet Brown Jr. appears in Francis Hawk's 'Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the Command of Commodore M. C. Perry'. In good condition with minor foxing. Dr. Francis Lister Hawks (1798-1866) was an American priest of the Episcopal Church, and a politician in North Carolina.


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    £392.00

    Papancasudani. Part 1. by Buddhaghosa

    [Colombo]: Grantha Prakasa Press, 1911. 8vo (22.5 x 15 cm), pp.[ii], 400. Pali text printed in Sinhalese characters. Bound in Ceylon, in contemporary red leather, gilt. Spine and corners rubbed. An early Colombo edition of the first part of the fifth-century monk Buddhaghosa's commentary on the Buddhist scripture Majjhima Nikaya. The full text was not completed until 1923. We locate no other copies.


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    AUD $12.00

    About Indian Birds. Including Birds of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Pakistan & Bangladesh by Ali, Salim & Futehally, Laeeq

    New Delhi: Wisdom Tree. 2009. Octavo Size [approx 15.5 x 22.8cm]. Very Good condition in Very Good Dustjacket. DJ protected in our purpose-made plastic sleeve. A nice copy. Previous owner's details to half-title page.Illustrated with colour photographs and drawings. 122 pages This accurate and simple book written by two eminent names of Indian natural history captures the amazing world of Indian birds in all its richness. . Reprint. Hardback.


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    $350.00

    Tropical Wood, Ceylon by SIMON, Tavik Frantisek

    unbound. very good. View. Uncolored etching. Signed with yellow stamp with artist's initials. Image measures 8" x 5.75". Beautiful and lush tropical scene with elephants and four figures walking on a trail. Circa 1927-1929. Minor crease to lower right edge. Tavik Frantisek Simon (1877-1942), born in Zeleznice, Czechoslovakia, traveled widely and visited the United States in the 1920s. His art represented impressions of where he'd been.


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    AUD $18.00

    Patrons, Devotees and Goddesses ritual and Power among the Tamil Fishermen of Sri Lanka by Tanaka, Masakazu

    Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto University, Institute for Research in Humanities. 1991. Octavo Size [approx 15.5 x 22.8cm]. Very Good condition in Very Good Dustjacket. DJ protected in our purpose-made plastic sleeve. Light wear and rubbing to dustjacket edges and corners. Illustrated with Black and White Photographs. 228 pages . 1st Edition. Hardback.


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    £280.00

    A Glossary of Sinhalese classical words. With over 7,200 words. by Jayatilaka, Hendrick

    Colombo: R.A. Cooray, at the Sudarsana Press, 1905. Third edition. 8vo (22 x 14.5 cm), pp.[2], 2, 120, 7, [1, blank]. Sinhalese text. A very good interleaved copy bound in contemporary half calf at the Ceylon Examiner Press. Spine a little rubbed, one short worm track on lower board. Original front wrapper bound in. A classical Sinhalese glossary produced by the Sri Lankan scholar, Hendrick Jayatilaka, who edited several classical Sinhalese texts for publication, including Siyabas Lakara (1862) and Amavature (1884-6). We locate copies at Berlin and SOAS only. We locate no copies of earlier editions.


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    $150.00

    Eight Years in Ceylon by BAKER, S.W

    London: Longmans, 1891. hardcover. near fine. 376 pages. small 8vo, polished brown calf school prize binding, ornately gilt spine with red leather spine label, marbled edges and endpapers. London: Longmans, 1891. Near fine. Baker notes Ceylon's great natural resources and relics of former prosperity, contrasting this past grandeur with the colonial era.


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    £140.00

    Summary of Information regarding Ceylon: Its natural features, climate, population, religion, agriculture, commerce, &c. Compiled by... by Ferguson, A.M. & J

    Colombo: "Observer" Press, 1880. First edition, pp.26. A very good copy in lightly stained original wrappers.


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    $3,500.00

    Wahrhaftige ausfurliche Beschreibung der beruhmten Ost-Indischen Kusten Malabar und Coromandel, als auch der Insel Zeylon. by BALDAEUS, Philippus (1632-1672)

    Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius Waesberge and Johannes von Someren, 1672. BALDAEUS, Philippus (1632-1672). Wahrhaftige ausfurliche Beschreibung der beruhmten Ost-Indischen Kusten Malabar und Coromandel, als auch der Insel Zeylon. Amsterdam: Johannes Janssonius Waesberge and Johannes von Someren, 1672. 3 parts in one volume. Folio (12 2/8 x 8 inches). Title-page printed in red and black (a bit browned). Additional engraved title-page, 2 engraved portraits and 34 double-page engraved plates and maps, 55 engraved illustrations in the text, some full-page (marginal worming at end). Contemporary vellum over paste-board, yapp fore-edges, title and date in manuscript on the spine (a bit rubbed). Provenance: 18th-century engraved bookplate with the initial "T" by Holtzmann, on the verso of the front free endpaper; with the bookseller's label of T.O. Weigel in Leipzig on the front paste-down; and the modern bookplate of William Davignon beneath it; with the posthumous book label of Wolfgang A. Herz, his sale, Christie's, 9th December, 2009, lot 116 First edition in German of this magnificently illustrated work on Southern India and Ceylon, by the Dutch Calvinist missionary, Philippus Baldaeus. It forms a history of Ceylon under the Portuguese, as well the later Dutch period of occupation, the final part describing the Hindu religion in considerable detail. Some facts were derived from the captured Jesuit seminary at Jafnapatam, and from the manuscript of the Calicut Jesuit, Giacomo Fenicio, while borrowings were also made from the work of another missionary, Abraham Roger. The original Dutch edition contained one extra plate (in part III) which, in this German edition, is used as a text illustration. Howgego B10; Landwehr VOC 557 (not calling for the "Vorrede an den Leser" (3p.) but present here). ..


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    £140.00

    Dipavamsa und Mahavamsa und die geschichtliche uberlieferung in Ceylon. by Geiger, Wilhelm

    Leipzig: A. Deichert, 1905. First edition, pp.viii, 146. Bound in contemporary cloth. Foot of spine snagged. Original front wrapper bound in. Wilhelm Geiger, 1856-1943, studied Oriental languages under Friedrich von Spiegel at the University of Erlangen and became the first German Pali scholar. He first went to Ceylon in 1895 to study Sinhalese, and to settle the question of whether it was an Aryan language. In 1897 he published a treatise on the language of the Rohiyas in Ceylon, and in 1898 the first edition of his etymological glossary of the Sinhalese. His translation of the "Great Chronicle" (Mahavamsa) was published between 1908 and 1930. This major contribution to our knowledge of Pali literature with his investigations into the sources and development of the Pali chronicles was translated into English three years later by Ethel M. Coomaraswamy.


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    €8.00

    Ceylon - Pearl of the East by Williams Harry

    London: Robert Hale, 1953 Hard Cover. Very Good/No Jacket. Reprint. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. third impression, spine lettering fading, slight wear to corners. 460pp, good detailed colonial history..


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    £280.00

    Miscellaneous papers in prose and verse. Composed, translated and culled from various sources. by Kadramer, D.W.N

    Batticaloa: Catholic Orphanage Press, 1935. First edition. 8vo (21.5 x 14.5 cm), pp.[vi], 75, [1, blank], [1, errata], [1, blank]. A very good copy in original cloth-backed boards. A commonplace book printed for the author blending nuggets of historical information, an English translation of the French prose poem by his contemporary, Father Duchaussois, Tota Pulchra Lanka (Ceylon All Beautiful), and Catholic devotional texts, including the Litany of the Departed, Mater Dei, and an allegory about St Anthony. A rare example of a Batticaloa imprint from the Catholic Orphanage Press. We trace but a handful of other titles from this press, including the same author's Landmarks of Ancient Batticaloa (1934), all printed between 1934 and 1937. We locate a single copy at Virginia.


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    £134.40

    The Diary of Colour-Serjeant George Calladine, 19th Foot, 1793-1837. by Calladine, George; Ferrar, Major M.L. (Editor)

    London: Eden Fisher & Co., 1922. First edition pp.210. A very good copy in original cloth. Colour-Serjeant Callandine served in Ceylon in the early nineteenth century.


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    £168.00

    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. A few marks to cloth. Front free endpaper chipped. 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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    £431.20

    The Ceylon Almanac and Annual Register for the Year of our Lord, 1853. by [Ceylon Almanac]

    Colombo: William Skeen, Government Printer, 1853. First edition. 8vo (22.5 x 15 cm), pp.397 [1, blank], [ii], 32, colour plate of shipping signals. Pages 177-182 are folding tables. Lacking the map of Kandy. A very good copy bound in modern half calf. Occasional spotting at rear. Bound without the map of the Environs of Kandy. Significantly enlarged from previous almanacs, with the use of smaller type and more pages, this 1853 almanac comprises six parts: Part I: The Calendar, etc; Part II: Establishments; Part III: Public Institutions; Part IV: Statistical; Part V: Legal and Mercantile; Part VI: Directory. A thirty-two page appendix by W.C. Ondaatje on local plants and their uses is included. The first part includes lists of historical rulers and governors of the island, local festivals, and a list of foreign consuls. Part II covers everything from the Government Printing Office to the Executive Council, including a complete list of the Ceylon Civil Service. The third part lists numerous libraries, banks, insurers, schools both charitable and missionary, and shipping firms. Part IV provides annual statistics for Ceylon's revenue, import, exports, and major products, including coffee. The fifth part includes twenty-six council ordinances from 1852, postal regulations, and carriage rates. The last part has a full listing of estates with their proprietors, together with an alphabetical list of European residents not belonging to Army or Navy, with their address and employer. Our copy has been annotated by a contemporary owner to indicate where listed members of the civil and military establishment have died or changed post. The compiler's preface records that this almanac's publication was delayed until March 1853, by the death of his assistant. COPAC records copies at the British Library, Cambridge, National Archives, and SOAS.


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    £210.00

    Walker's Road Map of Ceylon. by [Map. Ceylon]

    Colombo: Walker, Sons & Co., [1930?]. 61 x 51 cm, linen backed, folding to cloth portfolio. Scale, 1:696,960, or 11 English miles to 1 inch. A very good copy. An attractive folding map "for the convenience of those who hire Motor Cars from Walker's Motor Garages."


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