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Rare books from Asia Bookroom

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Five Reports on Western China by Consul-General (later Sir) Alexander Hosie.
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Five Reports on Western China by Consul-General (later Sir) Alexander Hosie.

by HOSIE, ALEXANDER.

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London.: HMSO.. 1883- 1905.. Reports included in this collection are: China No.1 (1883). Despatch from Her Majesty's Chargé D'Affaires at Peking, Forwarding a Report by Mr. A. Hosie, Student Interpreter in the China Consular Service of a Journey through the Provinces of Kueichow and Yünnan. 37pp. China No.2 (1884). Report by Mr. Hosie of a Journey through the Provinces of Ssu-Ch'uan, Yünnan, and Kuei Chou: February 11 to June 14, 1883. 95pp. China No.2 (1885). Report by Mr. Hosie of a Journey through Central Ssu-Ch'uan in June and July, 1884. 37pp. First 6 pages evenly browned. China No.5 (1904). Report by Consul-General Hosie on the Province of Ssŭch'uan. 2 folding black and white maps. 100pp. Last leaf of text and the two maps detached but present. 1904. China No.1 (1905). Report by Mr. A. Hosie, His Majesty's Consul-General at Chengtu, on a Journey to the Eastern Frontier of Thibet. Folding colour map. 87pp. Disbound, each report separate. Quarto. Very good copies.… Read More
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開国関係文書     [Kaikoku kankei monjo   Documents Relating...
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開国関係文書 [Kaikoku kankei monjo Documents Relating to the Opening of Japan].

by [LARGELY UNPUBLISHED JAPANESE EDO MANUSCRIPTS RELATING TO THE OPENING OF JAPAN].

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3 manuscript volumes neatly written in black and red ink. Original wrappers with later(?) string ties. Wrappers damaged with a little loss in places. Some worming. Still overall very good. 19 x 13.5cm. These three volumes are a collection of manuscripts written in the late Edo period (probably the 1860s). Most of the original documents on which the manuscripts were based were written shortly after the arrival of the American delegation led by Commodore Matthew Perry in July 8 1853 (June 3 in Japanese calendar). These documents written in the face of this national crisis were mostly driven by the patriotic fervour of the authors. They show a variety of thoughts about the threat from the foreign powers. None of these were published at the time and only Watanabe Kazan’s Shinki-ron was published in modern times. Kazan wrote his treatise, inspired not by the arrival of Perry, but by the Edo government’s hostile treatment of the American merchant ship Morrison in 1837. Titles and short… Read More
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Map of Peking.  京城內外全圖 .[Jing cheng nei wai quan tu].

Map of Peking. 京城內外全圖 .[Jing cheng nei wai quan tu].

by [BOXER REBELLION MAP OF BEIJING].

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(Circa1900).. Large illustrated map of Beijing showing the city in the period following the invasion of the military forces of the Eight National Alliance, old folds, scale not given. Some scattered light foxing particularly at edges, short closed tear at fold lower edge, neat non acidic tape repair short section upper edge wear along folds, and a couple of small, unobtrusive holes with minor image loss. Blocks of text in traditional Chinese right and left upper sections stating each nation's occupied zone, Japanese text title accompanies the English title along the upper section of the map. 63.7 x 56.9cm. Very good overall. A rare and significant large Japanese woodblock map of Peking (Beijing), issued just after the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion. Centred on the Forbidden City, the map depicts Peking following the multinational suppression of the Boxer Rebellion or Yihetuan Movement of 1900. The map was issued to illustrate the areas of occupation associated with each of the powers in the Eight… Read More
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Archive of Photographs, Journals and Ephemera, Thailand, 1923-1939
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Archive of Photographs, Journals and Ephemera, Thailand, 1923-1939

by ELLIS, ALLER GUSTIN. (1868-1953)

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[1923-1939].. Archive comprising: Large scrapbook album, 200 thick green card leaves, mounting numerous newspaper clippings 1928-38 (most from the Bangkok Daily Mail and the Siam Observer), fifty black and white photographs, a few full page, autographed correspondence, numerous postcards, golf score cards (from the Royal Hua Hin, Royal Bangkok Sports Club and Royal Dusit Golf Club), a few leaves of typescript, 36.5 x 24.6cm embossed silk boards with the bookplate of A G Ellis, the album printed and bound at the Daily Mail press, Bangkok (with their ticket), in very good order; Photograph album, 60 black card leaves (the first 23 loose from another album) mounting 135 photographs (most in monotone), 25 full page (27.5 x 21.5 cm) most commercially produced of historic Bangkok and rural scenes, a few of the royal family and the Cremation procession of the "Queen Mother" (captioned in white pen), Queen Consort Saovabha Phongsri, with an official black and white studio portrait of her also included, two… Read More
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Souvenirs d'Orient. Constantinople, Grèce, Egypte,1831-1832-1833.
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Souvenirs d'Orient. Constantinople, Grèce, Egypte,1831-1832-1833.

by CORNILLE, HENRI.

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Paris.: Abel Ledoux.. 1833.. First edition, half-title, engraved frontispiece (spotted at margins), 481 pages and 'table des chapitres' on final leaf, 21.6 x 13.1 cm, occasional spotting and browning of text, two leaves with small marginal loss at the lower outer corner, contemporary calf-backed marbled boards, calf rubbed at the foot of the spine, but in very good unmarked condition. Text in French. First edition, with the fine frontispiece engraving of Constantinople by Friedrich Schroeder, one of the renowned engravers who participated in the team producing the illustrations for Antoine Ignace Melling's 'Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore'. A lengthy critique in 'The Foreign Quarterly Review' in 1835, dismissed the well-placed Cornille's efforts (he had met Ibrahim Pacha on several occasions): 'His political bias makes him necessarily see every thing through a distorted medium', perhaps more mercifully the eminent scholar and bibliographer Angus O'Neill noted 'a routine… Read More
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A Collection of Cabinet Cards of Prince Prisdang Chumsai and Members of the Thai Royal Family...
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A Collection of Cabinet Cards of Prince Prisdang Chumsai and Members of the Thai Royal Family Circa 1882.

by [Prince Prisdang - Chakri Dynasty Cabinet Cards].

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A collection of 4 sepia toned cabinet cards. Three of the cards have gilt edges with the imprint of Alexander Bassano's studio in Old Bond Street, London and with neat handwritten comments by Prince Prisdang the son of King Rama IV and half-brother of Rama V, on the reverse and dated June 20th 1882. He has named and annotated the photographs: The present King of Siam: The Present Queen of Siam and the Crown Prince of Siam.The single photograph shows princes of the Siamese (now Thai) Thai Chakri Dynasty, in the late 19th century. The Chakri dynasty continues as the current royal family of Thailand. The image shows a group of young Thai royals in European clothing with a European man who appears in the role of a teacher or mentor with his dog at his feet (possibly the Reverend Pickford to whom the photograph belonged) and probably taken during the boys' education in Britain. The address and name of the photography studio of John White is on the reverse and lower front edge. John White cabinet cards… Read More
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Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India: Being a Descriptive Account of Singapore, Penang,...
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Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India: Being a Descriptive Account of Singapore, Penang, Province Wellesley, and Malacca; Their Peoples, Products, Commerce, and Government.

by CAMERON, JOHN.

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Smith, Elder & Co.. 1865.. One chromolithographic panorama of Singapore and six full page chromolithographic plates of Singapore and Penang, xii + 408pp. Original green publisher's cloth ruled in blind and stamped with gilt palm tree device on the upper board, lettered and stamped in gilt on the spine. Occasional foxing otherwise an exceptionally good copy of the 1st edition. 23 x 15cm. Valuable information on Singapore's early days as well as the two other Straits Settlements of Malacca and Penang under British rule in the nineteenth century, their history, geography, agriculture, commerce, government and social life are vividly described. There are 5 views in and around Singapore (including the double-page plate), one of a country road in Penang and one in the province of Wellesley. .
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Near Bandell on the River Hoogly. [caption title]

Near Bandell on the River Hoogly. [caption title]

by [19TH CENTURY VIEW OF WEST BENGAL] DANIELL, THOMAS AND WILLIAM.

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London.: Thomas Daniell.. January1804.. Aquatint with added handcolour on heavy paper, 46 x 60.4 cms (image); 51.3 x 68.6 cm (sheet including platemark); marginal soiling and rubbing, corners bumped, but a fine atmospheric impresssion in very good condition. Fine handcoloured aquatint from the large folio first edition of Thomas and William Daniell's "Oriental Scenery", published between 1795 and 1808, and rare on the market. "The Daniells left England in 1785, when William was only about sixteen, and they were back in England in September 1794. From an early stage Thomas seems to have set out to emulate and surpass Hodges ["Select Views in India"]…in popularizing his views through the comparatively new medium of aquatint…the uncle and nephew were determined not only to do better than Hodges but to expose the weaknesses of the pioneer's work by choosing the same views as Hodges had done, drawing them more accurately, and aquatinting them more skilfully. The accuracy of the work was… Read More
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異国落葉籠. [Ikoku ochiba kago].  [Fallen Leaves Basket from A...
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異国落葉籠. [Ikoku ochiba kago]. [Fallen Leaves Basket from A Foreign Land].

by [MULTI-COLOUR WOODBLOCK BOOKLET ON COMMODORE PERRY'S VISIT TO JAPAN].

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東京. [Tokyo].: 隠學堂. [Ingakudō].. Ansei 1 [1854].. 2 double-page colour woodblock maps, 8 double-page colour woodblock illustrations, 1 colour full page woodblock illustration, 17.5 x 12cm, [40] double folded leaves, presented in a modern protective case. Some light browning, light damp stain lower corner four leaves, some inoffensive and occasional worm holes neatly repaired. Covers rubbed and worn causing a crazed pattern, title label torn with loss. The arrival of Commodore Perry in Japan in 1853 was indeed a pivotal event in the country's history. It generated significant public interest and curiosity as the Japanese people were exposed to American visitors for the first time. This beautifully illustrated little book offers a portrayal of the events surrounding Perry's arrival in Japan and its aftermath. The book commences with a double-page map of Tokyo Bay, illustrating the defensive positions and the names of Japanese lords responsible for them. The… Read More
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文嶺畫譜. [Bunrei gafu].  [Bunrei's Painting Manual]
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文嶺畫譜. [Bunrei gafu]. [Bunrei's Painting Manual]

by [MAEKAWA BUNREI]. 前川文嶺.

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横浜. [Yokohama].: 法武商会. [Noritake Shokai].. Meij 181885.. Two volumes, Japanese thread binding full page and single page two-colour woodblock prints, 35.5 x 24.5cm. Volume 1: 4 pages of text, 41 single page images, 6 double page images, and 1 half of a double page image (marked by a star slip); Volume 2: 4 pages of text, 24 single page images, 21 double page images. First volume: 4 pages of text followed by 24 single page woodblock prints and 21 double page woodblock prints. Second volume: 4 pages of text followed by 41 single page woodblock prints and 7 double page, plus ONE INCOMPLETE DOUBLE PAGE PRINT (ie one page present). There are 93 (only) complete images, plus one "half" image; complete pagination is not possible as the plates are not numbered. We have checked our copy of volume 1 against the Smithonian collection (FSC-GP-780.391,1-2. Volume 1) and Volume 2 against the British Museum's copy (1915, 0823, 0.289.2). The sequence of the plates is… Read More
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Phrai Malai.
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Phrai Malai.

by [THAI BUDDHIST MANUSCRIPT WITH 12 PAINTED COLOUR IMAGES].

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No date. (Late 19th or Early 20th Century).. Folding manuscript book with 12 coloured paired painted images and many leaves of text in black ink on white samut khoi paper (a type of paper made from mulberry bark), Khom Thai script. 48 folds. 14 x 68.6cm. Some staining and light soiling, worming margins and edges over 17 folds and small section of one cover. Thick card samut khoi paper covers very worn. 14.5 x 64.8cm. A good copy of this classic Thai Buddhist work. This beautiful manuscript copy of the Phrai Malai is written in Thai using the Khom (Khmer) script. Khom script was widely used in the 19th century in central Thailand and southern Laos, although today is used only in Cambodia. The delicate script was written in black China ink using a bamboo pen. The Phrai Malai was the most popular subject for illustrated manuscripts in Thailand during the 19th century. This story which remains very popular in Thailand to this day, tells the story of a monk who having gain great merit, travels to heaven… Read More
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Archive of George and John Caiger.

Archive of George and John Caiger.

by [AUSTRALIA AND JAPAN - A VISUAL AND WRITTEN MEMOIR].

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Circa 1908 -2005.. George Caiger (1903-1991): 10 family photographic albums with over 800 black and white photographs, many captioned, dating mainly from the 1920s -1940s, one album with a few earlier images (including two cabinet cards stamped by the W. H. Bursle studio Orange, and large format tinted military portrait signed La Doré, Orange); one manila folder with16 photographs including a large view of the harvesting of seaweed at Takayama Beach, 24.3 x 28 cm; two from the early 1960s stamped on the verso Max Dupain Photographer (the portico at 'Subiaco', Rydalmere 25.7 x 20. 2 cm; and a view of the Old Tote Precinct, Goldstein College, Basser College taken from the Heffron Building, UNSW, 23.7 x 30.4 cm, some creasing and edgewear, a small tear to the upper corner of one with no loss) ; An elaborately brocade-covered album embellished with cranes and silk tassells used as a visitors' book with 1940s - 1960s autographs over 9 pages and mounted at the end 10 photographs of social functions,… Read More
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Report by Mr. Adams, Secretary to Her Majesty's Legation in Japan, on the Central Silk Districts...

Report by Mr. Adams, Secretary to Her Majesty's Legation in Japan, on the Central Silk Districts of Japan : presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty together with Reports No. 2, 3, 5 :1870 and a Third Report: Silk Culture in Japan August 10, 1870.

by ADAMS, F.O. (FRANCIS OTTIWELL)

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Harrison and Sons. 1870-1871.. Folding maps, 2 coloured plates and black & white plates. Paper in the first volume is fragile and friable with chips and loss to the edges, not affecting the text, the spine has been re-enforced with archival washi and with some repairs to the edges. Volumes 2 and 3 have chips to the edges and some light age-toning. 32x21cm. Japan No. 1: 1870. 'Central Silk Districts of Japan.' 17pp with a folding map [C.-27. Price 8d.: Japan No. 2 1870. 'Silk Culture in Japan': 3pp with illustration. [C. -72.] Price 1d.: Japan No. 3: 1871: 'Deterioration of Japanese Silk.' 5pp. [C.-388.] Price 1d.: Japan. No. 5 (Japan No.1 1870. 'Further Paper respecting Silk Culture in Japan.' : Japan. No. 1 1871. 'Third Report, 'Silk Culture in Japan, dated August 10, 1870, [C-243] Price 2s. 6p. contains 2 maps and seven plates, two of which are hand coloured. 16pp. Lacking volume 4 but an incredibly scarce collection. .
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Manuscript letter from Abbé Huc to his parents in Toulouse…  ...after defying death...
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Manuscript letter from Abbé Huc to his parents in Toulouse… "...after defying death almost every day for two years , here I am alive in Macao..."

by HUC, ÉVARISTE RéGIS, ABBé.

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Macao.. 1, November1846.. Closely-written manuscript letter in French, boldy signed by Huc, 4 pages (bifolium), 26.7 x 20.7 cms. folding to 8.5 x 13.3 cms, postmarked Paris and Toulouse, remains of the red wax seal (small hole in the address panel marking its removal, but no loss to the text), small edge tears (without loss), overall in very good condition. Rare and apparently unpublished letter penned by the great missionary and explorer Évariste Huc (1813-1860) to his parents reporting on his just completed epic journey through Tartary and Tibet. Huc, along with his fellow Vincentian missionary Joseph Gabet were the first Europeans to enter Lhasa in the mid-19th Century. In this his first (and lengthy) letter home to France Huc details their arduous passage from Tartary to Lhasa "It is useless to tell you the names of the places since they are not yet on our maps...We were attacked by brigands, we were buried under snow, we were more than once on the brink of death from starvation, and we were… Read More
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Imperial Examination Cheats' Sheet....
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Imperial Examination Cheats' Sheet. [科舉考試作弊小抄].

by [QING EPHEMERA]

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[China].. circa1850.. Four columns (per side) of closely transcribed “fly-head script” (蝇头小字), Chinese manuscript characters in brush and black ink on a double-sided silk handkerchief or sheet, 41. x 37.5 cms, narrow border, a little edgewear with minor loss to the foot and very occasional professional restoration in the body of the text by Grimwade University Services, University of Melbourne, in remarkably fine condition. An unusually fine example of a late Qing Dynasty cheats' handkerchief or sheet; an aid for passing the civil service exam under the [科舉] keju system in imperial China. The system became dominant during the Song dynasty (960–1279) and lasted for almost a millennium until its abolition during the late Qing dynasty reforms in 1905. The production and use of these handkerchiefs was highly secretive and the punishment for their use was harsh. The candidate transcribed as much information in tiny characters as possible:… Read More
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