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Travel and Exploration


VALLE, Pietro della. The travels of Sig. Pietro della Valle, a Noble Roman, into East-India and Arabia Deserta. London, J. Macock for Henry Herringman, 1665. Folio. (8), 480 pp., 5 woodcut illustrations within text, lacks folding map and 3 plates. Rebacked quarter-bound polished calf over 5 raised bands with gilt lettering and design on spine. First English edition of Pietro della Valle's travel account to Arabia and the Middle East, as described through letters. An extremely rare and desired account as it is offers one the most vivid descriptions and commentary on all aspects of Persian life, including the greatest of Safavid rulers, as well as being one of the earliest documented sources on Dibba, an eastern coastal region of the Northern Emirates, presently ruled by the Emirates of Fujairah and of Sharjah. Pietro della Valle ( 1586- 1652), was one of the most remarkable travelers of the 17th century, whose Viaggi is the best contemporary account of the Middle East at the time. Della Valle left Venice in 1614 on a pilgrimage to Palestine. On his return journey, while at Aleppo, he totally changed the direction and scope of his travels, deciding to join a caravan destined for Baghdad. At Baghdad he fell in love with and married the Circassian Setti Manni. From there Della Valle proceeded to Isfahan (Iran) to offer up his services to the Safavid ruler Shah ?Abb?s I in a "crusade" against the Ottomans. Della Valle stayed in Persia until early 1623, documenting on the increased tensions and conflict between the Safavids and the Portuguese. It was during his stay with the Sultan of Bandar Abbas, around 1620-21, that Della Valle was introduced to the visiting son of the ruler of Dibba. "From this he learned that Dibba had formerly been subject to the kingdom of Hormuz but were at that time loyal to the Safavids who, in 1623, sent troops to Dibba, Khor Fakkan and other ports on the southeast coast of Arabia in order to prepare for a Portuguese counter-attack following their expulsion from Hormuz (Jarun)." (UAE History: 2000 to 200 years ago, "Dibba") In 1623, Della Valle's wife's died in childbirth and precipitated his return to Europe. This text comprises a series of fifty-four letters written to the physician Schipano of Naples during Della Valle's extensive tour and form the foundation of his travel account "Viaggi di Pietro della Valle," first published in Rome between 1650 to 1658. "Della Valle displayed excellent narrative and descriptive skills, powers of acute observation, and a genuinely scholarly breadth of learning. He refused to comment on what he had not witnessed himself or checked against the best authorities ... Della Valle's eighteen letters from Persia provide one of the most detailed sources of information for most aspects of Persian life in the second half of Shah Abbas' reign" (Gurney). It was re-bound with its current hardcover at some point in time, which is in excellent condition. The pages inside are rippled and show some staining and foxing. A small number of pages have tears at the edges. Overall a very rare book in good condition.

Item Number: 14483
Price: $5,000


CHEESMAN, Robert Ernest. In Unknown Arabia, of an expedition to an unexplored tract of Eastern Arabia: Bahrain, Hufuf, Jabrin, OQair. London, Macmillian & Co., 1926. With 67 photo illustrations, 3 maps, including one large folding map of Arabia, 447pp. First edition travel account of a previous unexplored tract of Eastern Arabia with large folding map of Arabia that illustrates Qatar and Trucial Oman. Major Robert Ernest Cheesman, was a military officer, explorer and ornithologist. In 1923, during a journey into the Arabian Peninsula, Cheesman collected over 300 specimens from the Hasa oasis. He is credited with discovering Cheesman's Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani) that inhabits the Arabian Peninsula. Cheesman was the first man to map the Arabian coast from the Gulf of Salwa to Uqair. In 1924 he fixed the position of Hofuf and identified the site of ancient Gerrha. He presented his findings to Ibn Sa'ud at his court in Hofuf. Library binding copy with small sticker on front end-paper,edges rubbed, some light foxing, pencil annotations [71], small tear to bottom edge of pp 40, 42, 2 inch seperation along centerfold of folding map near edge and margins. Otherwise book complete with large folding coloured map, in good condition.

Item Number: 14475
Price: $850


IRWIN, Eyles. A Series of Adventures in the Course of a Voyage up the Red Sea, on the Coast of Arabia and Egypt; and of a Route through the Deserts of Thebais, Hitherto Unknown to the European Traveller, in the year MDCCLXXVII, in Letters to a Lady. Dublin: Sleater, Whitestone, Potts, Colles, Wilson, Jenkins, Flin Etc. 1780. 4to, 576 pp. With the original attached fold-out map of The Red Sea, wants 2 other maps. Antique full leather binding, with gold inlay on the spine. First edition of Eyles Irwin's exciting personal account and observations in Arabia and Egypt in the 18th century. Irwin was born in Calcutta and served with the East India Company. Irwin was dismissed from the East India Company in 1776, and traveled through Arabia and Egypt on his return to England to seek redress. He left India in 1777 for England, when his ship was captured by pirates. From Cossier he was forced to cross the desert to Suez and then on to Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria. His journey lasted eleven months. Irwin's narrative is comprised of letters to an unnamed "Lady," which provides the reader with candid observations of the convergence of European and Arab cultures in the late 1700's. The letters detail the journey to various ports, cities and deserts of modern day Saudi Arabia. This book was published in 1780, a time when European exploration and travel was at its peak. The Arab world during the 1700's was considered mysterious, enchanting and exotic, thus attracting European travelers like Irwin. Tidrick remarks that Irwin's "travel narrative of 1780 was a long recitation of Bedouin treachery." Includes two poems by Irwin 'Ode to the dessert' and 'Ode to the Nile.' The title panel on the spine remains, the reverse board was detached and has been sewn back on with dark thread. There is a 3 1/2" split on the front hinge, although the hinge is still strong. Corners bumped and worn, with the top and base of the spine worn, with some chipping. The inside pages are very good. Overall in good condition. Blackmer Collection 865; Atabey Collection 609

Item Number: 14440
Price: $850


COX, Sir Percy. Some Excursions in Oman. In: The Geographical Journal. Vol. LXVI No. 3 (September 1925). London, The Royal Geographical Society, 1925. London, The Royal Geographical Society, 1925. 8vo. pp. 193-227 (entire volume: viii, 193-288 pp., with 22 photographic illustrations and a folding colour map). Original printed blue wrappers. An all-encompassing narrative of Sir Percy Cox's journey undertaken from Abu Dhabi to Baraimi and along the fringe of Oman on the desert side, to the Jabal Akhdhar or Green Mountains - a distance of about 400 miles; and also his trip from Ras al Khaima to Baraimi and to the coast at Shinas, along it to Sohar. Cox was adviser to the Sultan of Oman and long term resident of the Persian Gulf, who was especially important in the development and creation of modern Iraq. His account features descriptions of the Trucial coast, its principalities and the Great Pearl Bank, local fauna, 'the music of the sands,' Ras al Khaima, stronghold of the Jowasmi pirates, and most interestingly perhaps, encounters with local sheikhs. The illustrations include Fort Jalali in Muscat, Beni Habib Village in Jabal Akhdhar, the entrance to Elphinstone Inlet, Idaiyeh, the Masaikin Plain, the fort at Nejwah, Tanuf, Jabal Khidr: Jabal Akhdhar, a view of the Wadi Mi'aidin towards Birkat al Moz in Sharaija. The folding double map shows the area covered by his journey including the area between Ras-al-Kahimah in the North and the Baraimi Oasis in the South. A complete issue, in very good condition.

Item Number: 14573
Price: $785


RUTTER, Eldon. The Hejaz. (The Geographical Journal. Vol. LXXVII. No. 2.) London: Royal Geographical Society, 1931. 13 pages, including 2 sketch-maps, plus photographic plates. In original blue wrappers as issued. This is a captivating account of the Rutter's expedition in Arabia, namely the Hejaz, at the time a forbidden country to unbelievers, concerning all aspects of the Hejaz, including its geographical features, the territorial disputes and tribal factions, as well as the population that inhabits this spectacular region. Mr. Rutter outlines his pilgrimage, disguised as a Muhammadan pilgrim, through the Hejaz frontier at Halli. An engaging travel account illustrated with a full-page sketch map of the Hejaz showing Mr. Rutter's route to Mecca and Medina, an in-text sketch diagram depicting his route from Mecca to At Taif, and several amazing photographic plates showing the Kaaba (the House of Allah), the Great Mosque of Mecca, the Prophet's tomb, at Medina, and Bab es Salaam in the Mosque of Medina. This is a complete issue containing all the ads, seldom found in such good and original condition. In very good condition.

Item Number: 14581
Price: $700


Bent, Theodore. Exploration of the Frankincense Country, Southern Arabia. (The Geographical Journal, Vol. VL. No. 2) London: Royal Geographical Society, 1895. 26 pages, including a full-page sketch map amd a few in-text sketch illustrations, plus a fold-out colour map, measuring approximately 7 x 14 inches (18cm x 36cm). In original blue wrappers- as issued. This is a captivating report of an ambitious expedition to the little-known regions of Southern Arabia, beyond the arid rock-bound coast, to the home of the old frankincense trade, through the Plain of Dhofar and into the Gara mountain range. Bent and his wife, Mabel, made seven journeys in all around the southern part of the Arabian peninsula, including Oman and Dhufar, from 1893 to the end of his life. He gathered an enormous amount of geographical and other information on the Hadramut region, which they photographed extensively, but tried in vain for three successive years to penetrate the Mahri districts. In 1896 he traversed the island of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden and the year after made further explorations around Aden itself. The above account was compiled by his wife after his death, almost immediately on their return, and has become one of the most sought after and rarest of early twentieth century Arabian exploration narratives. This report includes a large Fold-out Colour Map and Pre-Dates the all-important book on early 20th Century Arabian exploration, entitled "Southern Arabia", by Thoedore Bent, published in 1900. Some light foxing to front cover, otherwise this is a complete issue. In overall good condition.

Item Number: 14479
Price: $580


Very Rare, early lithographic printed Qajar Newspaper, Urduye Humayun, Number 6 issued on 23 Ramazan AH 1300 (1882). The newspaper is regarding the Qajar ruler Naser Al-Din Shah's trips in the country. 4 complete pages, approximately 13"x 8.6" in size. The first newspaper ever printed in Tehran was published in 1837, with only three issues printed from May-August 1837. The first lithographic book to be published in Tehran was in 1838. However, as one observer to Tehran reported in 1843, the lithographic press in Tehran "remained mainly idle". (Berezin, p. 248). In the latter part of the 1840s, the State Printing House began its work; and was operative until the end of the first decade of the 20th century. As of February 1851, the first Persian regular official newspaper was printed there. Early into the 20th century the lithographic press was being forced out by typeset printings and from 1911-on the official newspapers in Iran was printed typographically. (Encycolpaedia Iranica, online ed) Our Qajar newspaper from 1882 is a rare example of the very early lithographic printing to take place in Iran before the switch to typographical printing. Small paper loss to top right corner of margin, does not affect the text. Overall in very good condition.

Item Number: 14682
Price: $550


Thomas, Bertram. A Journey Into Rub' Al Khali. London: Royal Geographical Society, 1931. 37 pages. plus photographic plates and a large fold-out colour map. Original condition with blue wrappers, titles to front, and containing all the ads. This is Thomas' riveting preliminary report on his explorations in Arabia, pre-dating his all-important book titled, 'Arabia Felix; Across the Empty Quarter of Arabia,' published later in 1931. The author's narrative of a historic camel journey across the Great Southern Desert, Rub al Khali, is a detailed and pioneering exploration with considerable detail on the tribes, their customs, life, geography, and with appendices on anthropology, zoology, list of flora, list of camel brands, list of Arab chants. Thomas was the Financial Advisor and Wazir to His Highness the Sultan of Muscat and Oman. He performed two remarkable journeys over territory hitherto completely unknown. The first was along the Southeastern Borderlands of the Rub 'al Khali from near Ras al Had to Dhufar, the second from Dhufar for a distance of some two hundred miles inland. A complete issue in very good condition.

Item Number: 14565
Price: $550


Thomas, Bertram. The South-Eastern Borderlands of Rub' Al Khali. London: Royal Geographical Society, 1929. 24 pages. Includes photographic plates and a large fold-out colour map, measuring approximately). Original condition with blue wrappers, titles to front, and containing all the ads. This outstanding expedition report predates most of Thomas' highly sought after early Arabia books and is a superb narrative detailing travels in the uncharted lands of Arabia. This report pre-dates Thomas' all-important books, including; Arabia Felix: Across The Empty Quarter of Arabia, first published in 1932 & The Arabs, first published in 1937. Bertram Thomas was Political Officer in Mesopotamia and enjoys the distinction of being the only white man to have served as Prime Minister of an independent Arab state and the first white man to have crossed the great South Arabian Desert. A complete issue, in very good condition.

Item Number: 14564
Price: $550

ARABIA DESERTA

Charles M. Doughty

Doughty, Charles M. Travels In Arabian Deserta. New York: Random House,1943. 9" x 6.25." With An Introduction by T.E. Lawrence. New and definitive edition in one volume. First edition thus. pp: (iii), 674; 696; several foldout plates and text illus; large, folding map in color bound at back. Hand-bound and stamped signed by Maurin. Gorgeous 3/4 leather binding of deep Mahogany French Levant crushed morocco. Three raised spine bands with gilt accents. Bright gilt paneling and elaborate gilt designs in spine compartments. Gilt lettered direct. Cloth boards with gilt ruling. T.E. Lawrence in his introduction to the 1921 edition describes this 'not like other books...a bible of its kind'. In referring to Doughty's own impressions of his effort, Lawrence states: '[H]e calls his book the seeing of a hungry man, the telling of a most weary man." ARABIA DESERTA is one of the best-known classics of exploration and travel. Few writers of any genre have worked such magic or mischief on the English language as Doughty. He disapproved of Victorian prose style, and mingled his own with Chaucerian and Elizabethan English and Arabic. But whatever the style, the result is perhaps the finest book on Arabia ever written. Another Arabist, T.E. Lawrence, speaks on Doughty: "I have talked the book over with many travellers, and we are agreed that here you have all the desert, its hills and plains, the lava fields, the villages, the tents, the men and animals. They are told of the life, with words and phrases fitted to them so perfectly that one cannot dissociate them in memory. It is the true Arabia, the land with its smells and dirt, as well as its nobility and freedom. There is no sentiment, nothing merely picturesque, that most common failing of oriental travel-books. Doughty's completeness is devastating. There is nothing we would take away, little we could add. He took all Arabia for his province, and has left to his successors only the poor part of specialists. We may write books on parts of the desert or some of the history of it; but there can never be another picture of the whole, in our time, because here it is all said..." (- from the Introduction). Binding is solid and shows minimal wear. Burgundy endpapers, which remain free from Ex Libris plates and free from signatures.Text is clean. Preceding the title-page is a two-page engraved presentation to B. Hubert Cooper, dated 1943, signed in ink by Glenn McHugh. Overall in very good condition.

Item Number: 14484
Price: $550


FOGG, William Perry. The Land of 'The Arabian Nights' being Travels through Egypt, Arabia and Persia to Bagdad. With an Introduction by Bayard Taylor. Chicago: Belford, Clarke & Company, 1882. 21x14cm. 350pp. With 87 illustrations. Original Illustrated Hardcover. First American Edition of American adventurer and writer, William Perry Fogg's travel account through Egypt, Arabia and Persia. Arabistan, or The Land of the Arabian Nights was first published in England, 1872. Fogg was one of the earliest Americans to travel in this part of the world, and who made a report on what he had seen. Some of what Fogg reported on included: the Caliphs of Bagdad, the habits and customs of Arabs, Mahomet and his religion. The illustrations in the book include depictions of Bagdad, a Beduin Sheik, an Arab Merchant, and much more. Corners and edges slightly rubbed, front hinges repaired, name on end-paper dated 1887, otherwise book in very good condition.

Item Number: 14472
Price: $550


THESIGER, Wilfred. ARABIAN SANDS. London: Longman, 1960. 9" x 6." With 68 Photo Illustrations, 7 maps, Large map in pocket, 326pp. Original Cloth Hardcover, in Dust Wrapper. Second impression, first published in 1959, of a fascinating travel account in Arabia, Abu Dhabi & Oman across the Empty Quarter, which includes several maps of Arabia and a chapter on both Abu Dhabi and the Trucial Coast. Major Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger (1910-2003), also known as Mubarak bin London (Arabic for "the blessed one from London") was a British explorer and travel writer. During the Second World War, Thesigner fought in Abyssinia and in the Western Desert. All this was only a prelude to his great adventures which he so vividly describes in Arabian Sands. By dressing, eating, almost thinking like a native, Thesiger came as close to living the life of a Beduin Arab as a Westerner ever will. His descriptions of the fantastic privations they endure without complaint, of their strange customs, of their innate loyalty and generosity as well as their fierce fighting, from a magnificent picture of these little-known people and provide invaluable reference and source material. Arabian Sands is the story of a unique and remarkable adventure -one that no other man could have lived, one that can never happen again. Dust wrapper worn at edges with a small 1cm tear on top edge of verso, otherwise book in very good condition.

Item Number: 14474
Price: $550


Antique Qajar hand written Document, dated AH 1335 (1916) about the leasing/ renting/purchasing of some commercial or residential places in Gilan province of Iran. Approximately 14" x 8.4", includes 8 seals. A scarce historical item, with some expected folds for storing the document. In very good condition.

Item Number: 14683
Price: $450


Sir Edmund Hillary, famous New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. Glossy 8" x 10" photo of Hillary during his Everest expedition, signed in black felt tip “Ed Hillary.” In excellent condition.

Item Number: 13037
Price: $450


"P.les de Virginie" original copper engraving, Figure 17 taken from "Description de L'Univers" [1685] by Allain Maneson Mallet. Later hand coloring. Attractive illustration of a man and woman in native dress of the Virginias, as they appeared to European explorers of the 17th century. 4.75"x6.75" inches matted to 10"x12" inches. The man wears a flowing dyed and patterned drapery with a blue feather headdress while the woman wears a red drapery around her waste and holds a bouquet of flowers up near her face. Both are adorned with numerous beaded necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. The man reclines on a walking stick in a stance similar to depictions of English gentlemen and the woman stands in a modest classical pose. Their faces both express tranquility. The landscape around the pair is low and sparsely vegetated. Attractively matted and in very good condition.

Item Number: 14196
Price: $400


New Zealand explorer and mountaineer and first man to climb Mt. Everest. Typed Letter Signed, 1p, quarto, dated July 19th, 1966, Auckland , New Zealand. In part: "...Thank you for your letter and I enclose my autograph as requested by you. Yours sincerely," Signed, "Ed Hillary". Usual folds, in excellent condition.

Item Number: 5870
Price: $275


Two original antique steel costume engravings of a Persian Royal Officer and Noble woman, printed in 1864. Overall size: 9" x 12.5." The plate illustrations are brightly colored and intricately detailed characterization of the traditional costumes of a Persian Royal Officer and Noble woman. In the engraving of the Royal Officer, titled "Khatchadour D'hohannes: Officier du Prince Royal de Perse," his attire entails a vibrant green coat with gold trimmings, which covers a gold-colored ensemble, with a purple sash that stores his dagger. In the engraving of the Persian Woman, titled "Dame Persane," she is depicted in traditional costume as imagined by Europeans in the 1800's. The woman is shown leaning against a banister, wearing an embroidered white satin gown with a pink silk and fur trimmed coat and a feathered headdress. General age related toning. Overall both prints are in very good condition.

Item Number: 14586
Price: $250


Collection of 4 Qajar era telegrams, each with a different large Qajar Sun and Lion emblem heading. The lion is holding the sword on all and one has a Qajar crown on top. Three telegrams are from around the time of the constitional revolution, with one predating the revolution from 1893, under the reign of Naser al-Din Shah. Each has a short message in Farsi and all are signed with a seal. Dated 1893-1909. Size approximately 8" x 6.8." With mailing folds, and one with top corners docked but not effecting the emblem or message. Overall in very good condition.

Item Number: 14689
Price: $250


HAY, Sir William Rupert. The Persian Gulf States and Their Boundary Problems. The Geographical Journal, Volume CXX, No. 4, December, 1954. 9.5" x 6." With a full page map in text, 12pp. An original article taken from a copy of "The Geographical Journal" that provides a geographical and historical account of the Persian Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms, which today form the United Arab Emirates, and their boundary issues in the early 1950s to mid 1950s. It was written by Sir Rupert Hay, who due to his position as British Political Resident in the Persian Gulf from 1946 -1953, knew the area and its issues very well. Hay (1893-1962) was a British Indian Army officer and administrator in British India before becoming British Political Resident. He also authored two books on the Middle East including: "The Persian Gulf States" (1959) and "A Soldier in Kurdistan" an account of his service in Mesopotamia and Kurdistan during World War One. Although this document has been removed from a larger bound volume, it is complete in itself. Sewn at the edges as issued. Some slight toning around the edges of the front page and pages within the text, and with some pages slightly loose. Text in very good condition with no blemishes. Overall in very good condition.

Item Number: 14550
Price: $200


A wonderful stereo view photograph of Cathedral Spires from Mariposa Trail at Yosemite National Park. 3'"x 7". Good condition.

Item Number: 6892
Price: $75


A superb stereo view photograph of the famous peak El Captain at Yosemite National Park. 3" x 7". The photograph shows El Captain in the background with a man fishing in the river in front. Very good condition.

Item Number: 6890
Price: $75


Two large sepia-toned albumen prints depicting Bedouin camps under the wide desert sky. First photograph is labeled on bottom left corner with"1681 Nomades Campes Boghari." Some age-related foxing that does not affect the larger image. Image is approximately 10"x7.5" and is in overall good condition. The second image is 9"x7" and is laid on a photographer's matt labeled "Camp Doncy." Tears to corner and edge but image is in overall good condition.

Item Number: 14695
Price: