Read about books we’ve recently found or sold …

The Travels of Marco Polo

The Travels of Marco Polo

Marco Polo’s tales of his travels to the exotic Far East were filled with visions of fabulous riches and strange customs. It set parts of Europe on fire with curiosity, then fell from favor for a long time, and surged back to lasting prominence long after Marco Polo had left this world. This century-old edition has literally hundreds of handsome plates, illustrations, and detailed fold-out color maps and plans.

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A set with a royal provenance

A set with a royal provenance

This small set of books has an especially interesting provenance, as it was given in 1882 to Victoria, Princess Royal by a British aristocrat that was close to the royal family. Victoria was an avid gardener, which may have been the motivation for the subject matter.

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The Works of William Shakspeare

The Works of William Shakspeare

The spelling of Shakespeare’s name was never consistent until well into the 20th century.  As with this volume of his works, published in 1854, the spelling could be Shakspeare – or even Shakespear, Shakspere or Shake-speare. His own signature also varied (Wikipedia shows several different variations) and sometimes the hand-written signature did not even match the printed version.

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Peking

Peking

Author Juliet Bredon penned a landmark guidebook to China’s capital in 1922, at a time when such information was scarce. She aimed to let the reader know “the true atmosphere of the city, so powerful and yet so illusive, to be absorbed into mind and spirit.” Mission accomplished in this hard-to-find collector’s volume.

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India

India

Pierre Loti was possibly the most prolific writer of exotic tales of his time. Famous for both his far-flung adventures and his masterful prose, Loti nevertheless spent his career as a French naval officer traveling the world. A volume of his work from circa 1910 in this condition is a prize to own.

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