Dear Friend,
To coincide with today's edition of Firsts Online (14.00 GMT) we're pleased to offer a late-winter list which includes the diary of a Vienna-born British scientist's trip to China during the Cultural Revolution, a lovely set of 1890s Jane Austens, a little Nelsoniana, and a gift from Ezra Pound's mother in law.
Best wishes,

THE CATHEDRALS AND CONVENTUAL CHURCHES of England and Wales Orthographically Delineated — Daniel King; Wenceslaus Hollar — 1656

Scarce if incomplete example of King’s Commonwealth era collection of views of churches and cathedrals with extensive provenance recorded on the book. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:Small folio-size bound in late 17th century panelled calf, rebacked, probably in the 19th century with a gilt heraldic device to the spine. Front pastedown has a c1800 manuscript list of plates in the related volume, also illustrated by King, Monasticon Anglicarum; the second flyleaf attempts a manuscript list of the plates pr…… Read more


POLITICAL BROADSIDE A True List of the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the Parliament That Met in Westminster the Nineteenth Day of October, 1689 — N/A — 1689

Large broadside set out by attendees from the English and Welsh counties which records those present at one of the early meetings of Parliament to follow the Glorious Revolution. Folio-sized sheet (33x43cm); old folds with browning and small holes along the middle fold. Printed on one side only in 8 columns comprising the English counties, Cinque Ports and Wales ‘In all 513’. Typographically, rather satisfying. Overleaf a handwritten docket title in a 17th century hand: ‘semi public transacation…… Read more


‘GO PLACIDLY AMID THE NOISE & HASTE...’ Desiderata - Brass Plaque — Max Ehrmann — ‘1694’

Vintage brass wall plaque containing the full text of Ehrmann’s ‘timeless masterpiece’ which has become associated with St Paul’s Church Baltimore. (20x28.5cm) brass plaque with felt to the back; lightly marked and scratched front - displays well. Desiderata was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Indiana. The word desiderata means ‘things that are desired’ and these virtues have been valued by millions as the Desiderata gained popularity in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Its w…… Read more


AN ESSAY ON ARCHERY, Describing The Practice of that Art in all Ages and Nations — Walter Michael Moseley — 1792

A smart first edition of this illustrated account of the international history and practice of archery. Full polished calf binding; yellow edges to text block; unused bookplate to front pastedown. Frontispiece with tissue guard; engraved title page and letter-press title page: viii, pp348 and 4 further plates within the text - with some offsetting from these plates. Minimal browning to preliminary leaves. Otherwise a near fine copy. Acquired as part of a library of books relating to archery from…… Read more


ANNOTATED PRESENTATION COPY Sketches of the Origin, Process, and Effects of Music with an Account of the Ancient Bards and Minstrels — Rev Richard Eastcott — 1795

Annotated presentation copy of the third edition with an affectionate note about the author’s life in Exeter, ‘now (1823) quite blind’ written by the book’s recipient, George Westlake. Half calf binding overlaid and strengthened with red cloth at some later stage - over marbled boards. Westlake’s bookplate appears on the front pastedown with offsetting opposite. Recording the gift of the book from his blind friend Westlake has written on the first flyleaf: ‘George Westlake the gift of the Rev.d…… Read more


THE LETTERS OF LORD NELSON to Lady Hamilton; with a Supplement — Admiral Horatio Nelson - Emma Hamilton — 1814

First edition in a contemporary Regency polished calf binding with attractive gilt decoration. Black spine labels a little chipped; all edges marbled. Marbled endpapers; pencil ownership inscription of ‘Walter James Lindsay’ (1847-1922) on second flyleaf of Vol I. Collates correctly: xii, pp274; viii, pp264. A little creasing at the head of pp14-20 in vol II with some dark rubbing marks along the head of those pages. Overall a very nice copy of a book that chronicles one of the great love storie…… Read more


BILLS OF LADING FOR HUMBER PORTS: Manuscript records of a 19th Century Shipping Line — Humber Ports — 1851

Bound volume of bills of lading for commercial vessels sailing out of the Humber ports on England’s east coast in the 1850s bound for the port of London. The volume seems to contain the records of a single, major shipping company. Small landscape format, oblong octavo manuscript notebook (12x21cm); sheepskin binding with original clasp just-about still working. Marbled endpapers. First entry dated February 22, 1851 for ‘Sloop Dove of Goole... Capn John Bocking’ with quantities, prices and in red…… Read more


NOVA SCOTIA, Prince Edward Island, and Part of New Brunswick. Third Edition, with many Additional Names & Corrections [Map] — James Dawson [Sir Charles Trollope] — 1854

Pictou-imprint map of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island from the estate of the British Commander in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the late 1850s, General Sir Charles Trollope. A map produced by James Dawson as the third edition in 1854 and lithographed in Edinburgh. Cloth-backed coloured map, dated 1854 (73x56cm) folded to 14x18cm; a little spotting. ‘Map of Nova Scotia’ in ink to verso. Provenance: from the estate of the former Governor of Nova Scotia, General Sir Charles Trollope who held his pos…… Read more


The Natural History of Man: Being an Account of the Manners and Customs of the Uncivilized Races of Men. Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, America, Asia and Ancient Europe. — J G Wood — 1874

A very nice set in decorative publisher’s cloth bindings; all edges marbled. Black coated endpapers and illustrated throughout both volumes by Angas, Dancy, Wolf, Zwecker and engraved by Dalziel brothers. A little textual browning, otherwise very good, perhaps even a little better. The two volumes were issued in 1874 and 1880.


BASEBALL IN THE 1880s The Boys’ Book of Sports and Outdoor Life in America — Maurice Thompson; George B M Harvey — 1887

Nicely bound English edition of Thompson’s Book of Sports which had appeared in the USA a year earlier and contains a baseball story by George Harvey. Attractive green publisher’s binding with gilt decoration; rubbed and a little worn at the head and tail of the spine. Spectacular art nouveau-style endpapers; a little browning to text which is illustrated throughout. Paper over final inner hinge cracking. A good plus copy. This London edition is uncommon.… Read more


THE HISTORY OF CLERKENWELL by the late William J Pinks — William J Pinks; Edward J Wood — 1881

Expensively produced 19th century history and guide to this area of north London in the augmented second edition. Decorative publisher’s cloth binding over bevel-edged boards, red edges to text block; faded to spine with scuffing at head and tail of spine. Black coated endpapers; cracking to inner hinge before the first fold-out map by Pickburn. Collates: xx, pp800 - voluminous and extensively illustrated (200 steel engravings). Uncommon to find this volume still in its original, rather pleasing…… Read more


THE NOVELS OF JANE AUSTEN IN TEN VOLUMES: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion — Jane Austen, Edited by R Brimley Johnson — 1892

Charming set of Austen’s work pair of volumes from Dent's 1898 edition of Jane Austen. The books are in the original pale green cloth, faded, with gilt decorations to the front boards and spine. William Cubit Cooke's frontispieces and plates are present throughout, with tissue guards; the text is complete; no ownership inscriptions. Together this set includes two, perhaps three, maybe even four, of the finest novels in the language.


ALPINE PANORAMA Vue panoramique prise du sommet des Rochers de Naye (2044 m.) — Xaver Imfeld — 1892

Alpine panorama made up of 24 folding segments (24x15cm) with a lithographed (Ch. Serex) image of the mountains on one side and steel engraved adverts on the other. Printed card wrappers, browned and scuffed to edges; internally a couple of closed tears along central fold, otherwise very good. A remarkable image.


PRESENTED BY EZRA POUND’S MOTHER IN LAW The Ambassadors — Henry James [Olivia Shakespear] — 1903

First edition gifted to her brother by the novelist, artistic patron, former lover of W B Yeats and future mother-in-law of Ezra Pound, Olivia Shakespear. Deep red cloth binding, a little marked and rubbed to the corners and edges; fading to spine: good plus condition. Browning to preliminary leaves and a stain at the head of the spine; spotting throughout. Shakespear has inscribed the title page: ‘H. T Tucker. Xmas 1903. from O.S.’ - a Christmas present to her brother Henry T Tucker. Collates:…… Read more


THE AUTHOR’S COPY The Nelson Collection at Lloyd’s: A Description of the Nelson Relics... Autograph Letters and Documents of Nelson — Warren R Dawson — 1932

Pretty much the best copy you could hope for, belonging to the author Warren R Dawson complete with several small additions to the text, and his ephemera relating to the publication. Dawson wrote this study while serving as Honorary Librarian to Lloyd’s of London, detailing the company’s remarkable collection of Nelsoniana and has continued to add to his account after publication, even revealing where some of the items were acquired. Blue buckram binding with the Lloyds armorial to the upper cov…… Read more


NO 85 OF 100 COPIES Turkish Archery and the Composite Bow — Paul E Klopsteg [Robert P Elmer] — 1934

Presentation copy, one of a hundred subscription copies, inscribed by Klopsteg to the American champion archer, Robert P Elmer. Quarter red roan over cloth covered boards. Klopsteg has signed the title page, numbered the book overleaf ‘85’ and written below: ‘Dr Robert P Elmer. With the Author’s appreciation and compliments.’ Unfortunately the book is extensively ink-stained throughout - as if a bottle of ink has been tipped over onto the printed list of subscribers - which does not include Elme…… Read more


WITH ELIOT’S SIGNATURE The Family Reunion — T S Eliot — 1950

A very smart copy with T S Eliot’s signature in blue ink on a small oblong of paper tipped onto the title page. A crisp copy of the 6th edition from 1950, near fine in a near fine jacket. Ownership signature from 1958 to the flyleaf over an erased earlier inscription. Eliot's signature is not difficult to find on limited editions but desirable on trade editions of his works.… Read more


A CRISP COPY The Shield of Achilles — W H Auden — 1955

First edition in fine condition in a near fine jacket showing lovely colour. Just a couple of tiny closed tears. The book is square and clean; a single small ownership signature from the first and only owner (until now), dated 1959. Quite uncommon in first edition in a jacket.


MANUSCRIPT TRAVEL JOURNAL TO CHINA DURING THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION by a Jewish Refugee from 1930s Austria — Ernst Billig — 1965

A minutely observed manuscript travel diary of a research-cum-sightseeing trip to China and the USSR, ending with a nostalgic visit to Vienna, that offers glimpses of a personal history shaped by the Holocaust. Austrian-Jewish by background the electrical engineer Ernst Billig (1904-1970) was born in Vienna, was forced to flee to England where he became Head of Solid State Physics at the British holding company, Associated Electrical Industries, (AEI) where his extensively-published research foc…… Read more


WITH A GEORGE STEINER LETTER Language and Silence — George Steiner — 1967

First edition with a letter from the polyglot critic George Steiner tipped onto the first flyleaf. Typed on his Churchill College, Cambridge, headed paper, Steiner regrets his inability to to respond to an invitation ‘Alas, I am swamped... with lectures, supervisions etc.... Do allow me to keep your letter in my file marked “future hopes”!’ Signed in biro and annotated by the recipient, Stephen Tunnicliffe (apparently a teacher), ‘Replied 26 Oct.’ Tunnicliffe’s bookplate appears opposite on the…… Read more


SARACEN ARCHERY: an English Version and Exposition of a Mameluke Work on Archery ca AD 1368 — J D Latham & W F Paterson - Al Yunani — 1970

Very uncommon translation of Taybugha Al-Ashrafi Al-Baklamishi Al-Yunani's Complete Manual of Archery for Cadets, first written for a Mameluke Sultan. A fine copy in a good jacket - closed tears at the head of both panels; now in protective mylar. Originally priced at 7 Guineas, this was always an expensive book and remain a desirable addition to any archery collection.… Read more


WITH AUTHORIAL LETTERS Silence will Speak: A Study of the life of Denys Finch Hatton and his Relationship with Karen Blixen — Errol Trzebinski [Karen Blixen] — 1993

Inscribed copy of the the source-work for Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa - with extensive authorial ephemera. Very good paperback edition inscribed on the title page ‘For Lionel Carley, with gratitude - how strange - Exits and Entrances.... Errol’ together with a long typed letter to Carley, August 1995, thanking him for a ‘thoroughly civilised amalgam’ of an open-house visit and promising to ‘be in touch from Kenya....’, a postcard sent by Errol from Kenya and a further Christmas card from her. T…… Read more


Dr. Christian White
Christian White Rare Books
287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8LL
07811 455398