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Middle East

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  • Secret Despatches From Arabia – T.E. Lawrence

    Secret Despatches From Arabia – T.E. Lawrence

    A special production published with the permission of the Foreign Office, by The Golden Cockerel Press, London in 1939.

    Limited edition of 1,000 copies, Quarto, 174 pages printed on Arnold’s mould-made paper. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in quarter black morocco over cream cloth covered boards. Spine with raised bands lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt. Frontispiece of Lawrence in Arab dress. Slightest foxing as usual.

    A collection of Lawrence’s articles for the British Arab Bureau’s publication, the Arab Bulletin (1916-1918) containing most of Lawrence’s detailed reports of his activities in the field.

    In 1916 a select group of officials from England’s War, Foreign and Indian Offices set up an Araba Bureau in order to work out how best Britain’s future policy towards the Arabs could be coordinated. One of the Bureau’s first activities was to initiate a secret bulletin dealing with any political events in Turkey or elsewhere that affected the Arab movement. The idea originated with Lawrence and helped from the first issue. Later he sent the Arab Bureau many detailed reports of his field activities. Most of his reports are included in “Secret Despatches” … in addition there is “Syrian Cross Currents” which did not make its way into the bulletins and is taken from a manuscript on Arab Bureau paper.

    “The whole valley was full of shouting and rifle shots, and the roaring of camels”

    Sought after “Secret Despatches” … fundamental Lawrence of Arabia, finely bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.


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  • Thomas Cook’s – Tours of Egypt the Nile, Sudan, Palestine and Syria -1928

    Thomas Cook’s – Tours of Egypt the Nile, Sudan, Palestine and Syria -1928

    We love this 110 page brochure advertising Thomas Cook’s tours in the style of Poirot and Death on the Nile.

    It would take us a week to explain the depth of information, photographs, maps, intricate details of each of the numerous vessels with photos of the cabins, saloons etc. End paper maps and layout of each of the vessels.

    Very good condition albeit some pencil annotations of a planned holiday – luck bastards!

    Comprehensive view of Egypt and Palestine in the 1920’s


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  • A Journey Through Central and Eastern Arabia – Palgrave 1869

    A Journey Through Central and Eastern Arabia – Palgrave 1869

    Full title … “Personal Narrative of a Year’s Journey through Central and eastern Arabia by William Gifford Palgrave.

    This is the first one volume edition published by Macmillan, London in 1869. The first edition in two volumes having been published in 1865.

    Large octavo, 422 pages after preliminaries with vignette portrait on the title page plus a large coloured folding map and four folding plans. Striking gilt pictorial covers slightly aged a trifle shaken, still an excellent copy. Carries the name plate of Edward Charles Stirling one of Australia’s greatest all round scientists of the era.

    A special book. Palgrave’s narrative of the first recorded west-east crossing of the Arabian Peninsula, from Ma’an in Sothern Jordan to the Gulf. Palgrave disguised himself as a Syrian doctor and took on the name Selim Abu Mahmoud al’Eis. He journeyed for thirteen months and took in Ha’yel, Bereydah, Riad, Hothoof, Kateef, then on to Bahrain and Qatar and Muscat and Oman places little understood in the west at that time. Palgrave was sponsored by the French (Napoleon III) partly to investigate the potential trade in Arabian horses and cotton.

    The vignette portrait was engraved by Feens from a medallion by Woolner. The hand tinted map was engraved by J. Sulzer and colour coded, defining the Sultan of Shomar; the Sultan of Wahhabee; Sultan of Oman etc. The plans are of Hayel, Riad, Hothoof and the Palace at Riad.

    The first owner Sir Edward Charles Sterling was a leading figure in South Australia. He was a surgeon, physiologist, anthropologist, palaeontologist and legislator … quite a man. Educated at St Peters College, Adelaide and then on to Trinity Cambridge (another one!) became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1874, a fellow of the Royal Society (the World’s Greatest Club) in 1893 and then knighted. He was the first Professor of Physiology at Adelaide University … took part in the important Horn Scientific Expedition to Central Australia as Medical Officer and anthropologist … he wrote some of the better papers. He also had time to reconstruct fossils of the giant extinct marsupial wombat and collect rare marsupial moles in the outback. On retirement he developed one of Australia’s most admired private gardens being a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society … a good life.

    Important Middle Eastern travel account – prestigious owner


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  • Map of the Middle East – Isaak Tirion – 1732

    Map of the Middle East – Isaak Tirion – 1732

    An original copper engraved map by Dutch cartographer Isaak Tirion (1705-1765) of the broader Middle East. Published in Amsterdam and dated in the plate 1732.

    Very good original condition with centrefold as issued. Relief shown for all mountainous regions. Incredible detail throughout with many historical references. An extensive map taking in the whole of the area between the Red Sea, The Gulf, The Black Sea and the Caspian.

    34cm by 26cm with borders to top and bottom, narrow at the sides. A good very clean example of a rare and detailed map.

    Tirion produced several Atlases and Dutch town plans. Some suggest that his maps were based on those of Guillaume de L’isle although we see them as being much more detailed than de L’ísle’s standard.

    Price $190.00 unframed

    One of the best 18th Century Maps of the Region


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  • The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments – Pictorial Covers – 1908

    The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments – Pictorial Covers – 1908

    Published by Ward and Lock, London in 1908. Large octavo, 448 pages with the sumptuously decorated pictorial red cloth covered boards. Prize label to paste down and a few spots near the front generally clean and tightly bound.

    The story of the Ass, Ox and Labourer; the Merchant and the Genie, the History of the Fisherman; history of Sinbad the Sailor (the Seven Voyages); the Three Apples; the Little Hunchback; Sleeper Awakened; Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp; Ali Baba and the Forty Robbers who were killed by One Slave and the History of Camaralzaman. Several full page pen illustrations.

    Pictorial Covers Delight the Arabian Nights


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  • Fresh Light from Ancient Monuments – Alfred Sayce – 1893 – Unusual Gift Inscription and Note from Author

    Fresh Light from Ancient Monuments – Alfred Sayce – 1893 – Unusual Gift Inscription and Note from Author

    Published by The Religious Tract Society in 1893, first published in 1883. Small octavo, 160 pages this edition in the delightful covers with the Inscription of Siloam in gilt to the front. Very good condition and the inscriptions makes the book special.

    Alfred Sayce, Voyager Hero, was Professor of Comparative Philology at Oxford when he wrote this book. Sayce, in his time was the font of all knowledge Assyrian.

    Confirmation of Biblical fact from ancient monuments covers the Book of Genesis (a good place to start); the Exodus from Egypt; the Moabite Stone and the Inscription of Siloam; the Empire of the Hittites; the Assyrian Invasions and Nebuchadrezzar and Cyrus. Three useful appendices provide the text of the treaty between the Hittites and Ramses II; a list of the months of the Assyrian year and a translation of a cylinder of Nabonidos, King of Babylonia. Four illustrations in the text and frontispiece.

    An interesting inscription by the author in pencil on the front endpapers “ With Compliments – Major North Simmons Assam 1894 – Just going on Slave Extermination Lagos and/or Accra, working to Cape Town via Nianja – AHS – Can you three join our party – AHS”

    Interesting work with intriguing note of gift from author


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