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The Unknown Horn of Africa:

An Exploration from Berbera to the Leopard River,

Published: London: George Philip & Son, 1888

Stock code: 60741

Price: £3,000

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition. “While primarily a work of exploration and adventure in Somaliland, the author does partake in a few hunts for kudu, lion, and assorted antelope near the River Webbe. Once while stalking rhinoceros, he came within a few feet of one but was unable to see it due to the heavy growth of mimosa before it made its escape. The coloured plates of birds in the more scarce first issue are especially handsome. James was killed by an elephant in west Africa in 1890” (Czech). While not in the red pictorial cloth, all other signs are that this is a first issue; the colouring of the plates is particularly skilful.

Octavo. Original dark olive cloth on bevelled boards, title gilt to spine, brown surface-paper endpapers. Hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece heightened with gum arabic and 9 other similar plates, 9 tinted photogravure plates, 4 plain botanical lithographs, numerous tinted vignettes in the text, folding map in an end-pocket. This copy with the ownership inscription of Abel Chapman, the “prolific sporting author”, dated in the year of publication, verso of the front free endpaper. Minimal shelf-wear, offset from one of the botanical plates, but overall a truly superior copy of a book often found in calamitous condition.

Bibliography: Czech p.83; Nissen BBI 2088

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