Sport in Somaliland, Being an Account of a Hunting Trip to that Region.London: Rowland Ward, Limited, 1900 Stock Code: 126123
"One of the rarest of all African big game hunting books"First edition in English, first published in Polish in 1897, the present edition limited to 200 copies signed by Ward, this copy designated "Presentation Copy No. 4" on the initial blank verso: "One of the rarest of all African big game hunting books" (Czech). Józef Mikolaj Potocki (1862-1922) inherited extensive estates in his native Poland, which he much improved with forestation and farming projects. He established an Arabian stud at the family palace at Antoniny, now in the Ukraine, which provided Skowronek, the foundation stallion of Lady Wentworth's renowned Crabbet Arabian Stud. Potocki was a prodigious art collector and bibliophile, amassing a library of some 20,000 volumes, all lost when the house was looted during the Polish-Bolshevik War in 1919. Potocki also underwrote a number of expeditions to India, Ceylon, the Sudan, and in 1895 to Somaliland. "Potocki and his comrades travelled to Somaliland's Haud region, then into Ogaden. The party bagged elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, aoul, gazelle, hartebeest and beisa (oryx). The excellent artwork in the book is from the talented Polish illustrator Piotr Stachiewicz".
Clearly a vanity project, sparing no expense, this "sumptuous work" was printed using the most innovative and expensive processes, the text printed on coated art paper with spot illustration in colour throughout. The plates are photogravures on india paper. The frontispiece, a wonderful portrait of the author, is a colour photogravure printed in facsimile of a water-colour sketch by the distinguished Viennese studio of J. Löwy, photographer to the imperial and royal courts.
Folio. Original light tan pictorial buckram, title gilt to spine and front board, image of "Our Biggest Lion" in black to front board, embossed snakeskin effect endpapers, linen hinges.
Tissue-guarded coloured photogravure portrait frontispiece, and 18 photogravures printed on india paper and mounted on light card leaves hinged with linen, 5 of them double page, all but 2 of the latter with the original tissue-guards, numerous illustrati
A little rubbed and soiled, spine mildly tanned, some foxing as usual, particularly to the photogravures and associated tissue-guards, list of illustrations has been loose now reattached, but soiled at the margins and with a few splits, remains very good.
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