Welcome to Asia Bookroom
Holiday Trading Hours
Asia Bookroom will be open all day every Monday before Christmas. Our hours over the Christmas/New Year break are:
Monday 23rd: 10am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 24th: 10am - 5.30pm
Closed Wednesday 25th - Monday 30th
Tuesday 31st - 10am - 5.30pm
Closed Wednesday January 1st
Regular hours from Thursday January 2nd
Visit us if you are in Canberra over the holiday period!
22 black and white photographs laid down one to a page. Photographs measure and the album measures Both album and photos are in excellent condition. The images show a number of busy river scenes, the Bund, an aerial view of the city streets and some busy street scenes. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 143013) ... more
Stock ID: 143013
Complete Pictures of the Eight Noble Steeds
[FAMOUS HORSES OF CHINA - BILINGUAL CHINESE ENGLISH ACCORDION WOODEN BOARDS].
Ten delightful delicate hand coloured illustrations with accompanying text in Chinese and English, unpaginated, bound in an accordion style binding. Wood boards, carved and painted character on upper cover a faded, hand written ownership details on paste downs. An attractive book. Delightful bilingual, Chinese English volume which tells the stories of eight famous horses in Chinese history. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 143033) ... more
Stock ID: 143033
India and South Asia. A Short History.
Maps, xii + 316pp, index, paperback. Combining factual information with a critical approach which probes the nature of culture and identity, this concise yet authoritative account paints a graphic picture of an area stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayan mountains. With coverage not only of India, but also of Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, this book surveys nearly 5000 years, from the early settlers of prehistory to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and the Tamil Tiger conflicts. Particular emphasis is placed on the last 200 years, while the key theme of shifting regional identities underpins the author's insights in to the social, economic and spiritual past of the region. In the world of globalization that we now inhabit, no world region is understood as being composed simply of enclosed national territories of politics, economy, society, and culture. South Asia is a global phenomenon, and working that idea into our understanding of South Asian history is a challenge that this new edition fully embraces. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142531) ... more
Stock ID: 142531
Map, colour photographic illustrations, 150 pages, appendix, paperback. Unique and complex in style, traditional Chinese music forms a fascinating part of China's cultural heritage. This accessible, illustrated introduction to Chinese music takes the reader through the 8000-year history of China's musical instruments, the diversity of Chinese folk music, the development of China's famous operas and the modern Chinese music industry. From classical to contemporary styles, Jin Jie explores the influence that Chinese music has had around the world. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 135155) ... more
Stock ID: 135155
Chinese Punishments - Album of 12 Delicate Paintings on Pith.
[CHINESE PAINTINGS ON PITH].
Set of 12 delicate paintings on pith presented in small album. Album measures 9.7 x 13.5cm. The size of the paintings vary slightly but approximately 8.5 x 11.5cm. The images are held in place by a blue ribbon which additionally serves as an attractive border. Directly below each image an early owner has captioned each scene in a neat hand. The first image shows a court scene, the second an arrest of a criminal, and the following images various other punishments. In one case the caption explains what the punishment shown was given for. Original card boards re-covered with silk, original ribbon ties. The leaves of the album show some very minor wear and soiling, in one place at the upper corner of one pith leaf there is a tiny amount of insect damage but this does not affect the image. A fascinating little album in very good condition. Collections of pith paintings such as these were issued to satisfy the desire of the European visitor to China for a light weight attractive souvenir to take home. There is some dispute as to when pith paintings first became available but certainly by the beginning of the 19th century through to the end of the 19th century they were very popular. The paintings were frequently sold in albums, such as this, although some, particularly in the latter part of the 19th century, were issued as small collections in glass fronted boxes. The subject of this particular collection, which to European eyes showed the sensational cruel and strange punishments of China, was a popular theme. This interest in Chinese punishments being a proven seller in Europe as the publication and subsequently reissues of Mason's 'The Punishments of China' (first published 1801 and illustrated with hand coloured stipple engravings) showed. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 141715) ... more
Stock ID: 141715
Stereoscope Views of China in Original Slipcases.
[PHOTOGRAPHY OF CHINA].
20 stereoscopic views of China, 9 of which have handcolour. The cards are presented in two slipcases (10 cards per box) lettered in gilt on the spine, one marked Serie [sic] 3 and the other Serie [sic] 7. On the reverse of each card the publisher's details are printed in English and Japanese on some cards this is also accompanied by a hand written description of the scene in Japanese. Small chip upper edge of one card. Very good in slipcases which show wear, a split along the lower joints of one but are still sound. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 143015) ... more
Stock ID: 143015
Translation of a Comparative Vocabulary of the Chinese, Corean, and Japanese Languages: To Which is Added The Thousand Character Classic The Chinese and Corean; The Whole Accompanied by Copious Indexes, of all the Chinese and English Words Occuring in the
PHILO SINENSIS. [W.H. MEDHURST].
Printed on Japanese style folded leaves, stab binding presented in a Japanese folding cloth covered case with toggle ties. New introduction booklet with red ribbon ties loosely inserted. A handsome work in excellent condition. Facsimile of a vocabulary adapted by Walter Henry Medhurst under the pseudonym Philo Sinensis was first published at the Parapattan Press in Batavia in 1835. The adaptation of a Korean classified vocabulary was written by Medhurst without the help of a Korean speaker. The vocabulary on which this publication was based was written for Koreans learning Japanese. Medhurst added romanizations of Japanese and Korean, deduced from Japanese and English lists. (Lust - Western Books on China). Accompanying this copy of the facsimile is a typescript note in English from Nitta Yuji, (founder of Yushodo Booksellers, Tokyo) explaining that he published this facsimile on the occasion of his 70th birthday "in order to share its value to everyone in the scholarly world. It is my hope that this small tribute would be of use." A very fitting contribution to the scholarly world indeed. Worldcat does not list this edition in an Australian library. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142690) ... more
Stock ID: 142690
Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800.
MIKSIC, JOHN N.
Maps, black and white and colour photographic illustrations, ix + 491pp, bibliography, index, dustjacket. Beneath the modern skyscrapers of Singapore lie the remains of a much older trading port, prosperous and cosmopolitan and a key node in the maritime Silk Road. This book synthesizes 25 years of archaeological research to construct the 14th-century port of Singapore in greater detail than is possible for any other Southeast Asian city. The picture that emerges is of a port where people processed raw materials, used money, and had specialized occupations. Within its defensive wall, the city was well organized and prosperous, with a cosmopolitan population that included residents from China, other parts of Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Fully illustrated, with more than 300 maps and color photos, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea presents Singapore's history in the context of Asia's long-distance maritime trade in the years between 1300 and 1800: it amounts to a dramatic new understanding of Singapore's pre-colonial past. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 140528) ... more
Stock ID: 140528
Mapping Our World. Terra Ingognita to Australia.
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA.
Maps, colour and black and white photographic illustrations, xxix + 256pp, bibliography, glossary, index, oblong quarto, paperback. The cover image, World Map by Fra Mauro c. 1450, is one of the most important and famous maps of all time. This monumental map of the world was created by the monk Fra Mauro in his monastery on the island of San Michele in the Venetian lagoon. Now the centrepiece of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in St Marc’s Square in Venice, the map in its nearly 600-year history has never left Venice – until now. Renowned for its sheer size - over 2.3 metres square - and stunning colours, the map was made at a time of transition between the medieval world view and new knowledge uncovered by the great voyages of discovery. Brilliantly painted and illuminated on sheets of oxhide, the sphere of the Earth is surrounded by the sphere of the Ocean in the ancient way. Yet Fra Mauro included the latest information on exploration by Portuguese and Arab navigators. Commissioned by King Afonso V of Portugal, it is the last of the great medieval world maps to inspire navigators in the Age of Discovery to explore beyond the Indian Ocean. Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia features over 100 maps, divided into sections on: Ancient conceptions of the world Medieval religious mapping Age of discovery Dutch golden age Europe and S Pacific (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142786) ... more
Stock ID: 142786
The International Position of Tibet.
69pp typescript in wrappers and metal clasp binder, title page lettered in red, black and white typescript leaves printed single sided. The three chapters in this work: Historical Survey; The Position of Tibet in 1950; A Summary of the Tibetan Case are followed by appendices which give the text of five conventions and one agreement relating to Tibet. Published by the Government of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in the year of the Tibetan Uprising and the year The Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet. Trove does not show an Australian library as holding a copy of this work in any edition and although libraries outside of Australia hold copies of the Delhi trade publication of this title, none listed on Worldcat appear to hold this edition. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142544) ... more
Stock ID: 142544
China: Its Costume, Arts, Manufactures, &c. Edited Principally from the Originals in the Cabinet of the Late M. Bertin: with Observations, Explanatory, Historical, and Literary by M. Breton.
BRETON [DE LA MARTINIERE, JEAN BAPTISTE JOSEPH].
Translated from the French. 4 volumes in 2. Complete with 80 full page handcoloured plates. Volume I: 128pp. Volume II: 124pp. Volume III: 135pp. Volume IV: 160pp. Attractive leather bindings, rebacked with backstrip laid down, all edges gilt, little occasional rubbing extremities. Some occasional foxing and browning particularly on 3 of the 4 title pages but largely the plates are unaffected. Neat 19th century inscriptions on one preliminary leaf in each volume. 16mo. Lust 1243; Cordier 65; Reed and Dematte 14 - 1st English editions. Abbey 535 (3rd edition). First published in English in 1813 following the first publication of the work in French 1811 - 12. The delightful coloured plates and the wide coverage of the text meant this was a book with broad appeal which sold well to the early 19th century European public keen to learn more of the world beyond Europe. Described by Reed and De Matte (China on Paper, 2007) as one of the precusors to the modern travel book, the appeal of these books was enhanced by their "striking and sensational illustrations [which] featured material that was ostensibly true but truly extraordinary, that is, outside the frome of daily life in the West. In effect, publications on China were books of wonders.." (When referring to this item please quote stockid 143026) ... more
Stock ID: 143026
Empires at War. A Short History of Modern Asia Since World War II.
Maps, xxi + 860 pages, index, bibliography, notes, paperback. A dramatic narrative account of how modern Asia has come into being from the end of WWII to today. An essential guide to the history of fourteen Asian countries. Concepts: history, war, culture (When referring to this item please quote stockid 135087) ... more
Stock ID: 135087
History of Photography in China: Chinese Photographers 1844-1879
Profusely illustrated with black and white and colour photographs, ix + 386pp, corrigenda, glossary of Chinese names, index, chronologies, bibliography, photographic terms, appendices,dustjacket. This book is the first extensive survey of early Chinese photographers in any language. It is profusely illustrated with more than 400 photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, including a fine selection of Foochow landscapes from the studios of Lai Fong, China’s leading photographer during this period, and Tung Hing. Early chapters introduce the historical milieu from which the earliest Chinese photographers emerged and illuminate the beginnings of photography in China and contemporary Chinese reactions to its introduction. Early Chinese commercial photography – both portrait and landscape – are also discussed with reference to similar genres in a more international context. Individual chapters are devoted to Chinese photographers in Peking, Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Foochow, Amoy, Hankow, Tientsin and other ports, Macau and Formosa. These are followed by a series of appendices: writings on photography in China by John Thomson and Isaac Taylor Headland and an invaluable guide to the identification of photographs from the Afong Studio. It concludes with an extensive bibliography, general and regional chronologies, and a biographical index. Combining existing knowledge of the subject with a mass of new research material, this major work also introduces and identifies the work of a number of previously forgotten or overlooked Chinese masters. It includes the work of: Chow Kwa (Su Sanxin), Hing Qua John & Co., Jiu San & E Fong, Kai Sack, Kung Tai, Lai Chong, Lai Fong, Liang Shitai (See Tay), Luo Yuanyou, Man Foc, Pow Kee, Pun Lun, Sang Cheong, Tung Hing, Wo Cheong, Ye Chung and many others. This book completes a three-volume series on the photographic history of China until the late 19th century and will prompt a re-evaluation and heightened appreciation of these early Chinese photographers. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 141363) ... more
Stock ID: 141363
SMITH, KAREN, OBRIST, HANS-ULRICH, AND BERNHARD FIBICHER.
Colour and black and white photographic illustrations, bibliography, chronology, square quarto, paperback. Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is truly an artist for the twenty-first century. In his sculptures he refashions artefacts and antiques into surprising, sometimes monumental constructions such as Template (2007): hundreds of wooden doors and windows taken from demolished Ming and Qing dynasty temples and arranged into a massive outdoor sculpture. As much as these materials look to the past, they also speak of the present, because never before (and probably never again) have they been available in such abundance. Like his benches carved from centuries-old temple beams, Template is a sly commentary on the speed with which China's building boom is obliterating its past. (When Template collapsed in a rainstorm two weeks after its unveiling at Documenta 12, the artist embraced its demise as a clever artistic twist.) In China today, making art that's critical of current cultural and economic policies is not a particularly safe career move.
But Ai's father, the poet Ai Qing, walked a similar path, absorbing European avant-garde styles while studying in 1930s Paris and later standing by them in the face of Communist opposition, a move that eventually led to his exile to the distant provincial town where his son Weiwei came to be born and raised. In the late 1970s Ai Weiwei moved to Beijing, banding together with other pro-democracy artists in a loose collective known as the Stars Group. In 1981, following government retaliation against one of their exhibitions, Ai moved to New York, where he attended art school and lived the life of the bohemian for twelve years, his East Village apartment serving as a base for countless visiting Chinese artists. When his father became ill in 1993 Ai returned to China, settling in Beijing and finally taking up his art career in earnest. Weiwei's artistic forebears belong primarily to the Western modernist avant-garde (Duchamp and Beuys are particularly relevant).
But Ai has equally and increasingly been influenced by modernist architecture and contemporary urban planning, citing the need for an ideal for living in a country where runaway economic development has shown little regard for the everyday life of the individual. In stark contrast to the glass-and-steel high-rises going up around Beijing, the art galleries, ateliers and homes Ai designs are boxy and modest, made from brick and other vernacular materials. Their resolution of Eastern and Western styles is a fitting parallel to his antique readymade sculptures. What truly marks out Ai as a twenty-first century artist is the multiplicity of his roles: not just artist, designer and architect but also curator, publisher, web blogger and compass for an entire generation of Beijing artists. He has been described more than once as the Chinese Warhol, overseeing a factory-like studio (Fake) with dozens of assistants engaged in countless projects in a range of disciplines. And indeed his outsize public persona is an inseparable part of his art.
It should come as no surprise that when Herzog & de Meuron came to Beijing to conceive of a new stadium for the 2008 Olympics, Ai was the one who provided them with a design concept: an interlaced form based on the woven baskets his wife collects at local antique markets. At a time when the West is finally discovering Chinese contemporary art, Ai is one of the few to have transcended the label 'Chinese artist'. In part thanks to his gallery Urs Meile (Lucerne and Beijing), Ai has won the support of strong European collectors. His work is increasingly being shown at major venues around the world (Kunsthalle Bern, Kunsthaus Graz, Tate Liverpool) and included in major international exhibitions (the Moscow Biennial, the Guangzhou Triennale, Documenta). A complex, multi-faceted artist, Ai is poised to make a deep impact on contemporary art far beyond China's borders. Ai Weiwei is represented by Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne and Beijing. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142582) ... more
Stock ID: 142582
Remarks on the Province of Shantung.
34pp, appendix. Original wrappers with vertical crease where the booklet has been folded at some time. Partially removed stamp at lower edge, handwritten number upper cover, minor wear tail of spine. A very good copy. At the time of publication Reginald F. Johnston, who is probably best remembered today as the author of Twilight in the Forbidden City, was Secretary to Government, Weihaiwei. This confidential report is concerned with four aspects of the situation in Shantung (now known as Shandong Province) as observed by Johnston on his journey through the province. Johnston makes no claim that this is a detailed or comprehensive report, describing it merely as notes. His observations are nonetheless very interesting and give a good insight into the situation in the province at the time. The first section discusses the proposed Chinese emigration of indentured labour to the South African mines in the period immediately following the South African War. In this publication Johnston reports on a meeting he held with Chou Fu, Governor of Shantung, in which the Governor expressed great enthusiam for this scheme. Complications arising from this scheme are discussed. The three other sections in this report discuss The Railway System in Shantung; Trade Prospects and Commerical Routes; German Influence in Shantung. Scarce. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142791) ... more
Stock ID: 142791
List of Japanese Pottery at the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition 1926 Philadelphia.
THE JAPANESE CERAMIC ASSOCIATION.
Map, 16pp (unpaginated) brochure, small octavo, pictorial wrappers with ribbon ties, very good copy. The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition was held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States of America's Declaration of Independence. The brochure lists 154 items under categories of Arita Ware, Kutani Ware, Seto, Mino and Nagoya Wares, Tokio Ware, Fujina Ware, Dairen Ware, Satsuma Ware, Yokohama Ware and Kyota Ware, with a brief description of each. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142242) ... more
Stock ID: 142242
All Men Are Brothers (Shui Hu Chuan).
BUCK, PEARL S.
2 Volumes in card slipcase. Both volumes black and white illustrations, dustjackets. Vol 1: xiv + 650pp. Vol 2: 628pp. Very good clothbound hardback copies. One of the world classics: a great pageant of China translated from the Chinese version by Pearl S. Buck. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 143229) ... more
Stock ID: 143229
Tibet The Mysterious.
HOLDICH, THOMAS H.
Large colour folding map, three black and white maps, 1 folding, black and white photographic plates (letterpress halftone), xii + 356pp, appendix, index. Attractive pictorial upper cover gilt, black and green, pictorial spine dull and rubbed at head and tail, top edge gilt, bookplate of a prior owner front paste down, occasional neat embossed ownership stamps on upper corners, date stamp lower endpaper, two blank prelims a little foxed but otherwise very good and clean. "Narrative of the adventures and accomplishments of the explorers, and a brief resume of the journeys of all the most important of them in Tibet from Friar Odoric of Pordennone in 1328 to Rawling and Ryder in 1904." Yakushi H229. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142161) ... more
Stock ID: 142161
Encyclopedia of Exploration. Invented and Apocryphal Naratives of Travel.
HOWGEGO, RAYMOND JOHN.
xi + 543 pages, indices, dustjacket. Quarto. The first four volumes of this highly acclaimed Encyclopedia dealt almost exclusively with voyages and travels of indisputable historical reality. In this intriguing final volume the author turns his attention to the curious but compelling alternative literature of exploration; to imaginary, apocryphal and utopian journeys in fabulous lands; and to the abundance of invented, plagiarized and spoof narratives, many of which were accepted in their time as wholly credible but were nothing more than flights of the imagination, blatant deceptions, or monologues of doubtful authenticity. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 141719) ... more
Stock ID: 141719
The Patola of Gujarat.
BUHLER, ALFRED AND EBERHARD FISCHER.
2 volumes. Volume I: Black and white illustrations, xviii + 340pp. Volume II: Maps, 32 colour and black and white plates, 327pp. Quarto. Very good hardbacks in cloth slipcase. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142230) ... more
Stock ID: 142230
Sino-Western Relations, Conceptions of China, Cultural Influences and the Development of Sinology. Supplement. Disclosed in Western Printed Books 1477-1877
China Illustrata Nova title on spine. Supplement: 1477 - 1776. Black and white frontispiece, 4 full page colour plates, 207pp. Volume II: 1777 - 1877. Black and white frontispiece, 18 full page colour plates and 12 smaller colour plates, 374pp, names in Chinese, index of names, addenda and corrigenda to Volumes I and II,appendix. Publisher's cloth, pictorial dustjacket. In a cloth-covered box. The supplement to an extensively annotated two volume catalogue in English of books on China in Western languages. It describes additional material since the publication of the catalogue. The Löwendahl – von der Burg collection is a most important assembly of Western books on China, written by Sinologues, missionaries, travellers, merchants and other authors. The collection also includes works by Chinese authors translated and edited by Western scholars. The contents cover Chinese history, language, philosophy, religion, society, science, medicine, missionary work and the "Chinese Rites" controversy, trade (incl. treaties with foreign powers), Hong Kong, foreign aggression, and travel accounts. The two volumes cover books published in the years 1477–1776 and 1777–1877 respectively. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 141990) ... more
Stock ID: 141990
The Call of China's Great North-West or Kansu and Beyond.
TAYLOR, MRS. HOWARD.
Folding map of Kansu Province North West China detached but present, black and white photographic plates, 213pp, endpapers browned, signature of an early owner front paste down and upper margin of first leaf of text. Original red cloth bright, lettered in gilt on spine and black on upper cover. Good copy. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 142196) ... more
Stock ID: 142196
Twilight in the Forbidden City.
JOHNSTON, REGINALD F.
Folding maps, illustrations, some folding, xi + 486pp, indices, minor wear dustjacket, very good copy in dustjacket with a little light wear. By the English tutor to the Emperor P`u-Yi. First published in 1934. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 30175) ... more
Stock ID: 30175
What is Asia Bookroom?
Asia Bookroom is a leading Asian bookselling specialist. We have a large stock of books, old and new, ephemera, antique maps and prints on China, Japan, India, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Laos, Sri Lanka/Ceylon, Malaysia, Singapore, Timor Leste, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Himalayan region including Tibet and Central Asia. We stock books on all of these areas - and many Asian themes and topics - for example cookery and food, religion and philosophy, Asian art and many more. We also carry a large range of children's books on Asia. Browse our site and subscribe to our mailing list for updates of new books as they arrive.
We are open:
Monday by appointment or chance (ie we may not be here but usually are)
Tuesday to Friday 10am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm