Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #95 begins on 11 Nov 2021

US Auction #9 begins on 09 Nov 2021

Thomas Baines


Published: Edward Stanford (London), J.W.C. Mackay (Port Elizabeth), London & Port Elizabeth, 1877

Edition: First Edition

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Publisher's green cloth variant with gilt embossed vignettes of a zebra on the front panel and of a beetle on the spine.

xxiv + 240pp (including adverts at rear), frontispiece portrait of Baines, folding facsimile letter of Livingstone to Baines, three plates in text, numerous engraved illustrations in text, large fold-out map in rear pocket.

'Mr. Baines was one of the earliest pioneers of that part of Africa now known as Rhodesia, and he obtained an important concession from Lobengula. Unfortunately his backers in Europe failed to procure the necessary working capital for the exploitation of the venture, and so the author missed making the large fortune acquired by holders of later concessions.

The volume is a most important work, and contains full information of every description upon the subject of the gold discoveries in Matabeleland and Mashonaland, with much curious knowledge of the inhabitants. It is evident that the author had formed a far higher opinion of Lobengula than was the case with subsequent explorers, and he appears to have been on excellent terms with the King, at whose coronation he was present.

The book also contains an account of the gold discoveries in the Transvaal, which were then confined to the Leydenburg district, and it is stated that the Boer farmers were afraid "lest the fame thereof should get abroad and the English Government should follow and take possession of the country." The author gives details of no less than nineteen routes from various places in South Africa to the newly discovered goldfields in the Transvaal and Lobengula's country, and there is a large map, in the compilation of which Mr. Baines was assisted by a number of well-known travellers and explorers, among whom were Chapman, Hartley, Elton, Mohr, and many others, and the volume contains a memoir of the author and several original illustrations.' - Mendelssohn vol.I, page 71-72.

Book has mild age-associated wear along the edges, binding tight, contents clean. Small former owner's name stamp on front pastedown and front endpaper. About 5 pages at the rear were not neatly cut open, which has left the leaves with a few chips and marginal tears. A short tear in the rear pocket which houses the fold-out map. Otherwise in good condition.

  • Binding Condition: Good
  • Overall Condition: Good
  • Size: 8vo.
  • Sold By: Rare Paper
  • Contact Person: Armandt Marais
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 074 123 5861
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, EFT, Bank Deposit
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