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Antiquarian Big-Game Hunting Books Worth Reading and Collecting

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I personally consider the following books important in Africana and hunting literature.  This list has come about from talking for years to customers, collectors, and fellow dealers.  It is only but a personal interpretation.  Please note that this list, by and large, consists of books written before 1980.  Since that time Safari Press and others have published a great deal of modern African big-game hunting books.  Time will tell how these will be judged in the future. 

Ludo J. Wurfbain

AFRICA

Old Elephant Hunting Classics

I have chosen here only those titles that contain primarily elephant hunting or the history of the ivory quest. Many authors—and Frederick Selous comes to mind—have shot a great deal of elephants but their books are not necessarily primarily devoted to the elephant.

Anderson

1946 African Safaris

Andersson

1873 The Lion and the Elephant

Bell

1923 The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter

Bell

1949 Karamojo Safari

Blunt

1933 Elephant

Bula N'Zau (Bailey)

1894 Travel and Adventure in the Congo Free State

Faulkner

1868 Elephant Haunts

Finaughty

1916 The Recollections of William Finaughty

Lyell

1924 The African Elephant and Its Hunters

Moore

1931 Ivory: Scourge of Africa (ivory & trade)

Neumann

1898 Elephant-Hunting in East Equatorial Africa

Stanley & Hodgson

1912 Elephant Hunting in West Africa

Stigand

1913 Hunting the Elephant in Africa

Sutherland

1912 Adventures of an Elephant Hunter

 

Modern Elephant Hunting Classics

These are equally as good as the elephant books listed above; however, they do not bring as high a price in the after-market because all were published after WW II and are not truly rare. 

Bell

Incidents from an Elephant Hunter's Diary

Everett

Heath, Thirst and Ivory

Foran

Elephant Hunters of the Lado

Irwin

Memories of an African Hunter

Manners

Kambuku

Nyschens

Months of the Sun

Pardal

Elephant Hunting in Portuguese East Africa

Rushby

No More the Tusker

Sanchez

Ivory, later issued as On the Trail of the African Elephant and finally as Elephants, Ivory and Hunters

Sanchez

Elephant Hunters, Men of Legend

Sanchez

Africa’s Greatest Tuskers

Taylor

Pondoro (partially on elephants)

Thomson

Mahoboh

Thomson

The Adventures of Shadrek

 

Signed and Numbered (The Crown Jewels of Any Collection, Part 1)

Bryden

The Great and Small Game of Africa

Potocki

Sport in Somaliland

Roosevelt

African Game Trails (2 volumes)

Stanley

In Darkest Africa (2 volumes)

 

Hand-Colored Plates (The Crown Jewels of Any Collection, Part 2)

Bryden 

The Great and Small Game of Africa

Butler

South African Sketches

Bruchell

Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa

Daniell

African Scenery and Animals

Harris

Portraits of the Game

Harris

Wild Sports of Southern Africa

Sclater

The Book of the Antelopes

 

Books by Rowland Ward Ltd. (The Crown Jewels of Any Collection, Part 3)

(excludes Records of Big Game)

Bryden

The Great and Small Game of Africa

Kirby

Sport in East Central Africa

Neumann

Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa

Potocki

Sport in Somaliland

Powell Cotton

A Sporting Trip to Abyssinia

Selous

Travel and Adventure in Southeast Africa

Selous

Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia

Swayne

Seventeen Trips to Somaliland

 

Sought-After and Collectible

Anderson

African Safaris

Andersson

The Lion and the Elephant

Andersson

The Okavango River

Arkell Hardwick

An Ivory Trader in North Kenya

Churchill

My African Journey

Colburn

The African Diary of a Poor Shot

Colburn

The Unbelievable Game Country

Fitzpatrick

Jock of the Bushveld

Foran

Kill or Be Killed

Kirby

In Haunts of Wild Game

Lyell

Hunting Trips in Northern Rhodesia

Lyell

Wild Life in Central Africa

Millais

A Breath from the Veldt

Ogilvie-Grant et all

The Gun at Home and Abroad, 4 volumes

Powell Cotton

In Unknown Africa

Selous

A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa

 

After WW II Classics

Burger

Horned Death

Capstick

Death in the Long Grass

Hunter

Hunter

Ruark

Horn of the Hunter

 

Harder to Find, Well Worth Collecting, Interesting to Read

Boyes

The Company of Adventurers

Christy

Big Game and Pigmies

Foa

After Big Game in Central Africa

Kittenberger

Big Game Hunting and Collecting in Africa

Lyell

The Hunting and Spoor of Central African Game

Lyell

Hunting Trips in Northern Rhodesia

Lyell

Memories of an African Hunter

Lyell

Nyasaland for the Hunters and Settler

Lyell

Wildlife in Central Africa

Millais

The Life of F.C. Selous

Selous

African Nature Notes and Reminiscences

Stigand

The Game of British East Africa

 

From Rare to Extremely Rare (and Expensive)

Blackburne Maze

Journals of My African Travels

Cobb

Sport on Setit

Elton

Travels and Researches

Hughes

Eighteen Years on Lake Bangweuleu

Hunter

White Hunter

Melliss

Lion-Hunting in Somali-Land

Myers

Life with the Hamran Arabs

Pease

Sport and Travel in Africa (3-volume set)

Vanderbilt

Safari: Some Fun! Some Fun!

Vasse

Three Years' Sport in Mozambique

 

 Books by Professional Hunters

Daly

Big Game Hunting and Adventure

Dyer

Classic African Animals

Herne

Tanzania Safaris

Herne

Uganda Safaris 

Holman

Inside Safari Hunting

Hunter

Tales of the African Frontier

Hunter

White Hunter

Hurt

Hunting the Big Five

Ker

African Adventure

Percival

A Game Rangers Notebook

Percival

A Game Warden on Safari

Pitman

A Game Warden among His Charges

 

The Early Hunters and/or Explorers

Andersson

Lake Ngami

Andersson

The Okavango River

Baker

The Albert N’yanza, Great Basin of the Nile

Baker

The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia

Burton

The Lake Regions of Central Africa

Du Chailu

Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa

Gibbons

Exploration and Hunting in Central Africa

Grant

A Walk across Africa

Kerr

The Far Interior

Livingstone

Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa

Oswell

W.C. Oswell Hunter and Explorer

Smith

Through Unknown African Countries

Speke

Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile

Stanley

In Darkest Africa

Stanley

Through the Dark Continent

Stanley

The Congo and the Founding of the Free State

Thomson

Through Masai Land

Thomson

To the Central African Lakes and Back

Von Hohnel

Discovery of Lakes Rudolph and Stefanie

 

AFRICA, ASIA, and the AMERICAS

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game

No books can conjure up more endless dreams and deliver more raw desire then the original pre-WW II Records of Big Game as published by the London taxidermy firm of Rowland Ward.  The early books had photos of the largest heads (both in the field and mounted), entries by many of the famous early hunters, and a charm that will never be recaptured in the modern age. The books published immediately after WW II had lost much of this allure till the 1980s when new energetic ownership once more made this series of books most desireable. The first edition was called Horn Measurements and Weights of the Great Game of the World.  All subsequent editions carry the title Records of Big Game.

1st

1892

zebra striped cloth, gilt buffalo head on cover

2nd

1896

cloth with depiction of tiger skin of maharaja of Cooch Behar

3rd

1899

green cloth with gilt lettering

4th

1903

dark blue cloth with gilt lettering

5th

1907

red cloth with gilt lettering

6th

1910

zebra stripped cloth with gilt lettering

7th

1914

mustard yellow cloth with head of water buffalo

8th

1922

wine red cloth with gilt lettering

9th

1928

light blue cloth with gilt lettering

10th

1935

brown cloth with gilt lettering

 

Books by Theodore Roosevelt

The books listed below were written by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States.  We only list his hunting, military, and Western Americana narratives.  In all, he wrote 35 books (more than any other president) as well as numerous booklets and speeches. In addition, his family, wife, sons, and other relatives wrote books, making the subject of “Roosevelt’s books” all the more interesting.

Hunting Trips of A Ranchman

1885, one of 500 numbered copies

Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail

1888

The Wilderness Hunter

1893, one of 200 signed copies

Big Game Hunting in the Rockies and on the

1899, one of 1,000 signed copies

 

Great Plains (Comprising of Hunting Trips of a

 

 

Ranchman and The Wilderness Hunter)

 

The Rough Riders 

1899

Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter

1905, one of 260 signed copies

African Game Trails

1910, 2 volumes, one of 500 signed copies

Through the Brazilian Wilderness

1914

A Book-Lover's Holiday in the Open

1916

The Life Histories of African Game Animals

1914 (with E. Heller)

 

 

Hand-Colored Plates (limited to 250 or 500 copies, all published by Rowland Ward Ltd.)

Lydekker

Wild Oxen, Sheep, & Goats of All Lands

Lydekker

The Great and Small Game of India, Burma, & Tibet

Lydekker

The Great and Small Game of Europe & W & N Asia and America

Lydekker

The Deer of All Lands

 

Asia

Asian Classics and Rarities

 Tiger Hunting and Other Forest Hunting

Cooch Behar

Thirty-Seven Years of Big Game Shooting

Corbett

Jungle Stories

Corbett

Man-Eaters of Kumaon

Ingles

Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier

Peacock

A Game-Book for Burma & Adjoining Territories

Rice

Indian Game

 

Sheep Hunting and Ibex Hunting

Andrews

Camps and Trails in China 

Andrews

Chapman across Mongolian Plains 

Andrews

The New Conquest of Central Asia 

Burrard

Big Game Hunting in the Himalayas and Tibet

Clark

Trails of the Hunted 

Cobbold

Innermost Asia: Travel and Sport in the Pamirs

Darrah

Sport in the Highlands of Kashmir 

Demidoff

A Shooting Trip to Kamchatka

Demidoff

After Wild Sheep in the Altai and Mongolia

Demidoff

Hunting Trips in the Caucasus

Etherton

Across the Roof of the World 

Gates

Trophy Hunter in Asia 

Haughton

Sport and Folklore in the Himalayan 

Haydon

Sport and Travel in the Highlands of Tibet

Herbert

Casuals in the Caucasus 

Jamsheed

Memories of a Sheep Hunter

Kinloch

Large Game Shooting in Thibet, the Himalayas, & N & Central India 

Lydekker

Wild Oxen, Sheep and Goats of All Lands

MacIntyre

Hindu Koh

Morden

Across Asia's Snows and Deserts

Ronaldshay

Sport and politics Under an Eastern Sky 

Roosevelt

East of the Sun and West of the Moon 

Stone

In and Beyond the Himalayas

Swayne

Through the Highlands of Siberia 

Wallace

The Big Game of Central and Western China

 

Asia Best

Hand-Colored Plates

(All Lydekkers limited to 250 or 500 copies and all published by Rowland Ward)

Lydekker

Wild Oxen, Sheep, & Goats of All Lands

Lydekker

The Great and Small Game of India, Burma, & Tibet

Lydekker

The Great and Small Game of Europe & W & N Asia and America

Lydekker

The Deer of All Lands

Williamson

Oriental Field Sports

 

North America

Sheep Hunting

Annabel

Hunting and Fishing in Alaska

Annabel

Tales of a Big Game Guide

Armstrong

After Big Game in the Upper Yukon

Auer

Campfires in the Yukon 

Baillie-Grohman

Fifteen Years Sport & Life in the Hunting Grounds of

 

Western America and British Columbia

Beach

In the Shadow of Mount McKinley 

Cane

Summer and Fall in Western Alaska 

Davy

Saga of the Rockies

Holman

Sheep and Bear Trails: A Hunters Wanderings in Alaska

Hornaday

Campfires in the Canadian Rockies

Housholder

The Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep

Hubback

To Far Western Alaska for Big Game 

McGuire

In the Alaska-Yukon Gamelands

O'Connor

Game in the Desert

O'Connor

Sheep and Sheep Hunting

Phillips-Woolley

Big Game Shooting 

Radclyffe

Big Game Shooting in Alaska

Sheldon

The Wilderness of Denali 

Sheldon

The Wilderness of the Upper Yukon

Williams

Game Trails in British Columbia 

Young

Alaska Yukon Trophies Won and Lost 

 

 

Bear Classics

Clark

Last of the Great Brown Bear Men

Eddy

Hunting the Alaska Brown Bear

Finton

Alaskan Bear Adventures

Hittell

The Adventures of James Capen Adams

Holman

Sheep and Bear Trails

Palmer

Kodiak Bear Hunt

Radclyffe

Big Game Shooting in Alaska

Sheldon

The Wilderness of the North Pacific Coast Islands

Woodworth

The Kodiak Bear

Young

Grizzlies Don't Come Easy!

 

 

North American Rarities

Francis

Sport among the Rockies

McAleenan

Hunting with Rifle and Camera in the Canadian Rockies

Williamson

Sport and Photography in the Rocky Mountains