MOOR, J[ohn] H[enry] (1802 - 1843)
Notices of the Indian Archipelago, and adjacent countries;
being a collection of papers relating to Borneo, Celebes, Bali, Java, Sumatra, Nias, the Philippine Islands, Sulu, Siam, Cochin China, Malayan peninsula, &c. Accompanied by an index and six maps. Part first [all published]. Singapore : the author, 1837. Quarto, publisher’s quarter-cloth over papered boards (expertly rebacked), remnants of original paper title label, large handcoloured folding map of ‘The Town and environs of Singapore, drawn by J.B. Tassin, from an actual survey by G. D. Coleman’, lithographed in Calcutta in 1836, pp [iv]; vii; ; 276; ; 117, five further folding maps lithographed by Tassin, all but one handcoloured, (The Indian Archipelago; Coti River, Borneo; Malacca Territory; Chart of Singapore and Rhio Straits; Map of Prince of Wales Island and Province Wellesley), some with neat tears, all water stained (prior to binding), occasional scattered foxing, but a very good complete copy housed in a custom made clam shell box.
In 1835 an announcement was made in the Singapore Chronicle that Moor would publish a grand work in two volumes, being a definitive history of Singapore and the region. The first volume (here) would consist of articles previously published in the Chronicle from 1824 – 1834, where Moor had served as an editor. There are no known surviving copies of the Chronicle for the years 1824 – 1826, and so the articles preserved in this volume would otherwise have been lost. The project was a financial disaster, the price of six Spanish dollars per copy (five for subscribers of the Singapore Free Press, where Moor was at the time sub-editor) failing to cover the cost of production. The maps were especially expensive to produce and had to be sent to Calcutta to be lithographed. As such, the second volume was never realised.
See further: ‘The Book that almost didn’t happen’ by Gracie Lee, published in Biblioasia, National Library Board of Singapore, Vol. 11, Issue 4, Jan – March 2016
Very rare, one of the earliest Singapore imprints, and with significant maps of the colony. The last copy we can locate at auction sold at Sotheby’s London in 1988.
Cordier, Indosinica, p. 734