For a few decades either side of 1800, the natural history of the new world was a novel source of excitement throughout Europe. Some examples of the outstanding works produced at the time appear in our new catalogue, including: Edward Donovan's justly famous illustrated work on Australian entomology with the celebrated companion volumes on the insects of China and India; Henry Andrews' "The Botanist's Repository" one of the rarest of the famous botanical journals of the late-Georgian era, with superb hand-coloured plates ; and William Jackson Hooker's "Exotic Flora".
A highlight from this catalogue is an album assembled in the 1790s containing a deliberate selection of the groundbreaking earliest scientific and artistic work on the natural history of New South Wales from its first European settlement, which connects six figures each of individual importance to that remarkable story: George Shaw, James Edward Smith, F.P. Nodder, James Sowerby, Thomas Wilson and Surgeon John White. The four separate components, including original watercolours by Nodder and a manuscript letter from George Shaw to James Sowerby, are all of considerable individual interest, and must have been gathered together by someone in or close to the immediate circle of figures involved in the earliest publications of Australian natural history.
We have also featured: a rare, unrecorded artist's proof version of Benjamin West's portrait of Sir Joseph Banks; Banks' monumental Florilegium, a supreme example of Eighteenth-Century civilization; and a fine copy of the true first edition of Gulliver's Travels: one of the greatest works of literature associated with Australia.
As it is the 250th anniversary of the voyage of His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour into Australian and New Zealand waters we celebrate with this catalogue the achievements of Captain James Cook and his crew.
Much has been discussed about the impact of the English exploring expeditions in the early colonial period. We acknowledge that whatever may have been the eventual impact of these visits to Australia and New Zealand and throughout the wider Pacific, when colonisation came to replace discovery, nothing diminishes the importance of the maritime achievements of Cook and his crew. This is particularly the case in the scientific areas of astronomy, navigation, cartography and the natural sciences, as well as the first meetings with indigenous peoples, more often in Cook’s case in friendship than in hostility.
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Including two unrecorded works by 18th Century women artists:A previously unrecorded album of 45 watercolours by Sarah Stone of Leverian Museum fame. Besides a couple of single images this beautiful album is the only surviving example of Sarah Stone's work after her marriage. It is therefore one of the most significant finds to come to light in modern times by an artist with such fundamental and highly-researched connections to Cook and the European understanding of the Pacific;
A selection featuring a fine colonial view by George Halsted; two interesting sketches relating to Sydney's early defences; botanical engravings from James Smith's Specimen of the Botany of New Holland, and a rare and remarkably large photographic panorama of the Sydney Royal Agricultural Show in 1897.
A catalogue which takes as its theme the spirit of Enlightenment in terms of exploration and voyages. The great explosion of late eighteenth century voyages is represented by important works by many of the key figures, naturally enough focussing on Cook and La Pérouse, but with forays into all manner of works which reveal the scale of the ambition which underwrote them, whether it be the travels of Banks or Bougainville, Bligh or Baudin.
Offered from a private Australian collection is this choice catalogue which includes a beautifully-bound copy of Lycett's Views in Australia; a handsome set of Cook's three voyage accounts with uniform contemporary provenance; a fine copy of Parkinson, uncut in the original boards; and First Fleet works by Collins, Hunter and Phillip.
Our catalogue foregrounds Solvyns' great colour plate study of Indian manners and costume, Arago's intimate study of a priest of Guam, together with an 18th Century table globe and a fine watercolour of the iconic Black Swan. Also included are Shaw's catalogue of Tapa: a highly unusual example with extra specimens, Samwell's Narrative of the Death of Cook as well as maps by Brion de la Tour, D'Anville and Sir Thomas Mitchell.
From William Beckford's copy of Alvares in French to Linschoten's Discours of Voyages, one of the great early illustrated travel books,from Moraleda Y Montrero's remarkable illustrated manuscript journal of Pacific coastal exploration, to rare Lima printings (the second and third printed at the first press in South America), this catalogue spans over three hundred years of exploration. It also includes Choris' most beautiful Pacific colour plate books and the limited edition of Garnier and Doudart de Lagree's work on the discovery of the Mekong.
Fine books, paintings and manuscripts relating to "European Discovery". Highlights include: an exceptional copy of Parkinson's Journal of a Voyage to the South Seaswith the very rare "Gomeldon" pages and original hand-colouring; copies of Governor Phillip's Extracts of Letters (1791) and Copies and Extracts (1792); the extremely rare "Officer" account, the first book to tell the story of the First Fleet; a beautiful view in Macau by Cook's voyage artist John Webber; and a striking portrait of the infamous Major Nunn, attributed to Joseph Fowles.
Read review on Americana Exchange here