Catalogues

Pictorial Maritime History

Pictorial Maritime History

AS THE LOCKS ARE DISCARDED and our Island Home again takes its place on the world stage, Hordern House has chosen a selection of original maps, pictures and engravings that illustrate the diverse legacy of early European explorers and artists who charted and recorded our seas.
The earliest engraving is the 1571 rare map by Arias Montanus which shows for the first time on a world map a single southern continent. The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are represented by the remarkable art emanating from French and English explorers in the Pacific.
Two magnificent Pacific paintings are also offered; the superb large 1859 portrait of Admiral Sir George Seymour, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station, and Conrad Martens’ 1836 View of Tahiti painted in Sydney after his sojourn on H.M.S Beagle with Charles Darwin. The cover image shows detail from a vibrant depiction of Kingston Harbour, Ireland, with a fascinating provenance: a valuable record of two worlds. 
Our new catalogue

Our new catalogue

The 1821 French edition of Krusenstern’s world voyage puts us in mind of a Pacific Midsummer Night’s Dream with its enchanting lithographs, while the aquatints in the 1802 Relación of the Spanish voyage to the American Northwest coast include a depiction of a breathtaking celebration at Nootka Sound in 1792. These are accompanied in our new catalogue by other major voyage or travel books including Laplace’s formidable account of his world voyage, which is also superbly illustrated with aquatint plates, as is the beautiful copy of Lycett’s Views Australia, or New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land Delineated... . The fine set of Cook’s Voyages in the catalogue belonged to one of his early shipmates.

Books from a private collection. Part 4: French Voyages before 1800.

Books from a private collection. Part 4: French Voyages before 1800.

This catalogue describes the fourth part of the collection of a long-term client and friend of Hordern House, with a few additions. The subject matter ranges from Bougainville and Crozet’s voyages to the La Pérouse expedition, covered in the collection in detail; its tragic fate would remain mysterious for forty years — the eighteenth century’s MH370.

Books from a private collection. Part 3: English voyage books before Cook

Books from a private collection. Part 3: English voyage books before Cook

A shelf of English voyage books of the pre-Cook period is described in our catalogue of the third part of the collection of a long-term client and friend of Hordern House, with a few additions; their collection has been assembled over several decades, with books acquired from ourselves as well as from other specialist dealers. Anson and Dampier appear here, along with various associates of each of them, such as Byron, Funnell, Rogers, and Thomas – pretty much buccaneers all, or at least voyagers with an eye for a prize.

Books from a private collection. Part 2: Imaginary Voyages

Books from a private collection. Part 2: Imaginary Voyages

This catalogue of Imaginary Voyages describes the second part of the collection of a longterm client and friend of Hordern House, with a few additions; their collection has been assembled over several decades, with books acquired from ourselves as well as from other specialist dealers.

The Antarctic from Cook to Mawson

The Antarctic from Cook to Mawson

A small but select group of material relating to expeditions to the Antarctic from Cook’s second voyage to Mawson’s expedition. Much of the material comes from a private collection and is therefore fresh to the market.
The later Enlightenment

The later Enlightenment

Including works of the later Enlightenment: examples of the curiosity and thirst for scientific knowledge characteristic of that time.

 

November 2020

November 2020

Our November catalogue includes an intimate letter by Admiral Sir George Seymour recounting his meeting with Emma, Dowager Queen of Hawaii on her visit to London in 1865.  (Also see our detailed study here on the superb lifetime portrait of him.)

Other highlights in the catalogue include a rare lithographed view by Conrad Martens, an original watercolour by Major James Wallis, artist of the famous early views of Sydney and New South Wales, works of natural history and portraits of Alexander Macleay and the naturalist James Smith; and the work pictured, The Friend of Australia a  significant if eccentric proposal for the exploration of the Australian interior, the supreme monument to the speculative geography of the 1820s and 1830s.

Wonders of the New World

Wonders of the New World

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 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 unique assemblage of natural history

A unique assemblage of natural history

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.

Captain James Cook 250 years on

Captain James Cook 250 years on

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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