A highlight from our new 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.
Catalogues & Lists
An online catalogue of fifty items of ethnographic interest.
Our catalogue for the Melbourne Rare Book Fair, exclusively online, from 9-12 July includes: a beautifully atmospheric watercolour of the Yarra River in dawn light by Julian Rossi Ashton; the original midshipman's log of a particularly interesting voyage to Australia 1852-54, illustrated with most attractive unpublished drawings including a suite of four charts showing a dated track of the voyage, a fine double-page map of "Port Phillip 1853" with detailed soundings, and a series of sixteen coastal drawings; and the first South Australian illustrated book published, the rare suite of original views by Frederick Nixon.
A remarkable book, very rare indeed on the market, describing an imaginary voyage by flying machine to Australia by Nicolas Edmé Restif de la Bretonne. The work is as famous for its strikingly beautiful suite of engravings as for its remarkable text. An illustrated utopia, and a pioneering work in the genre of air navigation, it was published just two years before Montgolfier’s first balloon ascent, and is ‘undoubtedly the most significant work of science-based speculative fiction produced before the French Revolution’ (Brian Stableford, editor of the adaptation The Discovery of the Austral Continent by a flying Man, Hollywood, 2016).
A superb portrait by the Russian scientist and artist Miklouho-Maclay, depicting the striking New Guinean man Koapena (or “Quapena”), a chief in the region of Hood Lagoon, south-east of Port Moresby.
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.
Please click on any link to see more information and images on our Hordern House website.
We invite you to enjoy this catalogue, part of a new collaborative exhibition between Hordern House and leading art dealers Michael Reid. The exhibition will be running in Sydney until May 23rd. Michael Reid will be exhibiting works by 15 significant artists who have charted the nations changing attitudes to the cause and effects of the navigator Captain James Cook's first contact in Australia and New Zealand. In this catalogue, and alongside this modern examination, Hordern House is exhibiting original antiquarian material including maps, books and pictures.
A list of books which each "tell a story" beyond authorship: whether by publisher, owner, association or historical context.