Catalogues & Lists

December e-list

December e-list

A selection of 30 items 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. 

Pirates and privateers

Pirates and privateers

A short list ranging from the classic English voyage account by Sir Richard Hawkins "one of the most civilised and attractive of the Elizabethan privateers", to those of Anson and Dampier, including that of the buccaneering surgeon Lionel Wafer who after being badly burned in Panama lived amongst the Darien Indians, adopting their distinctive dress.

Sydney Rare Book Fair 2019

Sydney Rare Book Fair 2019

This month Hordern House will be exhibiting at the Sydney Rare Book Fair 1-2 November at MacLaurin Hall, Sydney University. Highlights include:
An outstanding copy of the great 1518 Froben edition of Sir Thomas More's Utopia, illustrated by the two Holbein brothers and the first edition (1781), of La Découverte Australe this remarkable book by Restif de la Bretonne very rare indeed on the market, describing an imaginary voyage by flying machine to Australia. A link to the fully-illustrated flipbook here
To view the full list please click the " View Online" link below.
  
The Arias Memorial and Torres

The Arias Memorial and Torres

Our catalogue includes:
The Arias Memorial, the single most important printed work on the enigmatic figure of Torres. Of signal importance for the history of Torres Strait and for the 1605-1607 voyage of Quirós and Torres, as originally described in the early seventeenth century.  Its rediscovery and publication in 1773 have ensured its survival since a first publication in the 1630s. Extremely rare: this copy is the only one known to have been sold in many decades;
   
A fine original drawing from the Dumont d'Urville expedition of 1837-1840 showing the mouth of the Paiu river (today known as the Lawrence River) at Vanikoro (see detail above), one of the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons, where the French established that the La Pérouse expeditioners ended their days. This is the original drawing for plate 97 in Dumont d'Urville's Atlas pittoresque du Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Océanie sur les corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zélée (Paris, 1846).
La Decouverte Australe

La Decouverte Australe

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).

Moeurs et coutumes...

Moeurs et coutumes...

Published By Mme Hocquart 1811-1814, this lavishly illustrated study of the peoples of both old and new worlds, concentrates on ceremonial events and native customs. The spirit behind the work is very much that of the Enlightenment – a tremendous curiosity about newly discovered parts of the world and about human behaviour, particularly for ritualised behaviour evolved in isolation such as native punishments and social rituals. 

Sketches in New Zealand

Sketches in New Zealand

One of the finest Pacific illustrated books of the nineteenth century. This is a beautiful copy of the rare coloured issue, complete in the original illustrated wrappers. The superb handcoloured lithographs are by the naval commander Richard Aldworth Oliver (1811-1889) who commanded the HMS Fly on survey voyages of New Zealand and Pacific waters between 1847 and 1851.

Two unrecorded 18th Century works

Two unrecorded 18th Century works

Our first printed catalogue for the year includes two important 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 recently-discovered, fine pastel portrait of Sir Joseph Banks by Amelia Susannah Petty. This remarkably fresh portrait in its original frame shows Sir Joseph Banks at the height of his powers wearing his Order of the Bath sash. Our research has shown that the artist Amelia Petty through her well-connected father James, was a member of the same influential London milieu that included Sir Joseph. 
Melbourne Rare Book Fair 2019

Melbourne Rare Book Fair 2019

Two highlights from our new catalogue to be shown at the forthcoming Melbourne Rare Book Fair include: a recently-discovered, fine pastel portrait of Sir Joseph Banks  by Amelia Susannah Petty. This remarkably fresh portrait in its original frame shows Sir Joseph Banks at the height of his powers wearing his Order of the Bath sash; and a fine illuminated presentation address to HRH Prince Albert Victor, on the occasion of the young prince’s visit to the Cook memorial at Kurnell, Sydney in 1881. The elaborate and fine illustrations, drawn and hand-coloured by Helena Scott (1832-1910) depict flora and fauna “indigenous to Botany, New South Wales”. 

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone

A previously unrecorded album of 40 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.