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.
Including works of the later Enlightenment: examples of the curiosity and thirst for scientific knowledge characteristic of that time.
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.
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 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.
Please click on any link to see more information and images on our Hordern House website.
Our catalogue includes:
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, 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).
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 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.
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.
The land Australia: imagined, invented, recounted, mapped, colonised, explored, settled, and celebrated in our final major catalogue for the year. We invite you to discover over 200 years of rare printed, manuscript, cartographic and visual materials relating to the Southern Continent. From Herrera's account of Schouten & Le Maire's voyage in search of Terra Australis to Pelsaert's 1647 Batavia account with its astonishing first views (an unusually complete and correct copy of the very rare first edition); the collected edition of William Dampier's voyages in the Roebuck; through to the great classic accounts of Parkinson, Phillip, White, (with wonderful hand-coloured plates) Collins (in an unrecorded state with extra foldout engravings) and Tench. Souvenirs d'un Aveugle... the artist Jacques Arago's account of the Freycinet voyage is present with the lithographs beautifully hand-coloured.
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.