Catalogues & Lists

Corsali to Cook

Corsali to Cook

A curated list of voyage books relating to the mapping and exploration of our world from the early period up until the late Enlightenment. A full description of the rare library globes pictured may be found here

Andrea Corsali & the Southern Cross

Andrea Corsali & the Southern Cross

In 1515 Andrea Corsali, an Italian under the patronage of the Medici family, accompanied a Portuguese voyage down the African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope, en route to Cochin, India. On his return Corsali's letter to his patron describing the voyage was published. It included the earliest illustration of the stars of the Crux, the group of stars known today as the Southern Cross. The context of his remarkable discovery is explored here in an essay by Anne McCormick, prepared  as a continuation of her study "The Book in the Renaissance" at the London Rare Book School, University of London, 2019. 

New York Book Fair 2020

New York Book Fair 2020

Our catalogue for the New York Book Fair March 5-8 at the Park Avenue Armory features: 
Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes...
The great French voyage of the Napoleonic period, the ambitious voyage to the "terres Australes" or southern continent under Baudin, chronicled by its participants Louis de Freycinet (later to command his own voyage) and the scientist François Péron, and published in six separate volumes over a period of ten years. The Baudin voyage has  been characterised as the last great Enlightenment voyage, and was perhaps its purest expression, combining as it did scientific curiosity and research, territorial and geo-political ambition, and the spirit of enquiry on the widest scale;
   
An exceptional artefact from Captain Cook's three voyages
A Catalogue of the Different Specimens of Cloth collected in the three voyages of Captain Cook...by Alexander Shaw (1787) has long been regarded as one of the rarest and most desirable of all Pacific voyage books, in which the printed text is slender compared with its large cloth specimens: samples of indigenous tapa cloth collected by Cook's men, at times of first or very early contact with native peoples; Tahiti and the Hawaiian islands are amply represented. To view the illustrated flipbook click here.
  
 
Early Sydney

Early Sydney

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. 

Tapa cloth from the Cook Voyages

Tapa cloth from the Cook Voyages

An exceptional and very rare artefact arising from the three voyages of James Cook in the Pacific, Alexander Shaw’s Catalogue has long been regarded as one of the rarest and most desirable of all Pacific voyage books, in which the printed text is slender compared with its large cloth specimens: samples of indigenous tapa cloth collected by Cook’s men, at times of first or very early contact with native peoples; Tahiti and the Hawaiian islands are amply represented. This is an example of one of very few copies to contain an additional series of 17 specimens, mostly of Hawaiian manufacture.

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.

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.

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.