Catalogues & Lists
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.