The 1821 French edition of Krusenstern’s world voyage puts us in mind of a Pacific Midsummer Night’s Dream with its enchanting lithographs, while the aquatints in the 1802 Relación of the Spanish voyage to the American Northwest coast include a depiction of a breathtaking celebration at Nootka Sound in 1792. These are accompanied in our new catalogue by other major voyage or travel books including Laplace’s formidable account of his world voyage, which is also superbly illustrated with aquatint plates, as is the beautiful copy of Lycett’s Views Australia, or New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land Delineated... . The fine set of Cook’s Voyages in the catalogue belonged to one of his early shipmates.
This catalogue of Imaginary Voyages describes the second part of the collection of a longterm client and friend of Hordern House, with a few additions; their collection has been assembled over several decades, with books acquired from ourselves as well as from other specialist dealers.
A long-time collector and friend of Hordern House has asked us to catalogue his collection for sale. This first part includes early voyage and discovery books and several voyage collections.
The second part, currently in preparation, will offer imaginary voyage books from the same collection.
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.
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 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.