Pre-dating the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) Augustus Earle's magnificent Sketches Illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand is one of the great early Pacific books and very rare. With its vivid series of exquisitely hand-coloured lithographic views and portraits, it is by an artist at the height of his powers.
Catalogues & Lists
We are delighted to bring to your attention an exceptional catalogue of highly important works of art by Nicolas-Martin Petit (1777-1804) and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846). They were offered for sale at auction by Deutscher and Hackett in association with Hordern House: 28 November, 2018 in Melbourne.
The richness of these outstanding works is fully described and illustrated in the accompanying catalogue, researched and compiled by Hordern House. This remarkable collection was until quite recently unknown and unrecorded.
Of significant cultural importance, these portraits and views by the two main artists on Nicolas Baudin's monumental voyage of exploration in Australia over the years 1801 and 1802 will rewrite the history of early Australian voyage art.
First edition; one of the most attractive of all Australian botanical books and the first with illustrations taken from live specimens rather than dried plants or field sketches -- the species depicted having been grown from seeds in London nurseries.
A interesting 1860s keepsake album with historic watercolours including views of Glenelg and the Darling River. Belonging to Helene Simeon, the album has contributions by her husband-to-be John Chadwick Woore, then Commissioner of Lands in New South Wales. The pioneering names of Gooch and Finniss are included in a list of visitors and the contributions by Helene, her friends and family reveal the concerns of a young Colonial woman about to leave coastal Glenelg for life in remote New South Wales.
Our featured item is a unique and magnificent (and at 18.5 kgs remarkably substantial) specially prepared photographic album in a superb and complex binding by the Government Bindery. The album showcases the virtues of New South Wales, and was presented by George Houston Reid as Premier of New South Wales to the Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria in 1897.
We have now been working for a year from our new Hordern House headquarters, and with our first major printed catalogue of the year have taken a moment to reflect on our antiquarian journey begun in 1985.
Moving into this intimate warehouse space in Sydney’s Surry Hills was a bold move for our company that had for thirty-two years been run from a traditional colonial house in Victoria St., Potts Point. In so doing, we were able to introduce ways of working that better matched the vibrant, innovative changes that mark today’s fine art culture. Whilst we work with the historically important past, our move to Surry Hills encapsulates 21st-century business philosophy.
Continuing, as we do, to specialise in rare and important original materials relating to Australia and the Pacific over the period of European discovery, exploration and settlement, this catalogue embraces material from the earliest European conception of a southern land to the voyages of Cook, Flinders, La Perouse and Freycinet. Cook’s contribution is traced in a matched pair of beautiful library globes (item 7). Australia as an emerging geo-political centre is marked with the inclusion of a pair of remarkable paintings (see item 36) of Sir George Seymour and his ship Collingwood.
Read a review of our catalogue in Rare Book Monthly here
Our featured item is William Swainson’s Zoological Illustrations—a particularly attractive set of both the first and second series of this beautiful work of natural history. The importance of this work to Australian and Pacific natural history cannot be overestimated: several plates feature Australian specimens figured for the first time, while many of the illustrations are derived from the collections of important figures such as Sir Joseph Banks, Elizabeth Bligh, Allan Cunningham and John Byron.
Our featured item is a slim work of great beauty, John Richardson’s Icones Piscium: the first separately published work on Australian fishes, the plates after drawings by James Barker Emery, the first Lieutenant on the Beagle voyage during her survey of the Australian coast 1837-1841.
A very finely painted depiction of a traditional Greenlandic Inuit hunter after harp seals in his distinctive hunting kayak. The unsigned watercolour is of considerable quality and style, and depicts an Inuit pursuit with a level of detail whose accuracy modern historical sources now confirm.
Our February catalogue has been prepared for upcoming exhibitions in California.The list encompasses treasures relating to Cook's Voyages: the first American edition of Hawkesworth; the two surreptitious accounts by Marra and Magra; a highly unusual copy of Parkinson with the plates in duplicate; Webber's Views of the South Seas; and a great rarity--the French edition of Samwell's Death of Cook--no copy has appeared on the open market in 50 years. As befits a West Coast catalogue we have listed the first two works on wine & vines by James Busby in their colonial Sydney printings. The greatest voyage of the intellect: Charles Darwin's account of the voyage of the Beagle is included together with our featured item--John Hayter's striking group portrait of the three Fuegians who accompanied Darwin.