John Hayter's striking portrait of the three Yahgans ("Fuegians") who accompanied Charles Darwin on the Beagle voyage is featured above. (The full account of the Beagle voyage may also be viewed here) Darwin's experience with the Yahgans both on the voyage and in their homeland can be singled out as formative in his development of ideas for both the Origin and for The Descent of Man.
Catalogues & Lists
Jacques Etienne Arago (1790-1855) sailed as artist on Louis de Freycinet’s 1817 voyage around the world on the Uranie, and on his return devoted the rest of his life to writing about the voyage, and writing for the theatre. His account of the voyage here featured is very different to the huge official narrative, giving a highly readable and very personal, whimsical and humorous description of events and people. As he noted in the English version (Narrative of a Voyage, 1823) he set out to avoid the conventional forms of the voyage narrative and to ignore the ‘eternal repetition of winds, currents, longitude and lattitude’. By the time this version of his book reached the public, its remarkable author and artist had lost his sight: hence the new title used for the work of Souvenirs d’un aveugle. The lovely handcolouring in this edition means that Arago’s wonderful depictions of the Pacific are given full rein. Here they are present in the rare hand-coloured form. Seldom seen on the market, this should be ranked as one of the rarest and most prized Pacific or Australian colour-plate books.
A selection of books spanning 90 years of Russian voyages of exploration, from the 1780s ending in 1872 with an rare private letter from the great explorer Lütke to the Russian privy counsellor von Adelung. The official account of the Lütke voyage, one of the rarest and most beautiful of all illustrated Pacific voyage publications is also featured. As well, Choris's magnificent colour plate book of the Pacific, together with accounts of the Krusenstern's circumnavigation, and early visits by Timkovski to China and Golovnin to Japan.
Our July catalogue will be on display at the ANZAAB Melbourne Rare Book Fair. Highlights include a unique Illuminated presentation album from the German citizenry of Sandhurst (now Bendigo) to Count Otto von Bismarck, with fine illustrations of the goldfields by Ludwig Lang; a rare caricature by Ducote prepared in the wake of the British Government trying to attract single ladies to the far-flung Australian Colony; the first Sydney printed hymn-book with a gift inscription by Governor Darling; McCoy's overlooked classic of Australian natural history; and a rare pamphlet on the wreck of the Dunbar. We have also included the first European printing of the works of Confucius; the first English book on China from the library of Charles Boxer and a rare Japanese publication on foreign visits to Japanese ports including a charming woodblock print of a Dutch ship in Nagasaki.
A selection of 52 items including one of the great voyage rarities: an original Quiros presentation memorial. Dating from 1611 this is one of only 14 different Memorials known to have been printed by Quiros (at his own considerable expense), which mark the earliest printed record of discovery and plans for settlement of a Southern Continent.
Our cover item is from Lieutenant Robert Dale’s famously important and vivid nine-foot wide View of King George’s Sound. Published in 1834, this remarkable panorama was probably intended to excite interest in the fledgling Colony. Included too are First Fleet accounts, rarities of the Gold rush, manuscript items signed by David Collins, Viscount Sidmouth, and Macarthur, a fine example of a naval manuscript signal book and a New South Wales Pocket Almanack published by “Sydney’s Caxton” George Howe, with the ownership inscription of Ralph Mansfield.
As well: voyage accounts by D’Entrecasteaux, D’Apres de Mannevillette, Lutke and Conway Shipley’s beautiful suite of South Pacific views; Bellin’s expanded chart of the Pacific, a rare proof state of a beautiful engraved view after Pellion prepared for the official account of the Freycinet voyage and Arago’s original sketch of a scene in Timor.
Our latest online List: thirteen broadsides and news printings 1780-1886. Highlights include: three relating to George Anson, two celebrating his naval conquests and one, rather less gloriously concerning the control of venereal disease amongst seamen signed by him as Admiral; a rare Sydney-printed poem lauding the generosity of the merchant Quong Tart; a vivid pictorial printing advertising “dioramic lectures” celebrating Australia & America which toured England in 1850, together with a stirringly large broadside protesting Edward Eyre in Jamaica; and one relating to the abortive attempt by George Grey to force his way into the British Parliament.
A selection of voyage material from two significant private collections. It includes Bligh's classic Voyage account, and Barrow's popular Mutiny account, a fine copy of Parkinson's Voyage to the South Seas uncut in original boards,a handsome set of Cook's three voyage accounts with uniform contemporay provenance, Crozet's Voyage to the South Sea--of significance to Australia and New Zealand and the Voyage of La Perouse-- one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever published.
Our March short list celebrates the work of James Busby who did so much to bring the cultivation of vines and wine to Australia. He was a foundation figure for the wine industry and of international repute, as the London and New York printings of his first work indicate. Included too are manuscript letters: on the equipping of Freycinet’s Uranie voyage; and an account of the goods carried on the ship Rose at the height of Governor Bligh’s rule. As well, we have a finely bound copy of Speechly’s Treatise on the Culture of the Vine, rare pamphlets by Hall on The State of New South Wales and Mansfield printings of Archdeacon Broughton’s addresses exhorting pious living. No doubt he would have disapproved of the Catholic Bleasdale, the bibulous cleric and subject of the final work in this list. The visual highlights of the list are Quadri’s sumptuous work on Venice with its remarkable hand-coloured views and Raskin’s high art deco Fantaisies Oceanographiques.
Highlights of our new online list Include Choris's beautiful colour-plate books of the Pacific and Grasset de Saint-Sauveur's unusual Tableau of Pacific islanders. Also included are accounts of Cook's Third Voyage by Ellis and Rickman, a charming French work for the young with plates drawn mainly from Cook; Fleurieu's account of the first French commercial voyage to the Northwest Coast, the second great Russian expedition by Kotzebue and a Swedish edition of Meares' voyage account.