Catalogues & Lists

The New World, East Indies & Asia: Voyages of Exploration, 1558-1889

From William Beckford's copy of Alvares in French to Linschoten's Discours of Voyages, one of the great early illustrated travel books,from Moraleda Y Montrero's remarkable illustrated manuscript journal of Pacific coastal exploration, to rare Lima printings (the second and third printed at the first press in South America), this catalogue of 47  items spans over three hundred years of exploration. It also includes Choris' most beautiful Pacific colour plate books and the limited edition of Garnier and Doudart de Lagree's work on the discovery of the Mekong.  

Nautical Medicine

Our December list is a diverse selection of books and manuscripts relating to nautical medicine. Most material concerns the problem of scurvy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and some publications arise from the experiences of James Cook at sea. They include Sir John Pringle’s famous Royal Society address of 1776 amongst other lesser known works. The reaction of French surgeons and naval authorities to English advances in the treatment of scurvy is amply represented, see for example the Conseil de Marine manuscript report of 1777 (number 6).

Of special interest are the accounts of surgeons aboard convict transports, charged with caring for men and women under often atrocious conditions. Also included are two Acts of Parliament that changed the Australian convict history forever: one makes surgeons mandatory aboard transports while another empowers them to administer punishments at sea (items 16 and 17). The list concludes with a First Fleet classic by Australia’s foremost convict surgeon John White, bearing the early ownership inscription of another physician.

No such selection would be complete without some mention of that ubiquitous scourge of marine life – venereal disease – here tackled by none less than Admiral George Anson and his peers in the first item.

October Longitude

Our October list presents a selection of rare printed and manuscript material relating to the discovery of longitude. Following the disastrous loss of life at the Scilly Isles in 1707, resolving the problem assumed unprecedented importance and the famous reward was instituted by an Act of Parliament in 1714 (see item number 7). Other items of interest include an astronomy textbook from the library of John Harrison with his inscription, and a letter from d'Entrecasteaux's astronomer Paul-Édouard Rossel dismissing the lunar method.

September 2015

Our September 2015 catalogue details a select range of early printed and visual material from broad Pacific interest to First Fleet and early colonial settlement of Australia.
A few highlights are the unpublished journal of Pacific coastal exploration by Moraleda Y Montero; a marvellous copy of Barros' 16th century Chronicle of Portuguese exploration; voyage accounts by Cook - an unusually extended set in a fine 19th binding  from the library of Edward Henry, fifth Baron Scott; La Perouse; a fine set of Burney with remarkable association, dedicated to his sister Fanny Burney, the novelist; Mary Ann Parker's remarkable voyage account - the first account of Australia by a woman; together with fine marine paintings by Oswald Brierly with impeccable provenance, Thomas Martyn's Universal Conchologist with extra unpublished leaves, the earliest account of Botany Bay by Watkin Tench, together with glorious plate books by Lycett, John Webber and Quadri's panoramic testament to the wonders of Venice. 

Recent Acquisitions

Our list for July 2015 and the ANZAAB Melbourne Rare Book Fair is a miscellany of treasures.
A few highlights are the classic voyage accounts by Dampier, Flinders  and Vancouver, the earliest account of Antarctic exploration by Marra and Bligh's Voyage in an evocative contemporary binding. We have a fine copy of Lycett's pivotal work of Australian views, and foundation books of Australian exploration by Evans, King, Sturt and Gregory. To coincide with the State Library of Victoria's Gill exhibition we have a wonderful copy of his "Australian sketchbook". As well, we have a rare album by the naturalist William Harvey, the father of Australian phycology: a marvellous collection of seaweed specimens. 
The cover image shows a detail from a remarkable unrecorded plate based on Baudin voyage art.

Curiosity & Discovery

Hordern House is delighted to announce our new catalogue, which takes as its theme the spirit of Enlightenment in terms of exploration and voyages. The great explosion of late eighteenth century voyages is represented by important works by many of the key figures, naturally enough focussing on Cook and La Pérouse, but with forays into all manner of works which reveal the scale of the ambition which underwrote them, whether it be the travels of Banks or Bougainville, Bligh or Baudin.

Acquisitions March 2015

Our list for March 2015, with a particular focus on natural history and voyaging.
A few highlights are: a letter written by Jacques Arago and a sheet of his watercolours depicting Australian butterflies; an important chart of New Guinea and the Arafura Sea published in 1792 by Alexander Dalrymple; rare S.T. Gill & George Hamilton lithographs of the outback and the goldfields; a series of early colonial almanacs; an attractive set of the rare account of a voyage to Van Diemen's Land by Prinsep; and a copy of Tench's Complete Account in the original boards. 
The cover image shows two Australian "treecreepers" drawn by the great French natural history artist Prêtre.

Acquisitions 2015 February

Our first list for 2015, with a real miscellany of items relating to Australia and the Pacific.
A few highlights are: a fascinating letter sent by a senior army officer in Bathurst in 1840; a fine set of the works of Francis Bacon owned by the abolitionist Thomas Fowell Buxton; two maps from the Newfoundland survey of James Cook; a 1599-published work on "discovery", L'Histoire des histoires of La Popelinere; a truly significant broadside with manuscript annotations by Johann Lhotsky, printed in Sydney and calling for mining in the Australian Alps; and an apparently unrecorded large-format print of a plant grown by the Duchess of Portland at "Bulstrode".

California Bookfair 2015 Oakland

A selection of books, manuscripts, and pictures which we will be showing at the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, on display at the Oakland Marriott Center, Friday 6 February to Sunday 8 February, 2015.

A few of the highlights are: the beautiful illustrated books of the Pacific by Louis Choris, Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde (1822) and Vues et Paysages (1826); the very rare Relacion del viaje of Nodal (1621); the first book on China printed in England, the Historie of the great and mightie Kingdome by Gonzalez de Mendoza (1588); and a superb fully-hand-coloured edition of Sydney Parkinson's Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas with the exceptionally rare "Gomeldon" leaves. 

Edward Ashworth, Artist & Architect

An important collection of fourteen original watercolour studies of Hong Kong & Macau, painted by the travelling English architect Edward Ashworth in the mid-1840s, just after the first Opium War and at the very beginning of Hong Kong's first colonial buildng boom. These drawings represent an exceptional documentary archive, sometimes the only recorded images of certain buildings or streetscapes. Ashworth's important article "Chinese Architecture" of 1851 reproduced a few of these images as lithograph plates.