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.
Catalogues & Lists
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
Fine books, paintings and manuscripts relating to "European Discovery". Highlights include: an exceptional copy of Parkinson's Journal of a Voyage to the South Seaswith the very rare "Gomeldon" pages and original hand-colouring; copies of Governor Phillip's Extracts of Letters (1791) and Copies and Extracts (1792); the extremely rare "Officer" account, the first book to tell the story of the First Fleet; a beautiful view in Macau by Cook's voyage artist John Webber; and a striking portrait of the infamous Major Nunn, attributed to Joseph Fowles.
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A selection of 45 items from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The early material includes excellent copies of such classics as the collections of Hakluyt (1600), Purchas (1626), Valentijn (1726) and Churchill (1732), as well as the desirable English edition of Linschoten (1598). Two highly important Southern Continent pieces are the extremely rare La Popelinière Les Trois Mondes (1582) and the Quiros Memorial La parte incógnita Austral (1612); some significant books on China include the first book in English on China (Gonzalez de Mendoza, 1588); the major French (1735) and English (1741) editions of Du Halde’s Description of the Empire of China, the first definitive work on the Chinese Empire; a superb presentation copy of Anson’s voyage (1748) that belonged to two English prime ministers; a strong section of 18th-century voyages includes major accounts of Cook’s voyages (including the published narratives by Parkinson, Forster, Zimmermann and Ellis, as well as the official accounts); in the 19th century we offer an exceptional complete set of the Baudin voyage account together with a fine set of the Freycinet voyage. Other highlights include a handsome pair of Cary globes, and a remarkable watercolour depicting a meeting three of the greatest polar explorers.
A collection of books, manuscripts and pictures relating to natural history, with a focus on Australia and the Pacific. Highlights include a copy of Laborde's marvellous book of views of important French gardens including Malmaison; a lovely copy of Ventenat's Description des plantes nouvelles et peu connues; a rare large paper copy of Smith's Exotic Botany; original watercolours by Samuel Howitt; and a copy of Atkinson's very rare Sydney-published work on brewing and distilling (1829).