Blog

Shakespeare's First Folio returns to Britain after 40 years

Thursday May 23, 2019

In the 1970s theatre writer and book collector John Wolfson began accumulating what was to become one of the largest and most rare collections of works on Shakespeare in the world. Housed in New York only the lucky few have been offered the opportunity to see this marvellous collection. That is until a sneak preview of one of its highlights at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe last week.
 
Chairman of Firsts – London’s Rare...

Two recently-discovered works by 18th Century Women Artists

Monday May 20, 2019
Our new catalogue includes two important 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...

Private Libraries that inspire

Tuesday April 30, 2019

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal featuring remarkable private libraries--spectacular rooms housing the owners’ collections of books, antiques, art and ephemera representing their unique, life-long passions and interests. Including the Including the the Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination (pictured left) which automatically “wakes up,” glowing with theatrical lighting, when entered! Click the link above for the full article.

500-year-old library catalogue reveals lost books

Thursday April 11, 2019

The Libro de los Epítomes was a catalogue for Hernando Colón’s 16th-century collection, which he intended to be the biggest in the world. The Guardian reports on the extraordinary discovery in the Arnamagnæan Collection in Copenhagen: a window into a “lost world of 16th-century books”, according to Cambridge academic Dr Edward Wilson-Lee, author of the recent biography of Colón, The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books

 “It’s a discovery of immense importance, not only because it contains so...

Great finds in Bookshops

Friday April 5, 2019

The rewards of bookshop browsing...watercolours by William Blake that were sold by a Glasgow bookshop for £50 each and subsequently dispersed by Sotheby’s for over $6m will be shown in a Tate exhibition this autumn.

Painted in 1805 to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, they include the finest of the set, Death of the Strong Wicked Man (1813), which is to be lent by the Louvre in Paris. Altogether eight of the 19 watercolours for the poem...

Matthew Flinders found!

Friday January 25, 2019

"Against the odds, and just in time for Australia Day, Matthew Flinders has been found.

The body of the famous British explorer who helped name, and was the first to circumnavigate, Australia was thought lost when the cemetery he was buried in 205 years ago became a public park behind London's Euston station."

[SMH, Nick Miller Europe Correspondent]

For the full fascinating story click website link above. 

French Visions of Australia

Friday December 7, 2018

Hordern House was fortunate to have the opportunity to research and write the catalogue for the important collection of French voyage art recently auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett (Melbourne, 28 November). This in-depth cataloguing added another important dimension to the critically important story of early Australian art.

The 1800-1804 voyage of Nicholas Baudin in the ships Géographe and Naturaliste carried on board an impressive array of artists and savants, none more important than Nicholas-Martin Petit...

Arago drawing reunited after 199 years

Wednesday November 7, 2018

A rare find by Hordern House, the scholarship of eminent bibliographer David Forbes and the remarkable Manoa Heritage Centre in Hawaii have combined to re-unite two halves of an original Arago panorama for the first time in almost 200 years. The panorama is an exceptional, early and important view of Maui made by the official artist on the Uranie expedition under Louis de Freycinet. An account of this serendipitous repatriation by the Manoa Research Centre...

Banned booksellers week

Tuesday November 6, 2018

Hordern House has joined more than 275 booksellers from 24 different countries are removing their book inventory from the Amazon subsidiary Abebooks.com in support of their colleagues in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and South Korea, who are banned from the site effective November 30. Abebooks is the world’s largest online marketplace devoted exclusively to books. Amazon acquired the company ten years ago this month.

In an official statement to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), Udo Göllmann...

Matthew Flinders at Euston station?

Friday October 26, 2018
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
A team of archaeologists in London have begun a one-year mission: to sift through tens of thousands of human remains in the cemetery beside Euston station where Flinders was laid to rest 204 years ago, and somehow pick him out. If they cannot then he will probably be among those reburied in an anonymous grave on the outskirts of the city. Clink link to the article above.
...