Melbourne's 2020 Rare Book Fair had to be exclusively online. We showed a beautifully atmospheric watercolour of the Yarra River in dawn light by Julian Rossi Ashton; the original midshipman's log of a particularly interesting voyage to Australia 1852-54, illustrated with most attractive unpublished drawings including a suite of four charts showing a dated track of the voyage, a fine double-page map of "Port Phillip 1853" with detailed soundings, and a series of sixteen coastal drawings; and the first South Australian illustrated book published, the rare suite of original views by Frederick Nixon.
Our catalogue for Firsts: London's Rare Book Fair, exclusively online, 5-12 June.
For this year's New York Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory we feature the great French voyage of the Napoleonic period, the ambitious voyage to the "terres Australes" or southern continent under Baudin, chronicled by its participants Louis de Freycinet (later to command his own voyage) and the scientist François Péron, and published in six separate volumes over a period of ten years. The Baudin voyage has been characterised as the last great Enlightenment voyage, and was perhaps its purest expression, combining as it did scientific curiosity and research, territorial and geo-political ambition, and the spirit of enquiry on the widest scale.