Detailed Studies

La Découverte Australe

La Découverte Australe

A remarkable book, very rare indeed on the market, describing an imaginary voyage by flying machine to Australia by Nicolas Edmé Restif de la Bretonne. The work is as famous for its strikingly beautiful suite of engravings as for its remarkable text. An illustrated utopia, and a pioneering work in the genre of air navigation, it was published just two years before Montgolfier’s first balloon ascent, and is ‘undoubtedly the most significant work of science-based speculative fiction produced before the French Revolution’ (Brian Stableford, editor of the adaptation The Discovery of the Austral Continent by a flying Man, Hollywood, 2016).

Koapena

Koapena

A superb portrait by the Russian scientist and artist Miklouho-Maclay, depicting the striking New Guinean man Koapena (or “Quapena”), a chief in the region of Hood Lagoon, south-east of Port Moresby.

Navigating Cook

Navigating Cook

We invite you to enjoy this catalogue, part of a collaborative exhibition between Hordern House and leading art dealers Michael Reid. The exhibition at Michael Reid Gallery features works by 15 significant artists who have charted the nations changing attitudes to the cause and effects of the navigator Captain James Cook's first contact in Australia and New Zealand. In this catalogue, and alongside this modern examination, Hordern House is exhibiting original antiquarian material including maps, books and pictures. 

Meditations on the history of the book

Meditations on the history of the book

'Whatever they may do, authors do not write books.  Books are not written at all.  They are manufactured by scribes and other artisans, by mechanics and other engineers, and by printing presses and other machines.'  
 
So observed Roger Stoddard, the eminent book historian and former curator of Rare Books at Harvard, which is the starting point for a meditation on the history of the book by our colleague Anthony Payne, Hordern House's consultant in Europe. We are delighted to share it with you. Anthony's ongoing research project is a bibliographical study of the various travel books and other writings of Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616), and has been awarded a PhD for the first instalment of this. 
Andrea Corsali & the Southern Cross

Andrea Corsali & the Southern Cross

In 1515 Andrea Corsali, an Italian under the patronage of the Medici family, accompanied a Portuguese voyage down the African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope, en route to Cochin, India. On his return Corsali's letter to his patron describing the voyage was published. It included the earliest illustration of the stars of the Crux, the group of stars known today as the Southern Cross. The context of his remarkable discovery is explored here in an essay by Anne McCormick, prepared  as a continuation of her study "The Book in the Renaissance" at the London Rare Book School, University of London, 2019. 

Représentations des animaux...(1768)

Représentations des animaux...(1768)

Rare complete first edition of Johann Ridinger's great series of quadrupeds, in the original German with French translation. This is a classic of zoological illustration, its 127 large and beautifully coloured plates showing wild and domestic quadrupeds, with a few of the plates depicting two or more animals, sometimes from different species.

Sketches in New Zealand

Sketches in New Zealand

One of the finest Pacific illustrated books of the nineteenth century. This is a beautiful copy of the rare coloured issue, complete in the original illustrated wrappers. The superb handcoloured lithographs are by the naval commander Richard Aldworth Oliver (1811-1889) who commanded the HMS Fly on survey voyages of New Zealand and Pacific waters between 1847 and 1851.

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone

A previously unrecorded album of 40 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 and the European understanding of the Pacific.

Lycett

Lycett

First edition of the great Australian plate book, Joseph Lycett's Views in Australia is one of the earliest and most important collections of antipodean landscapes.
This was a landmark in the development of Australian illustrated books: Lycett’s charming, highly-coloured views of New South Wales and Tasmania are justly famous today and the book as a whole provides a remarkable visual record of Macquarie’s Australia.