Online Catalogues


Whether in the highly stylized aesthetic of the Parisian art deco designer George Barbier, pioneering anthropologies in voyage accounts, in maps, portraits, games or tools for teaching the young, this month’s themed list explores costume in all its forms. Often images were so striking they re-occur in accounts decades — or centuries later. The spirit behind many of the works is very much that of the Enlightenment — a tremendous curiosity about newly discovered parts of the world and about human behaviour, particularly for ritualised behavior. The late Professor Bernard Smith noted (here specifically of the work of St-Sauveur included in this list) ‘The engravings published in Cook’s Voyages provided new visual information about many previously unknown peoples, and greatly enlarged Europe’s knowledge of the family of man… as artists copied the engravings so they altered them still further in the direction of European pre-conceptions, the anthropological and ethnographic intentions of the originals being diverted increasingly to fulfil the demands of taste and the intrinsic needs of decoration.’ (European Vision and the South Pacific, p. 113).

Imaginary Voyages

Our latest themed list spans four centuries of imaginary voyages: whimsical, pedagogical, philosophical, fantastical, satirical: all explorations of Utopia or the world as it will or ought to be. Many offer prescient insight and many are absurd or comedic. Works by Vairasse, the rare "Histoire der Sevarambes" (an imaginary voyage to western Australia), and Foigny's "Les Avantures de Jacques Sadeur dans la découverte la Terre Australe" are present, the earliest by the Dominican Tommasso Campanella prophesying (as a few in this list do) a coming Theocracy. Works by two of the great scholars of humanist thought: Thomas More's "Utopia" and Erasmus' "Praise of Folly" appear together in a very attractive French edition.

The Navy List

Our latest themed list encompasses over 200 years of seagoing: from Hoste's classic of naval strategy sumptuously bound for Christian VII of Denmark; through to works on naval architecture, the principles of rigging, nautical astronomy and the chronometer. 

New Year

Hordern House would like to welcome you to 2018 with a New Year's selection including: the romantic depiction of Alexander Hood's triumph in the face of death (illustrated above); the first American account of his  mentor James Cook's Voyage round the world; the rare English edition of Frezier'sVoyage along the coasts of Chile and Peru with a postscript by Edmund Halley; a most attractive set of Sir William Jardine's  sought-after Naturalist's Library; and Robert Thornton's exotic take on Victorian flora.

Antarctic Exploration

Our latest online catalogue Antarctic Exploration highlights a selection of manuscript and printed rarities from the 18th & 19th Century, including Cook, Kerguelen, Dumont D'Urville and Wilkes through to those from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration represented by Amundsen, Mawson and (Frederick!) Cook.


Thirteen broadsides and news printings 1780-1886: three relating to George Anson, two celebrating his naval conquests and one, rather less gloriously concerning the control of venereal disease amongst seamen signed by him as Admiral; a rare Sydney-printed poem lauding the generosity of the merchant Quong Tart; a vivid pictorial printing advertising “dioramic lectures” celebrating Australia & America which toured England in 1850, together with a stirringly large broadside protesting Edward Eyre in Jamaica; and one relating to the abortive attempt by George Grey to force his way into the British Parliament.

Pacific Northwest online

Including Choris's most beautiful colour-plate books of the Pacific and Grasset de Saint-Sauveur's unusual Tableau of islanders of the Pacific this themed on-line list includes accounts of Cook's Third Voyage by Ellis and Rickman, a charming French work for the young with plates drawn mainly from Cook; Fleurieu's account of the first French commercial voyage to the Northwest Coast, the second great Russian expedition by Kotzebue and a Swedish edition of Meares' voyage account.

K is for Kangaroo

A light-hearted selection of kangaroo games and alphabets, celebrating one of our favourite marsupials. It includes: alphabet primers featuring the letter “K for Kangaroo”; a range of educational books, games and puzzles; and a selection of beautiful kangaroo plates.