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  • Strahan and Macquarie Harbour – Tasmania’s Eldorado

    Subtitled … The Commercial Port for the Western Mineral Fields and … the Gem of the States for Tourists and Travellers. Unsurpassed for Scenic Grandeur and as a Health Resort.

    Originally published by John Ware of Strahan in 1908 and nigh impossible to get. This like for like facsimile was produced by the western Pioneers’ memorial Museum in 1981. Printed by Walch, Hobart.

    Small format, staple bound card covered. Altogether 84 pages, heavily illustrated from period photographs. The last 24 pages with period advertisement as per the original – amazing in themselves.

    Well what a vibrant area it was and Strahan was full steam go ahead just after the turn of the previous century. In those days the Union Line brought two stack steamers to Strahan from Hobart, Launceston and the Mainland … they also embarked on voyages connecting New Zealand the South Sea Islands and Vancouver, via Fiji. The Macquarie Harbour Hotel had sixty rooms available.

    Mining booming … the previous years returns had show 20,548 oz gold, 1,810,559 oz of silver, 7,682 tons copper, 7,400 tons lead, 5,158 tons galena and zinc, tin etc

    It was all go on the West Coast in 1908.


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  • The Shipwreck and captivity of Dr Archibald Thompson Surgeon on Ship Sympathy 1777 – First Edition 1809 – Extremely Rare

    The Shipwreck and captivity of Dr Archibald Thompson Surgeon on Ship Sympathy 1777 – First Edition 1809 – Extremely Rare

    Published by Thomas Tegg of Cheapside, London in 1809. A very rare account. Running only to 28 pages, nevertheless with solid content and a magnificent albeit gruesome fold out frontispiece.

    Bound in good fashion to preserve the item in quarter calf over marbled paper covered boards.

    The extensive title continues and explains … including His pure and ardent Affection for a Young Lady, His only Companion, in a solitary Island; Their Unfortunate Separation; His state of Slavery in Algiers; The dreadful punishment of Impalement, indicted upon an unfortunate Negro, who ran from his Master, and the Doctor’s Happy Release and Return after an Absence of More than Seven Years.

    Archibald Thompson, an Edinburgh based surgeon decided to join the Navy and he was given a position on Board the Sympathy, under Captain Sidney Russell. Their first voyage together was to Africa then planned for Barbados and on to South Carolina. The Sympathy was a ship of 300 tons and 30 men, and they were to procure a cargo of slaves.

    The content concerning the slaves and their treatment is pretty thorough. Thompson is sympathetic with their plight but goes along with his “duties”. Instructive for those interested in this shabby element of history. After the shipwreck Thompson finds himself bonded to Angelina and they pledge their trust and more. After numerous twists and turns, and seven years, they find themselves together and returned to England.

    Early Elaborate Shipwreck and Captivity – Near Impossible to Find


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  • Orokaiva Society Papua New Guinea – F.A. Williams – First Edition 1930

    Williams was the then Government appointed Anthropologist. Published by the Oxford University Press, with an introduction by Sir Hubert Murray.

    Octavo, 355 pages, illustrated with images from period photographs.

    The Orokaiva are the rather fierce proud people of Oro Province in New Guinea, the Owen Stanley Range bordering the southern reaches of their territory. They are divided into three groups … River, Salt Water and Inland. There tribal practices are complex and rather strange, partly resulting from their belief that they are descendants of Giants. As with most New Guinea tribes the initiation customs are rather complex and scary.

    Francis Edgar Williams (1893-1943) was an Australian Rhodes Scholar who studied anthropology at Balliol, Oxford. He met the great Hubert Murray back in Australia who persuaded him to come to New Guinea. He spent over twenty years there much of it in the field strongly supported by Hubert Murray. He died in a light plane crash near Kokoda.

    Tough growing up in Oro.


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  • Jottings during the Cruise of H.M.S. Curacoa Among the South Sea Islands in 1865 – Julius Brenchley – First edition 1873

    First edition of this magnificently illustrated voyage account in the Pacific.

    Published by Longmans, Green & Co, London in 1873. Large octavo, 487 pages. Decorated with two fold-out chromolithographs, including, 44 wood engravings and 50 hand coloured engravings mainly of natural history interest. Large folding map at rear with original colouring. An early rebind in half leather over plum cloth covered boards; raised spine divisions with gilt titling. Some evidence of age and staining otherwise a nice and honest copy of a scarce and desirable item. Carries the bookplate of voyage collector and author Geoffrey Ingleton.

    The author Julius Brenchley (1816-1873) was a noted traveller of the period. Born in Maidstone in Kent, England he carried out numerous adventures. His travels encompassed, North, Central and South America and Africa before he embarked on this voyage with the Curacoa in the South Seas. The ship was under the command of Captain William Wiseman and visited Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Niue or Savage Island, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Santa Cruz, New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands.

    Brenchley gathered an enormous collection of artifacts and natural history specimens which ultimately ended up being split between the British Museum and the Maidstone Museum.

    Special Beautifully Illustrated Pacific Voyage Account


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  • Malory’s – Chronicles of King Arthur – 3 Volumes

    Malory’s – Chronicles of King Arthur – 3 Volumes

    Published by the Folio Society in 1982. Three volumes in original slipcase. Octavo, 292,348 and 262 pages. Blue cloth covered bindings decorated in red and gold. A super looking production.

    Introductions and explanations by experts Sue Bradbury and Kevin Crossley-Holand and nice lino-cuts by Edward Bawden.

    The Chronicles comprise … The Tale of King Arthur; Sir Tristam de Lyonesse and The Morte D’Arthur.

    The legendary tales were first put down in one place by George of Monmouth in the early thirteen century. In the fifteenth century Sir Thomas Malory produced the definitive work completed in 1470, This was at the time Caxton really got going with his printing press so Malory’s work was destined to be promoted and preserved. Naturally, the language and expression of Malory’s writing reflects the period and “modern” writers have edited the text to be readable nowadays.

    What would King Arthur think of a boxed set?


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  • Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado New Zealand – Zane Grey – First edition 1926

    Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado New Zealand – Zane Grey – First edition 1926

    First edition, published by Hodder & Stoughton, London in 1926.

    Quarto, x,228 pages bound in the original blue cloth covered boards with gilt titling and leaping fish to front. A little age to spine ends otherwise a super copy for a book near 100 years old. Heavy at circa 2kg so likely not suitable for Overseas.

    Zane Grey (1872-1939) famous for his interest in and writing about great fishing adventures rather than his profession – dentistry. He was also handy with the camera and the many illustrations are from photographs taken by the author. Additional sketches by Frank Phares.

    Fishing for some big guys … Marlin, Swordfish and the Mako Shark and maybe less butch for Taupo and Trout on quieter waters.

    Zane Grey is the man with the “fush” in New Zealand ..


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