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  • Australia – Magic Lantern Slide Set – c1905.

    Australia – Magic Lantern Slide Set – c1905.

    Produced by W. Butcher & sons, London (1870-1906) under the brand name Primus. Sold as a set of eight in cardboard box with Lantern Lecture Reading notes. Complete.

    Standard magic lantern glass size 3.5 inch by 3.5 inch. All images square with rounded corners, original black mounting tape along edges. Very bright colouring, super condition apart from a crack in one slide.

    The slides comprise

    Government House Melbourne
    Sydney Harbour – Well before the bridge and heavily treed.
    Gold Mining Past and Present
    Sheep Shearing
    Richmond River [Northern NSW]
    In the Bush
    A Kangaroo Hunt
    Australian Aborigines

    There is much more about these images than observed at first glance.

    The image of aborigines includes an inset of a proud Murray River Warrior which is clearly derived from a photograph taken in 1880 by Samuel White Sweet. Resplendent in a possum skin coat holding a fighting waddy and decorated malcarra (shield) and string bag the subject cuts a proud figure. Maggs are currently selling a collection including the photograph – eye watering $.

    The kangaroo hunt is rather gruesome particularly the practice of cutting the tendon.

    The gold mining slide is super albeit cracked with an inset image of the old time cradle against the powerful mechanised image of Ballarat mines.

    The accompanying words are fairly comprehensive and interesting but of the period so anti C’s beware.

    Australia as it was seen over 100 years ago.


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  • Terre Napoleon – Australia Through French Eyes 1800-1804 – Susan Hunt and Paul Carter.

    Terre Napoleon – Australia Through French Eyes 1800-1804 – Susan Hunt and Paul Carter.

    This is the upmarket hardcover version of this beautiful book published by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales in association with Hordern House – hence the quality.

    Introduction by subject super expert Jacqueline Bonnemains of the Le Harve Museum where much of the great artwork from the early French expeditions resides.

    Largish quarto, 148 pages, illustrated throughout from the Baudin voyage, many in illuminating colour. A very good if not fine copy in a fine dust jacket.

    Baudin presented and described so well ..


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  • Islands of Men – Inside Melanesia – Colin Simpson.

    Another good book about Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Hebrides and our favourite regional island Mer – by the knowledgeable Colin Simpson.

    A first edition published in 1955 by Angus and Robertson. Octavo, 248 pages, nicely illustrated from photographs, some in colour, with decorative end papers. Dust jacket a little worn – still a very good copy.

    Ion Idriess wrote about Mer and here we have Simpson putting his own keenly observed view of the island and the culture of its inhabitants.

    Simpson in the broader Melanesia – unique view of customs – great images.


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  • Taming the North (And the First Qantas Flight) – Hudson Fysh The Story of Alexander Kennedy

    The most interesting and detailed account of Queensland pioneer Alexander Kennedy’s life.

    This is a second “revised and enlarged” edition of what is now a scarce and important book. Published by Angus and Robertson in 1950. Octavo, 265 pages. Numerous period photographs, end paper maps. A triffle aged in a pretty good dust jacket.

    Includes the start of commercial aviation in Australia “Qantas” – see page 223 for photograph of Alexander Kennedy and Hudson Fysh before the very first Qantas flight. Kennedy was 87 years old when he was the first passenger on this first flight from Longreach to Cloncurry. Hudson Fysh was the pilot.

    Iconic Queensland account


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  • Tasmania’s Strange Story – 1929

    A history of Tasmania published under the auspices of the “Come to Tasmania” Organisation by Lelsie Norman Sec.

    Soft cover, 100 pages, losses at front edge and across spine, otherwise a good copy of a fragile item approaching 100 years old.

    Stacked with period advertisements at front and back. We particularly like to see the Springs Hotel up Mt wellington, which burned down in the big fire; Beattie’s photography studio, and lots of beer and chocolates.

    The history is a good one and when it comes to the bad treatment of the aboriginals does not from excuses and is pretty sympathetic with their plight.

    We like this one …

    Interesting History of Tasmania – succinct but fairly full and frank.


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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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