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  • Headhunters of the Coral Sea – Ion Idriess – 1955

    Headhunters of the Coral Sea – Ion Idriess – 1955

    Idriess scarcity a tale for the young or the “young at heart”. Based on the true story of two young lads captured in the Coral Sea and their subsequent adventures. Based around the shipwreck of the Charles Eaton.

    This is the new edition of 1955. Published by Angus and Robertson, octavo 207 pages, plus a list of the passengers and crew of the Charles Eaton and a chart of the cruise of the Isabella rescue ship. Within the text a chart of the Coral Sea – where the boys were wrecked.

    Idriess – stories based on truth always have a special interest


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  • Man Tracks – With the Mounted Police in the Australian Wilds – Ion Idriess – 1935

    Man Tracks – With the Mounted Police in the Australian Wilds – Ion Idriess – 1935

    Published by Angus & Robertson 1935, a fifth edition same year as the first.

    Octavo, 330 pages, illustrations from authors and contemporary photographs. Without dust jacket – red cloth covered boards clean – a better than good overall copy. End paper maps.

    An impressive Idriess book about the Australian mounted Police up through the Red Centre, the North and North West. Many lively accounts recounted in the normal Idriess way. The photography in this book is special with a number of unique aboriginal images.

    Real Crime solved by Police on Horseback


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  • Drums of Mer – Ion Idriess – Signed by the Author

    Drums of Mer – Ion Idriess – Signed by the Author

    First published by Angus and Robertson in 1933. This is the new edition, 1949, Inscribed by the author “Cheerio and good luck Ion Idriess”.

    Printed on “war paper” so has the characteristic even toning of the pages, a pity because its otherwise clean inside. The dust jacket is worn and repaired along the folds, the odd chip but still has some grace .. we love the colourway on this one.

    The “Drums of Mer” captures the charm of the Torres Strait Islands. As usual great images to accompany an Idriess book. A selection of chapter titles gives one a feel … When the Blood Lust calls; The Battle of the Fly; Velvet Claws; The Trouncing of Kebisu; Jakara Makes Love and The People of the Auwo Oromo. Mer (Murray Island) is sitting between Yule Entrance and Flinders Entrance closer to Papua New Guinea than Australia.

    Rare Idriess superb writing signed by the author


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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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