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Antarctic, Arctic, Polar

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  • The Discovery of the South Shetland Islands. The Voyage of the Brig Williams – Poynter [ed R.J. Campbell]

    One of our favourite Hakluyt production, published 2000, on the discovery of the South Shetland Islands – which are very south and remote and play such a big part in the whole Antarctic exploration story.

    The story of the Brig Williams voyage of 1819-20 referencing the Journal of Midshipman C.W. Poynter and other contemporary documents. As with all Hakluyt the editor does a special job with thorough and intense research and a quality honed narrative.

    Quarto, xvi, 232 pages with 31 illustrations and maps. Original blue cloth binding, good dust jacket a very good all round copy. Heavy item.

    In 1819 a general cargo vessel in sailing from Montevideo to Valparaiso ventured to the extreme south hoping for more favourable winds, spotting land at around 62 degrees south. On a second voyage they deliberately sough out the coastline taking soundings etc. Following these reports the Brig Williams was prepared to properly survey this new discovery under Master Edward Bransfield.

    The journal of Midshipman Poynter was recently found in New Zealand and is the backbone to this book. It is the only first hand account of a voyage during which the Antarctic mainland was sighted.

    South Shetlands all to like it’s namesake, cold and windy but more isolated.


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  • Mawson’s Papers – Innes and Duff – Robyn Mundy’s Copy.

    Mawson’s Papers – Innes and Duff – Robyn Mundy’s Copy.

    Thick softcover published by The Mawson Institute for Antarctic Research The University of Adelaide in 1990.

    Rather scarce and we are not sure why .. maybe they are all tied up with Institutions … maybe it was a pessimistic print run.

    Carries the modern book label of adventurer and writer Roby Mundy and a thoughtful note by the gift giver “happy hunting”. The kind message clearly relates to the research Mundy would have been doing for her novel “Nature of Ice” – all about the Mawson Polar expedition, Frank Hurley’s photographs and much more. Mundy also wrote a super book “Cold Coast” which revolves around the first female trapper in Svalbad … another Voyager favourite island group.

    Back to the Mawson Papers which are richly described in the unusually paginated work [probably circa 350 pages]. After a brief Forward by Jacka and a Biographical note by same we have various introductory papers re how to use the guide. Not a list of items – everything is described and put into context. Nicely illustrated from Hurley photographs, charts etc … it’s the complete business.

    Mawson no more comprehensive source of his work


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  • Australian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14. Scientific Reports Series C – Zoology and Botany – Vol VIII Part III – Echinodermata Echinoidea [Urchins].

    Australian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14. Scientific Reports Series C – Zoology and Botany – Vol VIII Part III – Echinodermata Echinoidea [Urchins].

    By Professor Rene Koehler, Lyon France – edited by professor Launcelot Harrison, University of Sydney.

    We have mentioned previously about how long it took to get the scientific reports from Mawson’s expedition published. This one 1926 so twelve years after the event.

    It is alos interesting how widely the field samples were dispersed in this process. This one from Lyon printed in Sydney in French without an English translation. So one for those that have the linguistic capability or the knowledge to interpret, and admire, the thirty three magnificent plates full page plates.

    Large format, soft cover, staple bound as issued, 134 pages of narrative followed the plates, very good condition.

    Cold water urchins given the French treatment with super plates


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  • Antarctica – Reginald Ford

    Antarctica – Reginald Ford

    An unusual facsimile presentation of one of the rarest heroic era publications – the tiny book “Antarctica” which was originally published in New Zealand in 1906.

    A boxed set of items by the Erskine Press issued in 2015 comprising solid black box with a front label copy of the front cover repeated .. inside two postcards – Discovery in Winter Quarters from a painting by A.E. (Uncle Bill) Wilson and A new and accurate map of the islands of the Antarctic etc by Talland Power for the Erskine Press; a stout copy of a broadsheet advertising a lecture “Farthest South” by Mr C Reginald Ford with various positive opinions and press remarks. Also, a 12 page, card covered potted biography of Charles Reginald Ford by Crispin de Boos. And, the said facsimile with linen textured card cover, 32 pages numerous images – a faithful facsimile including the odd light stain from the original.

    Ford was a steward on the Discovery Expedition and was the first person to beak his leg on the Antarctic when he was skiing. He was so well regarded that on return he acted as Scott’s secretary during his extensive leaders lecture tour.

    Try to find an original if you can – the next best thing is this unusual collection from the Polar mad Erskine Press .


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  • Thermograph – Ex Australian Antarctic Division

    Thermograph – Ex Australian Antarctic Division

    A vintage instrument and an essential piece of Antarctic equipment something to measure and record the temperature over time.

    This is the weekly “Bureau of Meteorology” CBM metal cased design with clockwork drum – which ticks away quite pleasantly.

    We say ex Australian Antarctic because there is a big sticker on the back saying it was disposed – we will leave it for others to remove.

    Weighs a bit so a postage supplement may be required – enquire and we will do our best ….

    The principle used is that a coiled bi-metallic strip [steel and copper] is attached to a long light lever or arm that holds a tiny pen. Small movements in the bi-metallic strip cause much larger movements at the end of the arm making the pen rise and fall with changes in temperature – these changes being recorded on the chart which is clockwork driven and turns once every week – in this case. A simple but effective analogue process.

    Thermograph from the Australian Antarctic Division which has no doubt been safely digitised and using poisonous batteries rather than eco friendly hand cranked clocks.


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  • Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – Edited Beau Riffenburgh- 2 Volumes

    Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – Edited Beau Riffenburgh- 2 Volumes

    Published by Routledge in 2006 this two-volume set is regarded as the font of all things Antarctica.

    A substantial effort the number of distinguished contributors runs to over a hundred.

    Two quarto volumes, 1,272 pages heavily illustrated with all sorts, high technical level with many maps, charts, explanatory diagrams etc. Very good condition. Weighs in at circa 3.6kgs so not really suitable for Overseas postage.

    The elements relating to the History of Exploration and History of Science are understandably our favourites. Other broader topics include … Atmosphere; Birds; Conservation; Geography; Glaciology; Technology; Oceanography; Physics and astronomy etc.

    It is all here in the Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – more than a winter’s reading


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