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Antarctic, Arctic, Polar

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  • The First Crossing of Spitsbergen – Martin Conway – First Edition 1897

    And a rather exhausting full title …The First Crossing of Spitsbergen Being an account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of Several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, Down Hinloopen Strait, Nearly to Wiched Land, and Into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and an almost Complete Circumnavigation of the Main Island.

    First edition published by Dent, London in 1897. Quarto, 372 pages, 8 coloured plates, 2 folding maps and 99 black and white illustrations. Original brown bevelled boards with tan spine, gilt lettering and decoration. Spine darkened somewhat as usual from sunlight. Occasional light spotting, plates and maps clean. A good to better copy.

    Martin Conway spent the summers of 1896 and 1897 exploring Spitsbergen. During the first year Conway led a party of five overland from Advent Bay to Bell Sound and on to Sassen Bay and Agardh Bay before returning. Altogether there were thirteen mountain ascents, such is the territory. During their endeavours they complied generous geologic and natural history collections.

    Sir Martin Conway (1856-1937) was a critic, politician, cartographer, mountaineer and more. He studied Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first significant expedition was to Spitsbergen in 1896 (the subject of this book) and then an expedition to the Bolivian Andes. He was President of the Alpine Club 1902-04 and knighted for his cartographic work on the Karkoram region of the Himalaya. Later in life he was made First Baron Conway of Allington. Quiet a chap!

    Spitsbergen means “Pointed Mountains” from the Dutch. Now under the jurisdiction of Norway. The archipelago has been named Svalbard since 1925 with Spitsbergen reserved for the largest island, which is the 36th largest island in the World. Spitsbergen is the only island in the group with permanent habitation although even now there are barely 3,000 people.

    Conway across Spitsbergen – first time recorded


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  • Edward Wilson of the Antarctic  – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Edward Wilson of the Antarctic – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Published by John Murray, London in 1963. Soft cover issue. Excellent condition. Octavo, 228 pages. Illustrated and with maps.

    Edward Wilson (known as “Uncle Bill”) was one of the four men who reached the South Pole in January 1912 together with Captain Scott and later perished in their tent after failing to return to their base.

    This is a magnificent book; we rarely have paperback, but this one is such good condition we couldn’t resist. Folding map courtesy Apsley Cherry- Garrard and his “Worst Journey”

    Great book about a Great Man


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  • King Island Elephant Seal (Le Phoque a trompe) – Vauthier -1820

    King Island Elephant Seal (Le Phoque a trompe) – Vauthier -1820

    A scarce hand coloured copper engraving of the Elephant Seal “Le Phoque a trompe” named by Peron.

    The Baudin expedition saw many Southern Elephant Seals around the Islands of the Bass Strait including King Island. Unfortunately, unable to defend themselves they were killed for their oil and by 1827 they were all gone from that location.

    Printed on sturdy paper, 25cm by 17 cm, good use of gum arabic to strengthen the colour and provide depth. Good plate mark … a super example.

    Engraved by Barreau after Vauthier and published in Paris in 1820.

    Price $90.00 unframed

    Rare original hand coloured King Island Elephant Seal engraving


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  • Bibliography of Antarctic Exploration Expedition Accounts from 1768 to 1960 – Conrad

    Bibliography of Antarctic Exploration Expedition Accounts from 1768 to 1960 – Conrad

    A first edition of Conrad’s superior bibliography. We say superior in that each expedition has its own section which contain a brief expedition account (very good); expedition responsibilities; expedition accomplishments; bibliographic information and reviews the bibliographic entries.

    Makes good use of Spence, Renard, Scott Polar Collection etc. Effectively self-published, Washington, USA 1999.

    Octavo, 424 pages a substantial book in fine condition. One of 975 available copies (set out in WordPerfect for those that remember it!)

    Larry Conrad was in the Antarctic from 1982 to 1985 flying helicopters transporting scientists, explorer and “distinguished visitors” in an area about 150 miles of Ross Island. This would includes Scott’s huts at Hut Point and Cape Evans and Shackleton’s hut on Cape Royds. His interest continued afterwards and this important reference was a result.

    Conrad .. thorough and with expedition accounts.



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  • Log-Letters from the Challenger –  Campbell -1877

    Log-Letters from the Challenger – Campbell -1877

    Lord George Campbell’s informative log regarding the greatest Oceanographic survey ever made – the voyage of HMS Challenger.

    The interest in the voyage so great at the time the book soon went to many editions. This is a super copy of the fifth published by MacMillan, London in 1877.

    Octavo, 52 pages plus publishers’ catalogue. Important folding map bound in as frontispiece outlining the course of the voyage with colour coding for various ocean floor encounters. Nice condition in original green cloth covered binding.

    The log has been criticised by some for being rather unscientific whilst we find it very readable and informative. Written without the initial view of being published. The chapters have a logical progression … England to the Cape (Good Hope); The Cape to Australia; Melbourne to Cape York; Cape York to China; China to Japan; Japan to Valparaiso; Valparaiso to Monte Video. An excellent accompaniment to the log written by Spry of which also we have a copy.

    The Challenger Expedition Day by Day



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  • The Discovery of the Clarie Coast Antarctic – Dumont d’Urville – 26th January 1840

    The Discovery of the Clarie Coast Antarctic – Dumont d’Urville – 26th January 1840

    An original beautifully executed lithograph by Louis Le Breton (1818-1866) published as part of the great “Atlas Pittoresque” to accompany “Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l’Oceanie sur les corvettes l’Astrolabe et la Zelee … sous commandement de M.J. Dumont d’Urville”.

    After discovering and naming Adelie Land (After d’Urville’s wife) on the 22nd of January 1840 and making various explorations the Astrolabe and Zelee continued west in search of further land. A violent gale separated the two ships and Dumont d’Urville feared that he might have lost the Zelee. However, the sea calmed and the Zelee appeared and the vessels were re-united. Shortly afterwards the Astrolabe encountered the US Exploring Expedition under Captain Wilkes. Dumont d’Urville had heard of Wilkes’ intentions at Hobart and made all haste to make his the first discoveries … and he did so. The encounter with Wilkes was very strange and through a misunderstanding Wilkes thought his approach to the French vessel was rebuffed .. not so the French simply manoeuvred to avoid any chance of a physical encounter in these difficult waters. A couple of days later the French discovered further extensive coastline which d’Urville named Cote de Clarie or the Clarie Coast after the wife of Charles Jaquinot Captain of his support vessel Zelee. This was on 26th January 1840 and the event is recognised in this delightful lithograph. The US Wilkes expedition also found the Claire Coast, but not until February had arrived. The Americans sailed further on confirming a thousand plus mile stretch of land … likely because of this the region is known in Australia as Wilkes Land … not so in France!

    Lithographed by P Blanchard on sturdy paper – 37 x 22cm to the edge of the image with very wide margin. Overall in excellent condition.

    Price $590.00 unframed – rare

    Antarctic discovery of the Clarie Coast 26th January 1840 Voyage of Dumont d’Urville.


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