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Antarctic and the Arctic

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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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  • 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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  • Viking Galley Bookends

    Viking Galley Bookends

    A sturdy set that will hold up the heaviest of books.

    Cast in copper bronze and machine finished to the back which suggests a fairly modern manufacture. Based on a design from circa 1910.

    Very strong relief of galley with full sail against mountainous shoreline.

    15 cm tall, weighing 2.2kgs the pair. Very good condition. A postage supplement likely dependent on the location of the buyer.

    Practical nautical war ready galley bookends


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  • The South Pole – An account of the Norwegian Expedition in the “Fram” 1910-1912 – Roald Amundsen – Queensland University Facsimile 1976

    The South Pole – An account of the Norwegian Expedition in the “Fram” 1910-1912 – Roald Amundsen – Queensland University Facsimile 1976

    Facsimile edition, and a scarce one, published under the moniker of the University of Queensland Press in 1976. The original edition was published in 1912 and is highly collectable. Two volumes bound as one making it quite an impressive book in stature xxv, 392 pages; x, 449 pages. Illustrated from the original with plates and maps, one folding of each. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

    The first to the pole. Account of Amundsen’s legendary dash to the Pole. He beat Scott’s Expedition by a month reaching the Pole on 14th December 1911. The use of dog sleds, better clothing, nutrition and a single minded purpose are factors that put Amundsen ahead of Scott.

    Norwegian Captain Roald Amundsen had initially intended make an expedition to the Arctic, but changed his plans at the last moment and announced he would try for the South Pole instead. His explanation to the public was that if he could beat the English and Japanese expeditions to the Pole then he could secure success and funds for his extensive Arctic expedition, and also snatch the prize for his own country.

    Amundsen sailed southward in the Fram to the Bay of Whales that would afford his expedition both the shortest route to the Pole and a route that would not overlap with either the Japanese or the English expeditions. From start to finish, Amundsen’s expedition ran like clockwork. He carefully planned every moment of the trip, using his experience in the Arctic and his extensive knowledge of dog-teams to help him through. His team was entirely Norwegian, accustomed to a harsh and cold climate, and were excellent ski-runners. In addition, Amundsen travelled light; he brought five men and fifty dogs on his expedition so that the latter could eventually serve as food for the former. Part of what doomed Scott’s party was the fact that he favoured men and ponies over dogs, bringing twelve men, eight ponies, and only twenty-six dogs.

    Amundsen’s party remained in excellent health and always had enough to eat from their plentiful provisions at their well-stocked supply depots. They also supplemented their food stores with a great seal hunt just before the winter, after which 120,000 lb. of fresh seal meat were added to their stores, which helped protect them against scurvy.

    Unlike Scott’s party, Amundsen’s party were also fortunate enough to have favourable weather conditions on their side, so that they were able to reach the Pole using their supply depots and dog sleds in just 99 days, a distance of 1860 miles, covering an astonishing average of 19 miles a day over frozen and difficult ground. Their journey was truly an extraordinary accomplishment, and Amundsen’s account of it is no less riveting

    Amundsen – Fine facsimile of The South Pole published by Queensland University


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  • The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    A facsimile of the rare first published by Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh in 1906. This edition by ANU, Canberra in 1978.

    The original small quarto this octavo, 375 pages with numerous illustrations and a chart of the track of the Scotia; a map of Laurie Island South Orkneys and a large folding chart at the rear … Bathymetrical Survey of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Weddell Sea. A fine copy. The piper on the front is naturalist Burn Murdoch … the first person to play the bagpipes on the Antarctic … and also in the Arctic … quiet an achievement.

    With an additional forward by Sir George Deacon which adds greatly to our understanding of the expedition leader William Spiers Bruce and his colleagues who were joint authors of this account

    William Spiers Bruce (1867-1921) was born in Edinburgh and was Scotland’s greatest polar scientist and oceanographer. His greatest accomplishment is recorded in this account, leading the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-1904) to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea, where they conducted the first oceanographic explorations and discovered the northern part of the Caird Coast. They established the first permanent weather station in the Antarctic. Bruce would not write the popular account of the expedition so it fell to his three lieutenants to write this much admired work.

    Bruce had previously been on the Dundee Whaling Expedition (1892) having given up medical studies to participate. In between he participated in Arctic Voyages to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. He wanted to joined Scott’s Discovery Expedition but it is said that he fell out with Markham and therefore organised his own Scottish expedition. He was a good friend of Mawson and provided gear towards Mawson’s later expedition.

    The Scottish expedition, an early one with significant achievements, often overlooked.


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  • High Latitudes – A History of Swedish Polar Travels and Research – Gosta Liljequist

    High Latitudes – A History of Swedish Polar Travels and Research – Gosta Liljequist

    Published in 1993 a monumental book by Polar Participant Professor Gosta Liljequist who was metrologist in the Norwegian-British-Swedish expedition to the Antarctic in 1949-52 and also leader of the 1957-58 expedition to Svalbard … so he is in here.

    Weighting nearly 3 kgs so pricey to mail Overseas, cannot be found elsewhere in Australia. Largo quarto, 606 pages, with many illustrations from expedition photographs, maps, charts etc a worthy production. Very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

    Hard to summarise but we start with the Pioneers 1758-1863 including Anton Martin, the first scientist to go truly North. Involvement with the French Le Recherche Expedition; then Otto Torell and Spitzbergen and his later expeditions to the Aeolus Group north of Svalbard. Quennerstedt’s zoological studies in the west Ice in 1863.

    Then we have the Nordenskiold Epoch between 1863-1883 and here for sure too much to write about at both ends of the World. If you haven’t got the book on the Vega this covers it with many other ventures.

    We move through some interesting low budget expeditions that did much for the dollar spent and on to Andree and the ill-fated balloon attempt … the searching for him and his companions was a lengthy event and a good Noir movie was made out of it.

    We are only a third through and too many highlights to record here. Interesting side stories – the Arctic flight of the German Graf Zeppelin in 1931 – then the attempt from Stockholm to New York.

    The Many Swedish Polar Achievements all in one place. Never again.


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