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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Contains an important and contentious paper regarding the measurement of Tasmanian [aboriginal] crania contained in the Tasmanian Museum and less contentious and quite lengthy [31 pages] … Notes on the Aborigines of Tasmania extracted from the Manuscript Journals of George Washington Walker with an introduction by James B Walker… and a further paper by J.B. Walker on the “Tribal Divisions of the Aborigines of Australia.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers quite chipped xxxiv, 92 pages, illustrations including images of crania … warning one shown here.

    Contents further include … Mount Dundas narrow gauge rail; Land routes for the exploration of the Western country; The Great Lake and its water power; Iron Deposits of Tasmania … various geological and natural history

    Important and contentious content regarding Tasmanian Aborigines.


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  • The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    Separately published paper from the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1899. By Robert Etheridge Junior who was then Curator of the Australian Museum. Son of the superb engraver of geological specimens and exceptional geologist in his own right.

    Side stitched in the original light blue wrappers, a little aged, internally very clean … a very nice copy of a little understood custom.

    Mitchell was the first to notice the widow’s caps which he observed during his second expedition into the interior. Worn by widows in mourning and then later left at the graves of the deceased. The caps were formed from clay and the widow wore a net over her hair which left the unusual impression that can be seen in one of the images provided.

    13 pages on narrative and six plates, printed on heavier stock from photographs of examples.

    An authoritative paper on an important aboriginal custom


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  • Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Vol VI December 1918 – Scarce and Controversial

    Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Vol VI December 1918 – Scarce and Controversial

    This edition had been delayed by the consequences of WWI and as such contained material intended to be published in 1917. It contains a remarkable body of work but is controversial for the content it includes regarding aboriginal people. It is a fine line … we continue to sell it in the hope it contains between the lines some useful anthropological information that deserves to be preserved … we suspect it does.

    Largish size, 25cm by 19cm, light card covers, 174 pages, with 32 full page plates not included in the pagination. The main body in very good condition, the covers have seen better days and are now re-enforced at the spine and susceptible to edge chipping.

    Contents include … Notes on Certain Human Crania in the Queensland Museum; Queensland Ethnological Notes; On Message Sticks employed among Queensland Aborigines (A super article); Notes on Some Queensland and Papuan reptiles; Edible Fishes in Queensland (Special Plates); Bees Collected in Queensland etc.

    The plates include four of Crania in the Museum, a troublesome plate … suckling young dingo; many good ones on message sticks and twenty odd full-page plates of fish all finely engraved.

    Despite its challenges, extremely scarce and, one for the scholar and collector to decide.


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  • The Story of the Pacific – Van Loon – 1940

    The Story of the Pacific – Van Loon – 1940

    First Edition published by George Harrap, London 1940.

    Octavo, 315 pages, illustrated from the authors sketches (his usual style) and with end paper maps. Gift inscription across front map otherwise a very good unjacketed copy.

    Hendrik Willem Van Loon (1882 -1944) was a prolific Dutch / American writer of historical works. His language is really good and he gets to the point … the publishers of Roget’s Thesaurus specifically honoured him in publications after his death as being the person that most communicated new entries to them… quite an honour.

    Here he is writing about the Polynesians and how they came to be in the Pacific … the places they went to and the places they avoided. Amongst all that is elements relating to the discovery of Australia … an interesting and of overlooked work.

    The Van loon theories regrading the populating of the Pacific.


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  • Knights Errant of Papua – Lewis Lett  – First Ed 1935

    Knights Errant of Papua – Lewis Lett – First Ed 1935

    Published by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London a first edition 1935. Octavo, 238 pages, end paper map and frontispiece of native police in marching order. A special introduction by Sir Hubert Murray which provided a very good overview in the absence of a formal contents page by Lett. A few superficial marks here and there still a pretty good copy.

    Longtime expat Peter Villier Best’s copy with his stamp. Peter was with the Australian Petroleum Co and spent time in the Civil System and at BP and Steamies.

    Lewis Lett had been in Papua New Guinea for over twenty years before he wrote this book. He knew Hubert Murray well and many of the Patrol Officers who had adventured into the unexplored regions. This is a book about those adventurous officers … the “Knights Errant’.

    Some amazing stories from the early ascents of Mount Victoria and Mount Albert Edward by Sir William MacGregor, the crossing of the island by Karius and Champion and the well documented patrols of Monckton, Beaver, Griffin et al. Interesting that despite the dangers in what were often first encounters very little violence is noted and not from any “cleansing’ of history. Patrol leaders had one common thread and that was an ability to remain calm and communicate carefully without undue irritation.

    Knights Errant is a unique work that brings together many adventures in very readable form.


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  • Unexplored New Guinea Wilfred Beaver – First Edition 1920

    Unexplored New Guinea Wilfred Beaver – First Edition 1920

    A scarce first edition… a record of the travels, adventures and experiences of a resident magistrate amongst the headhunting savages and cannibals of the unexplored interior of New Guinea.

    Beaver was twenty-seven years resident magistrate in the Western District.

    Published by Seeley, Service & Co, London in 1920. Thick octavo, 320 pages. Nicely illustrated with 34 photographs taken by the author and 4 maps. With a focus on the extreme West – the Fly River, Kiwai Island, The Girara Tribes, The Bamu, Gama and Turama. Much on religious beliefs and practices. A very good copy.

    Another rare PNG book at Voyager – Beaver up the Fly


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