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  • My Life as a Fake – Peter Carey – First edition

    My Life as a Fake – Peter Carey – First edition

    Peter Carey had already won the Booker Prize twice, and other literary awards before he released “My Life as A Fake”.

    Published by Knopf, Sydney in 2003. A first edition in great condition. Octavo, 280 pages, rough cut edges (trendy) as published. Unusual endpapers one half Kuala Lumpur image [as with the dust jacket] other stark pink.

    Whilst given an international mystic flavour this book is partly based on the real life faking of the poet Ern Malley by the promotors of the superb Angry Penguins. Not only was the poet Ern Malley a fake he was also considered a bit rude which got the inventors into a little bit of trouble and consequently financial difficulty.

    Back to Carey and we have the works of Bob McCorkie entirely the invention of Christopher Chubb who wants to teach the pretentious a lesson. There is a twist though and it has something to do with the phrase Voyager has some difficulty truly understanding … “be careful what you wish for”. When we say twist – it is Peter Carey so more to it that that.

    Peter Carey First edition – maybe our favourite.


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  • Biggles in Borneo – Capt W.E. Johns – First Australian Edition 1946

    Biggles in Borneo – Capt W.E. Johns – First Australian Edition 1946

    A first Australian edition of a scarce early Biggles with its original dust jacket – we emphasise original as some are sold with colour photocopies these days – we find that all a bit naff.

    Published in 1946 by Geoffrey Cumberledge for Oxford University Press, Melbourne. The UK edition came out during WWII in 1943. Octavo, 183 pages, toned a bit still on the war paper, aged to top etc, but not a bad dust jacket at all, which makes the book. A good and collectable copy.

    Subtitled …A “Biggles Squadron” Story of the Second Great War. Having just proved invaluable in the “Battle of Britain” the squadron find themselves in the heart Borneo where they set up an aerodrome unknown to the Japanese – they downs ships and rescue prisoners … the aerodrome is eventually taken over by the Royal Australian Airforce.

    One of the scarce Biggles in its jacket and with a handover to the Aussies.


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  • The Principall Navigations Voiages & Discoveries of the English Nation – Richard Hakluyt.

    The Principall Navigations Voiages & Discoveries of the English Nation – Richard Hakluyt.

    One of the most important of the many worthwhile Hakluyt Society publications – this one the work of effectively the “founder” or at least founding inspiration. A facsimile with embellishments of the famous 16thC work

    Published by Cambridge University Press for the Society in 1965. Extra series number XXIX. Largish quarto, two volumes comprising fifty plus pages of introductions regarding the character of the work, medieval source, unpublished work and near the end of that a wonderful check-list of surviving copies – amazing how many of which have made there way to the USA – lucky them. With their original dust jackets – a very good set. Heavy, not really and overseas purchase option on their own.

    The balance of the volumes constitutes 836 pages, plus a very useful modern index. The index is a real gem as Hakluyt’s work at first unwieldly opens up when you know where to look. Hakluyt also organised his work into three Parts – First South and Southeast; Second North and Northeast and the final Third Part West, Southwest and Northwest – so that helps.

    Hakluyt a monumental work of seafaring history – how on earth did he do it?


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  • First Class Polo – Tactics & Match Play – Brigadier-General R. L. Ricketts.

    First Class Polo – Tactics & Match Play – Brigadier-General R. L. Ricketts.

    For those that have always wanted to understand polo beyond the general idea of horses, a mallet and a bamboo ball (well plastic now) this is the book. Get ahead become an expert and make the right calls at these posh events.

    A fine copy of a super scarce book outlining the secrets of good polo play. Second edition, effectively self-published through Gale & Polden of Aldershot [British Military town] and London et, 1938.

    Octavo, 48 pages and IX full pages plates of tactics guaranteed to win the play.

    Ricketts played for the Alwar team in India circa 1900 and they won trophy after trophy – see the image of the frontispiece. They won the Indian Polo association Championship for several years and the Delhi Durbar without a single defeat scoring 117 goals against only 15.

    Ricketts describes the “merciless hitting of the ordinary easy ball by the Maharajah, and the advantages of the golf drive trajectory which he imparted to it etc”.

    Rickett’s motivation for the book is the fact that the Americans had more recently dominated the sport and to win back the advantage a quicker harder form of polo must be played. Bit like Bazball if you get that ..

    Ricketts on Polo everything you need to know to beat the Yankees


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  • Sarangi – Indian Stringed Instrument

    Sarangi – Indian Stringed Instrument

    The sarangi is a short necked bowed stringed instrument with a skin covered resonator. Carved from a single piece of wood. The playing strings typically gut and the numerous sympathetic strings from steel. The instrument is played predominantly in Northern India and also in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    The sound it produces is very emotional and can resemble the human voice with special techniques such as gamaks (shakes) and meends (sliding movements).

    Its origins could be Persian the derivation of the name suggests that.

    The sarangi has a box like shape with three hollow chambers .. the names of which translate to stomach, chest and brain. This good example is around the usual size (slightly bigger) at 67cm. the lower chamber is covered in parchment. There is a bridge made from bone, earlier they would have been ivory. The bridge is strong as it supports the pressure from the numerous metal sympathetic strings.

    Nor really suitable for Overseas postage and will require a postage supplement in Australia dependent on buyers location. We are careful to pack well and obtain the most cost effect mailing.

    Expand your musical horizons with a Sarangi.


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  • Thirty-Seven Years of Big Game Shooting in Cooch Behar, the Suras and Assam – The Maharajah of Cooch Behar.

    Thirty-Seven Years of Big Game Shooting in Cooch Behar, the Suras and Assam – The Maharajah of Cooch Behar.

    A facsimile of this scarce book originally published in Bombay in 1908. This edition by Wolfe Publishing of Prescott, Arizona published in 1993. Described as a “quality limited edition”.

    Thick large “Royal” octavo, 461 pages, illustrated as the original, large folding map of the region at rear. Bound nicely in faux burgundy morocco, gilt embellishments and title, all edges richly gilt, headbands and silk page marker. A nice production in “as new” condition.

    Described as a “rough diary” covering the period from 1871 to 1907. Set out in XXIX chapters, each dealing with specific expedition or encounters. Precise records of prizes bagged, and the various blunt instruments used carefully listed near the rear.

    Nowadays, not everyone’s “cup of tea” but we consider an important relic of the era and a super travel account of the region.

    For those geographically limited Cook Behar is in the North of West Bengal in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya.

    The sport of the Maharajah of Cooch Behar.


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