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  • The Dead Heart of Australia. A Journey around Lake Eyre in the Summer of 1901-1902 with Some Account of the Lake Eyre Basin and the Flowing Wells of Central Australia – J.W. Gregory – First Edition 1906.

    The Dead Heart of Australia. A Journey around Lake Eyre in the Summer of 1901-1902 with Some Account of the Lake Eyre Basin and the Flowing Wells of Central Australia – J.W. Gregory – First Edition 1906.

    First edition published by John Murray, London in 1906. Thick octavo, xvi, 384 pages with 6 figures and 22 pages of plates, 4 smaller folding maps and 2 large folding maps at the rear. Beautifully bound by Roger Perry.

    The large folding maps are super … “A Sketch Map of Eastern Australia Showing the Central Artesian Basin” and “Sketch Map of Lake Eyre Basin”.

    John Walter Gregory (1864-1932) was a leading geologist explorer of the late Victorian and early 20thC period. He spent time in Australia between 1899 and 1904 in the new Chair for Geology ay Melbourne University. Unfortunately the University was so short of cash at the time Gregory did not have the advantage of a geological laboratory. Regardless, he spent his time wisely and this book the record of his explorations in the Dead Heart is regarded as a classic.

    Gregory made a number of important discoveries on this expedition not the least being the discovery of fossil remains of the Diprotodon. He had heard the legend of the bones from the Diesi tribe and followed the lead with amazing success. The Diprotodon was a giant marsupial [the biggest found so far] somewhat like a wombat but the size of a hippopotamus.

    To put Gregory in perspective … before Australia he conducted explorations in East Africa and was the first to seriously attempt to climb Mount Kenya. A part of the Great Rift Valley is named after him . He also went to Spitzbergen with Martin Conway and was part of the planning team for the Antarctic Discovery team resigning over an issue with Scott. Quite a man and quite a life.

    The end came on expedition to South America to explore and study volcanoes in the Andes. His canoe overturned in the Urubamba River and he was drowned

    John Gregory active explorer and geologist out and about in the Dead Heart.


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  • Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    This is the third edition nicely updated with aerial images and some extra anchorages. A really super book about the tropical coast of Queensland and the Ocean and Islands. The kind of book that is probably difficult to continue to produce spoilt by the accessibility of the internet. But nowhere is so much useful and interesting information presented in an orderly and balanced fashion.

    Published by Horwitz in 1976, large octavo, 336 pages with a multitude of maps, sketches, the aforesaid photographic images etc.

    After a useful introduction we have a description of the reefs , the islands past present and notes on conservation. Then a handy chapter on catching and cooking your own food .. and the number of poisonous creatures encountered. Safety in the waster … not just sharks but the stingers even the small ones that can kill. Then into the detail of the approaches and anchorages and what a good anchorage looks like …

    A special book on Queensland and only dated where it is interesting …


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  • The Exploration of Australia – Albert Calvert – First Edition 1895

    A pretty good copy of the first edition of Calvert’s book much admired and coveted in any collection on the subject. A compendium volume was issued a year later due to the success of this work.

    Published by George Philip, London in 1895. Small quarto, 26cm by 21 cm, quarter bound cream buckram (simulated vellum) over deep blue buckram with gild titles and line decoration. Aged to spine as usual, corners rubbed. Pretty good internally the large folding map repaired close tear. Internally a little browned due to the spongy nature of the paper, really quite clean throughout; viii, 26 pages. Frontispiece of Dampier, 16 plates. A solid book 1.4kgs.

    The super map is 87cm by 72cm with the routes of the likes of Sturt, Mitchel, great, Winnecke etc marked

    Albert Calvert carried out his own explorations often influenced by gold exploration and mainly in western Australia. He was a prolific writer about Australia partly to fund his exploratory activities. He had previously published ‘The Discovery of Australia” concerning the early maritime activities of the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, British etc. In the Preface to this work he describes his pain in working with the early accounts, in terms of their completeness, reliability etc. In this work he is more at ease in that he has the first hand accounts of the various explorers .. on land he mapped out each day of their activities … hence the huge map included.

    Exploration covered include in the maritime, Dampier; the Dutch; Cook; Flinders; Phillip; Baudin, Bougainville … in the interior, Wentworth; Sturt; Mitchell; Macquarie; George Grey; Eyre etc

    Calvert’s collectable account on the exploration of Australia with valuable map.


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  • My Fourth Tour in Western Australia – Albert F Calvert – Illustrated Walker Hodgson – First Edition 1897 – A Presentation Copy and Interesting Provenence

    My Fourth Tour in Western Australia – Albert F Calvert – Illustrated Walker Hodgson – First Edition 1897 – A Presentation Copy and Interesting Provenence

    A first edition of Calvert’s most impressive book published in 1897. A presentation copy from publisher William Heinemann, London to Herbert Ingram … compliments slip bound in at title page.

    The illustrator Walker Hodgson completed the tour and is described by Calvert in his Preface as “the Lion of the Party”.

    The copy was later purchased by Victor Deuters and gifted to his son David. Deuters was a close acquaintance of the illustrator, Walker Hodgson. The book contains a copy letter from Hodgson to Victor … for the purposes of the gift to his son. Hodgson’s in true “artistic hand” runs to four sides, mentions david as a little boy, many reminiscences and then a lengthy section on this Calvert book … where it can be found; contents; his involvement in illustrations and also contributing the last two chapters; its good reception at the time etc. Hodgson refers to himself as “the Old Scarecrow” obviously feeling his age and signing of with a scarecrow decoration at signature. The letter is dated 1940 and he concludes “We can hear the sounds of War from here, quite clearly!”

    Large quarto, xxvi, 359 pages, catalogue. Tissue guarded frontispiece portrait of Calvert, ten plates – some double page, 400 in text illustrations. Coloured folding map of Western Australia showing the Gold Fields, minor tape repair at map hinge. Half bound dark blue over lighter blue cloth covered boards, gilt title front and spine. A really nice clean and bright copy.

    In the 1890’s Calvert became and authority on Australia and published important books about its early discovery and exploration. His works on western Australia are unique and based on his own experiences. He first cam to Australia in 1890 in the company of his grandfather and perhaps his father, both of whom were involved in mining. Their first trip under the umbrella of the General Exploration Company was largely unsuccessful. Further trips ensued with greater success … this the fourth trip the most expansive and best recorded. The illustrations, particularly of mining towns and activity are special.

    Sir Herbert Ingram was the 2nd Baronet Ingram. His grandfather founded the Illustrated London News which his father later managed. The lithographed bookplate carries an image by Alphonse Mucha maybe the most sought after illustrator of the period.

    Calvert’s superior book on Western Australia and Mining with a special enchanting provenance.


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  • The Great South Land – Searching for the Antipodes from Classical Scholars to Quiros & Dampier.

    The Great South Land – Searching for the Antipodes from Classical Scholars to Quiros & Dampier.

    Published by Hordern House in 2011 another scholarly catalogue of key works presented in a depth and standard unlikely to be surpassed.

    Hardback quarto, in dust jacket, unpaginated but circa 180 pages with 127 rare items. A fine copy.

    After a useful introduction we start with “Ideas of a southern continent” … Classical Geographers with works by Strabo, Mela, Macrobious, Ptolemaeus … the Renaissance and later. Leading to Marco-Polo, Mandeville and the “travellers and story tellers”. Dutch exploration and the VOC … Duyfken, Tasman, Pelsaert. Before the Spanish and Portuguese … Varthema, Quiros, Mendana. The “English Adventurers make Landfall” .. Drake, Woodes Rogers, William Dampier. Hakluyt wraps it all up. All up 104 voyagers, travellers or distinguished authors.

    The period up to Dampier explained by reference to key works


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  • Australein und der Hinterindische Archipel c 1825

    Australein und der Hinterindische Archipel c 1825

    A unsophisticated but scarce early 19thC map of Australia, Asia, and the Pacific east to the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii].

    26cm by 20cm in the printed area. Good condition. Engraved by D Huber of whom little is known … often confused with the earlier engraver of that name. The cartographer is a mystery to be completely solved. Huber worked with Carl Stein, but we would say this map is too early for Stein. It is similar in style by Franz Biller although again this is earlier in cartographic detail, so could be a work from which Biller’s map is a derivative. None of Stein, Huber or Biller appear in the Australian Map Authority by Tooley nor in his definitive list of Map Makers. Likely Austrian c 1825.

    Likely original partial colouring or at least sympathetic. Australia (here Neu Holland) complete but coastline out of “true” in many instances. Tasmania shown as van Diemens Ins and the North and South Islands of New Zealand carry their Maori names. The cartography of New Guinea is starkly incorrect not to be properly charted for some time to come.

    Price unframed.

    Unusual early map requiring some further study.


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