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Australian Coastal Exploration and Maritime

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  • Sent Forth a Dove [Discovery of the Duyfken]  – James Henderson

    Sent Forth a Dove [Discovery of the Duyfken] – James Henderson

    In 1606 the Dutch India Company ship the Duyfken came upon the Cape York Peninsula. The author reconstructs the fascinating adventure of this little ship and tells of the building of the replica.

    The Duyfken appeared at the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival in 2023.We hope it returns in 2025. Voyager photograph of the vessel in the River Derwent shown here.

    A softcover, large octavo, 218 pages, heavily and nicely illustrated. Published by the University of Western Australia in 1999. A super copy.

    The Duyfken started it all as a Dove would


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  • Terre Napoleon – Australia Through French Eyes 1800-1804 – Susan Hunt and Paul Carter.

    Terre Napoleon – Australia Through French Eyes 1800-1804 – Susan Hunt and Paul Carter.

    This is the upmarket hardcover version of this beautiful book published by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales in association with Hordern House – hence the quality.

    Introduction by subject super expert Jacqueline Bonnemains of the Le Harve Museum where much of the great artwork from the early French expeditions resides.

    Largish quarto, 148 pages, illustrated throughout from the Baudin voyage, many in illuminating colour. A very good if not fine copy in a fine dust jacket.

    Baudin presented and described so well ..


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  • New Light on the Discovery of Australia  as revealed by  the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar

    New Light on the Discovery of Australia as revealed by the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar

    We had mislaid this book – but now it’s found.

    Published in London by Henry Stevens, Son and Stiles, 1930. First edition, 262 pages, full page map, 2 fold out maps, 2 pages facsimile copy of pages of Prado’s Relacion, 2 large Prado fold out maps in pocket at rear.

    A sequel to Clement Markham’s work on Quiros and compiled from historical records since found.

    The opening paragraph sets the scene “ the recovery of the long-lost manuscript Relacion of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar, who accompanied Pedro Fernandez de Quiros on his famous voyage of exploration in the South Seas in 1605-6, is undoubtedly the most important “find” of virgin historical material made in modern times. It furnished us for the first time with a detailed account of the discovery of Torres Strait and Northmost Australia, made during the continuation of the voyage to Manila by Prado and Torres after the parting of the ships at Espiritu Santo, whence Quiros returned to America””

    Maps include Cornelius de Jode’s Speculum Orbis Terrae of 1593, folding map of Wytfliet’s Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum 1597 Facsimiles of Four Prado Maps (in one) and a Sketch Map of the Voyage of Prado and Torres deduced from dates, latitudes etc.

    Fundamental re discovery of Australia … good maps


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  • Three 19thC Prepared Microscope Slides of Australian Diatomaceae by J.D. Moller

    Three 19thC Prepared Microscope Slides of Australian Diatomaceae by J.D. Moller

    Three fascinating early microscope slides by preparer Johann Diedrich Moller (1844-1907). The most talented and famous preparer of diatom slides of all time.

    Three slides carrying a relatively early version of his distinctive slide labels.

    His makers label announcing – Gold Medal St Petersburg & Altona 1869 J.D. Moller Wedel in Holstein [Germany].

    The slide subjects being Diatomaceae and further labelled.

    Fossils – South Australia
    Fossils – South Yarra
    Aqua Marina – Carpentaria Gulf Australia.

    Fine examples of historical significance, likely harvested during one of the scientific and surveying voyages of the second half of the 19thC.

    Price $190.00 the group – if you would like an individual one they will be $80.00 each. Send us a message through our enquiry page.

    Postage costs likely to be reduced on final billing.

    A trifecta of rather unique 19thC slides top maker and Australian subjects.


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  • The [Sir] Rex Nan Kivell Collection – Paradise Possessed

    The [Sir] Rex Nan Kivell Collection – Paradise Possessed

    Some of us will have bought collectable Australiana with Rex Nan Kivell’s bookplate and wondered who was the man with the rather odd name.

    And he was odd. Born in New Zealand in the late 1800’s as Reginald Nankivell he went off to Europe to WWI. After that he reinvented himself as Rex de Charembac Nan Kivell and developed a career as an upmarket London art dealer. He began collecting almost everything he could find concerning post settlement Australia and New Zealand. Paintings, photographs, manuscripts, key published accounts, objects of interest, government reports etc … Very oddly he never ever came to the Antipodes. His collection came to the attention of the Australian Government at the highest levels. Senior curators labelled it the most important collection yet formed in private hands and, more so, never to be surpassed in terms of its decorative and scholarly qualities. It was bought – it cost a knighthood.

    Softcover, square form, perfect bound published by the National Library of Australia. Profusely illustrated in colour over 78 pages. Scholarly narrative shared among a number of relevant experts. Both super and surprising.

    Rex Nan Kivell – Cannot be repeated.


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  • Matthew Flinders Private Journal (1803-1814)

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal (1803-1814)

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal from 17 December 1803 at Isle of France to 10 July 1814 at London

    Published by the Friends of the State Library of South Australia, a first edition 2005.

    Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony J. Brown and Gillian Dooley. Foreword by Witgar Hitchcock. Preface by Paul Brunton.

    Large octavo, xxxiv, 566 pages, coloured frontispiece & 12 colour plates, 26 black and white illustrations, folding map (London, showing Flinders’ residences etc) & another in rear pocket (Flinders’ General Chart of Australia, or Terra Australia). Bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt stamped on spine, blind decorations on boards. One of 850 copies. A substantial book in very good if not fine condition.

    After useful introductions we start with the last few days on the Cumberland and Flinders’ plans and expectation on arrival at Mauritius. Unfortunately, the Captain-General Decaen, was suspicious as to the motives of Flinders having arrived in such a “small” ship and carrying papers for the “Investigator”. Consequently, his incarceration began the next morning when he was taken to the Café Marengo which first appeared to be a jail but turned out to be a tavern. Three and a half months later he was transferred to the Maison Despaux and then finally on 25th August 1805 to Plaines Wilhems where he would stay until 19th March 1910 before being released. His journal continues through his journey back to England and the final period during which he was preparing and revising his monumental work for publication.

    Eight appendices are of further interest … Flinders’ Passport from the French Government; A record of his Interrogation; the Captain-General’s Report; Flinders’ letter regarding Thomy Pitot; Avis do Conseil d’Etat; Flinders’ Parole; Question relative to the Isle de France by Vice Admiral Bertie and Flinders’ Last illness and the final five months to July 1814 by Stephen Milazzo.

    Flinders’ own words and what a story they make


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