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  • North British Australasian Company Limited – Delay on Wool Clip creates liquidity issues – 1892

    North British Australasian Company Limited – Delay on Wool Clip creates liquidity issues – 1892

    Original manuscript letter from the Company Secretary of the North British Australasian Company Limited from their headquarters at 10 Moorgate Street, London E.C. dated 5th July 1892.

    Addressed to Cochran Macpherson who were likely the lawyers of 152 Union Street, Aberdeen who were no doubt attending to their wily Scottish clients interests.

    I legible hand but for ease of reading … “Dear Sirs, I am in receipt of your letter of the 1st inst and in reply beg to say that the delay in the payment of the Guaranteed interest is owing to the non-arrival of the greater part of the Wool Clip. We have however received a Cablegram saying that same is being pushed forward and expected to arrive here in September. On the completion of the sales whatever amount remains after meeting out-goings in the Colony will be appropriated for interest on the Guaranteed Stock. A payment on account would have been made ere this had it been possible to have sold a large quantity of surplus Live Stock on the Stations at the present time but prices are so extremely low that we are prohibited from doing so .. ”

    The North British Australasian Company were formed in the early 1840’s and by the time of this letter had extensive interests in Australia.

    What at first hand may be a routine business letter … reflects the difficulties facing the Australian agricultural sector to this day … overstocking when prices are low, delays caused by unforeseen reasons and shareholders expecting guarantees when they cannot be fulfilled.

    10 Moorgate is a beautiful building now occupied by ING Group.

    Liquidity Issued Politely Explained
    NB – Postage will be reduced on final billing


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  • Cook the Discoverer – George Forster – Fine Edition

    Cook the Discoverer – George Forster – Fine Edition

    Small quarto, number six in the prestigious Maritime series published by Hordern House in 2007. Limited to 1050 copies, 276 pages, bound in quarter tan kangaroo with speckled papered sides. Fine condition as new.

    The book includes a facsimile of the original book published in the German language with a new English translation to follow. Copious notes and a good bibliography the whole supported by an excellent introduction by Nigel Erskine, Curator of Explorations at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

    It was eight years after the death of Cook that Forster completed his essay on the great man Cook der Entdecker (Discoverer). Partly written as an introduction to Forster’s own translation of Cook’s Third Voyage. Foster had participated in Cook’s second Voyage along with his father who had taken over as naturalist with Joseph Banks dropping out. Forster displays a true understanding of the character of Cook and that alone makes his viewpoint worthy of this sumptuous presentation.

    Forster required reading for all Cook followers


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  • Shores of Macquarie Island – Isobel Bennett – 1971

    Shores of Macquarie Island – Isobel Bennett – 1971

    A first edition of this interesting book on Antarctic Macquarie Island and its nature.

    Published by Rigby, Adelaide in 1971. Octavo, 69 pages plus useful bibliography and index. Nicely illustrated from photographs taken by the author. Very good. Another copy we like this book.

    Isobel Bennett was born in Brisbane and took an interest in Marine Biology at an early age. In her era one of the first females to be accepted into the Australian Antarctic program and onto Macquarie Island.

    A good “history of the island” is followed by a very readable sections on the role of the scientists, and the inhabitants and visitors to the island.

    A very good introduction and background to this lonely outpost.


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  • Gold – The Romance of its Discovery in Australia – Barrett – 1944

    Gold – The Romance of its Discovery in Australia – Barrett – 1944

    An unusual and scarce piece of “Gold” ephemera by Charles Barrett who was editor of The Swagman’s Notebook.

    Published by United Press, Melbourne in 1944. Softcover, ninety-six pages, small format, decorative covers, illustrated with images from Gill the 19thC goldfields artist. The odd bit of age but still a good worthwhile copy.

    A potpourri of bits about the history of gold … the odd relevant poem, and chapters on Early Discoveries [including slightly strangely California]; Hargraves Story; Discovery at Ballarat; Gold Mania in Melbourne; The Bendigo Diggings; Lucky Diggers; Canvastown on the Yarra; the Turon Diggings; Gold Brokers; the Great Escort robbery; Chinese in the Diggings; Famous Nuggets; etc etc

    Postage in Australia will be reduced a tad on final billing.

    Gold and the Mania it brought a nice readable summary by Barrett


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  • Australian Shipwrecks – Volume 2 (1851-1871) – Jack Loney

    Australian Shipwrecks – Volume 2 (1851-1871) – Jack Loney

    A first edition published by Reed, Sydney in 1980. Small quarto, 239 pages all in very good condition with a very good to better dust jacket. A few illustrations from period engravings and early photographs.

    Jack Loney’s excellent work on shipwrecks representing part of the Australian Shipwrecks series started by Bateson.

    An essential edition for those interested in wrecks. Follows the usual format with notes on sources followed by a chronology and notes on ships and their wrecking. Index of ships at the end.

    Essential Australian Wreck Book


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  • Victoria’s Forgotten Goldfield – Christie and  Gray – Signed by Christie – First Edition 1981

    Victoria’s Forgotten Goldfield – Christie and Gray – Signed by Christie – First Edition 1981

    … A History of the Dargo, Crooked River Goldfield.

    Super little book and a very details and oft curious story of the goldfield at Dargo, in Eastern Victoria.

    Softcover, small format, 136 pages, with illustration, tables of information etc a nice production. Signed on the title by Christie, very good condition albeit the back cover is marked at edges, but with no comprise internally which is bright and clean.

    After discovery in 1865, gold recovery peaked in 1868 at 7,652 ounces and soon fell away. Despite this brief moment of glory as with other gold fields it spurred an enormous amount of interest and development in the area. We are off tomorrow to look at a spot not too far away.

    Well honed history of one of the lesser known and more curious gold finds in Australia


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