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Curiosities

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  • Victorian Telescope – 36 inch two draw – mahogany cased – c1880

    Victorian Telescope – 36 inch two draw – mahogany cased – c1880

    This beautiful two draw telescope is English by origin and made in the Victorian era c1880.

    It is in superb condition. Fully extended it is near 36 inches – closed about 16 inches. The 1.5 inch objective is clear and has good light gathering qualities – no chips. The mahogany casing is intact which is rare as they generally split with age. The eyepiece has a pull down dust cover as is usual for the period.

    The brass objective has a dust cover fitted into a substantial extendable lens shade which slides well … all in very good condition. An instrument of this quality must have come from a leading London maker and the style suggests Dollond.

    Good optics and fine mahogany banding making a handsome early telescope

    Best one we have had for a long time!

    $590.00

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  • Russian Antarctic Treaty Medal – Leningrad Mint – 1991

    Russian Antarctic Treaty Medal – Leningrad Mint – 1991

    A scarce Antarctic medal celebrating the thirty year anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.

    Cast in bronze, 65mm in diameter, 154 gm. Very strong relief and in fine condition.

    The Antarctic Treaty regulates international relations regarding Antarctica. It was signed by 54 parties and came into effect in 1961. The treaty established Antarctica as a scientific preserve with freedom of scientific investigation, banning military interest. The Secretariat is based in Buenos Aires. The Soviet Union being one of twelve countries at the time that had activities on the continent.

    The face of the medal has a penguin and young one over a high relief map of Antarctica. Images of a ship, aeroplane and snowmobile representing investigation by sea, air and land. Around the outside “Antarctic Treaty” in the four official languages English, French, Russian and Spanish.

    On the reverse a compass sign over another smaller continental image and a dominant Dove of Peace, with appropriate sentiments in Cyrillic.

    Antarctic Treaty Celebration – Scarce Russian Medal.

    $130.00

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  • The Pagan Trinity – Beatrice Irwin – First Edition 1912 – Presentation Copy to “Cheiro”

    The Pagan Trinity – Beatrice Irwin – First Edition 1912 – Presentation Copy to “Cheiro”

    An unusual book of poetry dedicated to French artist sculptor Auguste Rodin. The opening poem inspired by Rodin…” The Hand of God”

    Presentation copy inscribed boldly “To Count Louis Hamon with best regards from Beatrice Irwin Feb 15 /12” … the recipient was also known as Cheiro, a famous cheiromancer (palmist) and author of sought after works on that subject.

    A first edition published by John Lane, The Bodley Head, London in 1912. Octavo, 144 pages half vellum binding with nice marbled paper covered boards, top edge gilt. A nice copy with the super dedication.

    A volume of mystical verse reflecting the poet / actress’s interest in colour – music – poetry relationships, then very fashionable in Europe, America, and Russia through the works of Alexander Scriabin. Irwin Beatrice also know as Lady Rosslyn a spiritualist and followed of the Baha’i faith. Virginia Woolf described the style as neo-Paganism and of significance. Her theatrical career was extensive and included a season in Australia in 1907 when she played in Brewster’s Millions in Sydney and Melbourne. Her views on colour were sophisticated and well known … she influenced Australian artists in that regard including Roy de Maistre.

    The book is arranged in under the following descriptions … Plastic poems; Colour poems; Tone Poems; The Music of Japan and Songs of the Elements. We like it.

    Cheiro, or Count Hamon was born William John Warner in Ireland in 1866. He became an internationally renown clairvoyant, palmist, numerologist … anything occult. He read for so many of the famous including Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Eddison etc. To read about some of his predictions will surprise. It is no surprise however that he had a connection with the mystical Beatrice Irwin.

    Mystical poetry by the colourful Beatrice Irwin – Cheiro’s copy nicely inscribed.

    $160.00

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  • Horne and Thornthwaite Field Microscope – Triple compound objective – 1874

    Horne and Thornthwaite Field Microscope – Triple compound objective – 1874

    A Victorian field or students drum microscope by one of the most important London based makers and retailers of optical instruments in the 19th Century Horne and Thornthwaite. Carries their stamp inside the lid when they were at Holborn Viaduct which can be pinned down to 1874, having moved from Newgate the year before moving to upmarket premises in the Strand the year after.

    The business sold microscope, telescopes, cameras, chemicals and laboratory equipment from 1844 until 1911. The history of the business is fascinating but unfortunately too much to go into here. There is an excellent summary online .. we can direct any interested parties.

    The microscope on offer is in very good if not better condition. The condition of the lacquer is possibly the best we have seen. The optics are pretty good and the compounding objectives combine nicely, swivel mirror unblemished. The original mahogany box has its original clips and eyelets and shows little ageing or patina on the lid. Internally undamaged. Comes with what look like original specimen tweezers.

    Super condition field microscope – known relevant maker retailer.

    $260.00

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  • An Essay on the Ancient and Modern Use of Armories; Shewing Their Origin, Definition, and Division of them into their several Species. The Method of Composing them, and Marshalling many Coats together in one Shield. Alexander Nisbet – First Edition 1718

    Title continues … Illustrated by many Examples and Sculptures of the Armorial Ensigns of Noble Families in this and other Nations … To which is added, An Index explaining the Terms of Blazon made use of in this Essay.

    First Edition and scarce. Printed by William Adams Jnr for James MackEuen (to be sold at his shop), Edinburgh 1718.

    Small quarto, 224 pages preceded by introductions and subscribers list an followed by seven folding plates of multiple images of arms, and the aforementioned Index of Terms. Contains a detailed account of the reigns of British Royalty and the origins of their arms. Bound in original full panelled calf, light browning and signs of old worming in some margins.

    Scottish historian Alexander Nisbet’s works on heraldry are considered the best on the subject.

    Nisbet the Authority and an early First Edition of his “Essay on Heraldry”

    SORRY ON HOLD – IMAGES TO COME

    $290.00

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  • Original Platypus Engraving  – Fournier -1849

    Original Platypus Engraving – Fournier -1849

    An original hand coloured engraving of two platypus drawn by distinguished Natural History artist Travies end engraved by Fournier.

    Published in Paris as part of the Dictionnarie Universal d’Histoire Naturalle promoted by Charles Dessalines D’Orbigny a leading French naturalist of the time.

    Dimensions 24cm by 15cm in very good condition with fine stipple engraving (which brings out every hair) and natural understated colouring of the delightful platypus (plural).

    The image would appear to us to be based on the Lesueur artwork from the Baudin expedition.

    Price $140.00 unframed

    Fine and early Platypus engraving

    $140.00

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