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Curiosities

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  • The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer – Complete in Original Bindings – 1782

    The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer – Complete in Original Bindings – 1782

    The very first Bell’s Edition, rare complete. Miscellaneous Pieces from Urry’s Edition of 1721; The Canterbury Tales from Tyrwhitt’s Edition of 1775. The text of each volume printed Edinburg: at The Apollo Press, by the Martins 7th September 1782; engravings John Bell British Library dated variously 1782.

    Fourteen volumes bound as seven, small 12mo, with engraved portrait and extra engraved titles to each volume. Over 3,000 pages all up. Bound in full, original mottled calf, spines with gilt bands and designs, separate red leather title labels. Boards ruled in gold, all board edges knurled in gold. A little rubbed and one tender joint, otherwise a very attractive antiquarian set.

    Volume I, 267 pages … including the “Life of the Author”. Vol II printed similarly … the Canterbury Tales … 258 pages. Vol III, 223 pages … more Tales and Prologues … Wife of Bath, Friar, Squire, Merchant etc. Vol IV, 236 pages, … Doctors and Monk’s Tale etc. Vol V, 228 pages and the Nun etc. Vol VI, 274 pages … Ploughman … the Merchant’s Second Tale etc. Vol VII, 198 pages The Romaunt of the Rose. Vol VIII, 195 pages … The Troils and Creseide, in five bokes. Vol IX, 198 pages. Vol X, 194 pages the Troils continued. Vol XI, 194 pages … the Legends … Cleopatra, Dido, Ariadne etc. Vol XII, 290 pages … the Dreams, the Cuckoo and the Nightingale. Vol XII, 177 pages … the Complaints … the Black Night, Mars and Venus, the Court of Love etc. Vol XIII, 200 pages, the House of Fame and Ballads … including “The Craft of Lovers”. Vol XIV, 244 pages see below.

    The final volume we find most useful, containing, an Account of the Works of Chaucer; Explanations of Abbreviations; Glossary and … Words and Phrases not understood.

    Rare complete originally bound set of Chaucer from the 18th Century. With assistance in the “Understanding”.

    $490.00

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  • Le Morte DArthur – The History of King Arthur and His Nobel Knights of the Round Table – Sir Thomas Malory – Illustrated with 36 coloured plates by William Russell Flint. Two Volumes Bound for Bumpas, London.

    Le Morte DArthur – The History of King Arthur and His Nobel Knights of the Round Table – Sir Thomas Malory – Illustrated with 36 coloured plates by William Russell Flint. Two Volumes Bound for Bumpas, London.

    Originally published in 1485 and first issued by the Medici Society in 1912. This is an early reprint of that issue, in two volumes, 1920 and, finely bound in full leather under the name of the legendary London bookseller Bumpas.

    Two Volumes, crown quarto, 439 and 531 pages after preliminaries in each case. Magnificent plates, 36 in total, by Russell Flint.

    The binding, full polished morocco, with raise bands and gilt lettering, and gilt fillet with inner wide dentils (a lovely touch), all page edges richly gilt. Silk ribbon markers. Some rubbing, very clean internally.

    Russell Flint’s interpretation of Malory’s work is masterful and depicts seminal moments and characters.

    Imprinted following the text of Caxton, modernised by Alfred Pollard, instructed by the Medici Society, London. Russell Flint (1880-1969) was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement and, the stylised neoclassical art of the Renaissance. He attended the Edinburgh, Royal Institute of Art. He admired Arthur Rackham … and you can that in these example. His figures are finely modelled with further influences of Burne-Jones

    Le Morte DArthur – Illustrated and bound in style … a very good set

    $390.00

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  • Antique French Field or Students Microscope c1900

    Antique French Field or Students Microscope c1900

    A late Victorian perhaps Edwardian student’s drum microscope. In good working condition. Original wooden case. This variety would have been used by naturalist’s in the field and is likely French by manufacture.

    Spare brass objective missing tiny lens. Primary objective, shown fitted, complete and in excellent condition. Overall, good optics, retains all the original lacquer, swivel mirror in very good condition. Original brass tweezers and a sample French slide of a fossil. Mahogany fitted case in fine condition.

    Practical antique scientific instrument

    $240.00

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  • Map of the World “Mappmondo” –  Zatta – 1790

    Map of the World “Mappmondo” – Zatta – 1790

    An unusual copper engraved map of the world in two hemispheres by Antonio Zatta published in Venice in 1790.

    Map dimensions … 26cm by 18cm to the plate mark, 28.5cm by 22.5cm to the edge. Fold marks as issued, page edges slightly askew.

    For the date, post Cook, the depiction of Australia is very strange. Fictitious lines connect Western Australia with the south coast of Tasmania and, from there north east and out to the Solomon Islands and back around to New Guinea. The Gulf of Carpentaria is connect to New Guinea. Australia is named N Olanda. Other curiosities include a strangely drawn Japan and an unnamed Company’s Land peeps out from the extreme north east, for those that are familiar with this curiosity.

    The map appears at first rather basic but on closer inspection one can see topographical features, major mountain ranges are depicted and a number of the worlds major river systems. Uncoloured as it should be. Showing some age but a good honest map of some scarcity and peculiarity.

    Little is known about Antonio Zatta (1757-1797). Even his year of birth and death, usually quoted as above are challenged in some sources which suggest 1722-1804 … maybe the shorter period reflects his map making activity. We can see that this map is by him as his signature appears in the engraving bottom right … we cannot help feel the plate is based on another map, of smaller scale, usually attributed to Giovanni Rizzi Zannoni, also active in Venice during the period.

    Price $320.00 unframed

    Distinctive and Scarce 18th Century World Map with Curiosity

    $320.00

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  • King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise  – Lemaire 1836

    King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise – Lemaire 1836

    The most beautiful hand coloured engraving. Executed by Pauquet for Lemaire’s supreme work “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques” published in Paris 1836.

    The plate is 23cm by 14cm rich creamy paper and in fine condition. The colours are so vivid and, enhanced with gum arabic, they surprise the eye. We think this is maybe the prettiest of the smaller Victorian bird prints

    The King Bird of Paradise and the Regent Bird of Paradise. Two striking male birds. Both frequent the lowland forests of Papua New Guinea. What a place.

    The King Bird of Paradise is often regarded as the most beautiful and during his mating ritual can ruffle his white feathers up so much that he almost looks like a white ball .. with all his finer protruding of course.

    The Regent Bird of Paradise is a cousin to the Australian Regent Bowerbird … the more extensive yellow, particularly across the top of the head is the giveaway.

    Price framed $190.00 unframed

    No birds more beautiful than the Birds of Paradise

    $190.00

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  • Rare Cased Free-Standing Gould Type Microscope – Likely Dollond of London, circa 1840.

    Rare Cased Free-Standing Gould Type Microscope – Likely Dollond of London, circa 1840.

    Most Gould style microscopes screw directly into the case on assembly. This example has its own folding stand and working rack and pinion focus.

    We can find two examples in the collection of the Royal Microscopical Society, London collection. They appear on pages 83 and 84 of the standard reference. First one c1845 by Duncan of Aberdeen, which with its mahogany box is very similar to our example excepting the foot which is a four-limb folding foot. The second example by Dollond has the three-limb folding foot and the clamp ring for holding slide firmly, the arm between the pillar and the body tube is different, regarding that ours is more like the Aberdeen example.

    Whilst the microscope is a offered as a collection item for display it still works and is usable, there are limitations.

    There are six objectives, only two, a low and medium/high power, contain operative lenses; they work well. The objectives screw into the bottom of the body tube and in turn screw into the arm. All threads are fine. The eye piece screws into the body tube, not a push fit, another sign of quality.

    All other parts assemble well with no wobble. The rack and pinion flows evenly from top to bottom. The mirror has a blemish but still provides enough light. There is a live cell in good condition. A tiny threaded brass canister contains tiny round cover slips used with the old slides, an absolute rarity.

    There are five bone slides 84mm of which only three retain any sign of contents; they are numbered. The mahogany box is a nice one, plush lined in burgundy, polished flame veneered. Original lock but missing key. Fitted cabinet work showing age with some chips and minor losses, still protects the parts well. The bottom drawer is aged with some loss near the lock in the floor but again a rarity.

    Second Quarter 19th Century Gould Style Microscope. Scarce a special collector’s item.

    $390.00

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