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  • [Tasmania] Living Stones – Three Volumes Complete – Emberg(s)

    [Tasmania] Living Stones – Three Volumes Complete – Emberg(s)

    Described as “a friendly guide to some Tasmanian graveyards”. So a strange little set of books that may interest those with that sort of curiosity. There is also a helpful assessment of Tasmanian graveyards with points allocated for various criteria – such as possessing a large gum or pine tree or have an obvious tragedy enshrined in stone or … a nice place for a picnic.

    Three card covered volumes over circa 340 pages total, illustrated, strangely informative and mildly therapeutic.

    Graveyards rated and gravestones described


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  • Antarctic Curiosity – Regarding Scott’s Last Letter to Sir Joseph James Kinsey, Christchurch 24th March 1912. [Letter and photographs dated 1923]

    Antarctic Curiosity – Regarding Scott’s Last Letter to Sir Joseph James Kinsey, Christchurch 24th March 1912. [Letter and photographs dated 1923]

    There is a sequence of letters Robert Falcon Scott wrote in his diary before they died in terrible circumstances on their way back from the South Pole.

    Our ephemeral item has special interest in a year were his earlier letter, an original, (16th March 1922) to Sir Edgar Speyer has just this month achieved a world record for such an item of over four hundred thousand pounds at Bonham’s in London.

    We do not have the original letter otherwise we would now be in the Bahamas.

    We have a handwritten letter from an unknown party based at The Hotel Mansion, Bayswater Road, Darlinghurst, Sydney on 28th March 1923. It is addressed to Mrs Craven of South Devon England on the very distressed envelope.

    The letter says … “this as a photograph of the late Captain Scott’s last letter. The two words in the margin “now mine” [Actually Now I] were added the day before he died. I have held the original of this letter in my hand – it is one of Sir Joseph Kinsey’s cherished possessions. I was greatly impressed by all I heard about Scott and would like to talk about it some day”.

    And, enclosed are the two photographs that cover the letter that was torn from Scott’s journal for delivery .

    Scott’s letter reads

    To J.J. Kinsey – Christchurch – March 14th 1912

    My dear Kinsey – I’m afraid we are pretty well done (now I). Four days of blizzard just as we were getting to the last depot my thoughts have been with you often. You have been a brick. You will pull the expedition through. I am sure.

    My thoughts are for my wife and boy. Will you do what you can for them if the country won’t.

    I want the boy to have a good chance in the world, but you know the circumstances well enough.

    If I knew the wife and boy were in safe keeping I should have little regret in leaving the world, for I feel that the country need not be ashamed of us – our journey has been the biggest on record, and nothing but the most exceptional hard luck at the end would have caused us to fail to return. We have been to the S. pole as we set out. God bless you and dear Mrs Kinsey. It is good to remember you and your kindness.

    Your friend
    R. Scott

    Scott’s Last Letter to Kinsey – An early original reference from 1923


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  • The Book of Kells and The Art of Illumination

    The Book of Kells and The Art of Illumination

    In the year 2000 Ireland’s greatest treasure the illuminated medieval manuscript the Gospel of St mark from the Book of Kells visited the National Gallery of Australia. We cannot imagine the insurance costs for this item beyond the wealth of any man.

    Written painstakingly by Irish Monks and lost for many years before found “under a sod”.

    Large format, perfect bound soft cover, 80 pages, heavily illustrated as you would expect.

    The Book of Kells impossible not to stir some emotion.


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  • Godwin’s Emigrants’s Guide to Van Diemen’s Land [Tasmania]

    Godwin’s Emigrants’s Guide to Van Diemen’s Land [Tasmania]

    A high quality facsimile of the exceedingly rare 1823 original. This published by the Tasmanian Government in 1990. A limited numbered edition of 500 copies this number 382.

    Octavo, 90 pages, plus appendices. Large folding map and folding frontispiece view oof early Hobart.

    Contains every bit of information that could be of assistance to anyone desiring to settle in Van Diemen’s Land. Interestingly, it also enclosed a blank application form for FREE GRANTS OF LAND … can you imagine the interest.

    Bound nicely in half leather over suede covered boards, gilt title front and spine. A fine copy.

    Godwin’s guide represents an important historical record


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  • The Marine Chronometers of the Baudin Expedition to Australia – 1800-1840 – Hilary King

    The Marine Chronometers of the Baudin Expedition to Australia – 1800-1840 – Hilary King

    A very professional offprint from the journal of Antiquarian Horology, 1977.

    Softcover, largish format, 508-521, illustrations from charts, a view and a of course the chronometers which look so advanced for the time. Postage may be reduced on this item for domestic customers.

    Of course like all of the scientific voyages of the time the use of these valuable accurate chronometers in order to calculate true longitude was as important as the creation of the internet in our time.

    Here we have a special digested account of the voyage, the expedition timekeepers, their accounts, records and performance.

    Baudin Expedition the use of the Chronometers.


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  • Thomas Bock’s Portraits of the Tasmanian Aborigines – N.J.B. Plomley

    Thomas Bock’s Portraits of the Tasmanian Aborigines – N.J.B. Plomley

    A scarce works by the hard working uneven tempered Plomley. For years the provenance of various Bock portraits of the last full blood Tasmanian aborigines was a mystery. There is collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford and a few at the Royal Anthropological Society in the England as well as the private Fuller collection an two original at the Tasmanian Museum Hobart. Copies at the British Museum by Thomas’s son Alfred who also had a good hand but not quite as pater, similarly a raft of images at the Tasmanian Museum by Alfred and at the British Museum by J. Grey after T Bock.

    Published by the Queen Victoria Museum Launceston and edited by their Direct Frank Ellis. Larger format card cover, 25 pages, 10 pages plates of the portraits. Super condition.

    The care that Plomley made to unravel all of this is impressive. It involves collections made to the Franklin’s and the handwriting of Lady Franklin comes into play. And also a collection for G.A. Robinson who both befriended and rounded up the last of the race.

    All up this is a most interesting and thorough piece of art investigation. If done today for sure there would be a television three part series all about it. Maybe someone should still do that!?

    Thomas Bock’s Historic Paintings and the Mystery that Surrounds Them


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