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Curiosities

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  • Mount Morgan Gold Mine – Queensland – Newton & Co – Original Magic Lantern Slide – c1910

    Mount Morgan Gold Mine – Queensland – Newton & Co – Original Magic Lantern Slide – c1910

    Very good condition magic lantern slide from Newton & Co Fleet described in cursive writing.

    We date the slide to around 1910. New & Co were at 43 Museum Street London. They were the world’s longest established suppliers of scientific instruments being formed by Sir Isaac Newton’s cousin J. Newton in 1704. At the time of this slide the proprietors were still from the Newton family. The British Museum have Newton & Co out of business at Museum Street in 1913, but other references have it continuing

    A classic view of this famous mine which magnifies to present incredible detail. Standard British size in fine condition. A scarce slide.

    Gold was discovered in 1870 by William Mackinley. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find anyone to confirm that it was gold. After some “carry on” a chap called Gordan had a crack at it … he needed the financial muscle of the Morgan brothers who in the end diddled Gordan out of the find on a technicality. See our ephemera piece on the true story behind it all.

    Rare Queensland Gold Mining Lantern Slide

    $120.00

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  • Russian Arctic Islands – Mallet – 1719

    Russian Arctic Islands – Mallet – 1719

    An unusual hand coloured original copper engraved miniature map – Isle des Etat ou Staten Island (Ostrov Mestnyy) and Isle Maurice (Dolgy Island). From Beschreibung des Ganzen Welt Kreises … the German translation of Mallet’s great work on the Universe published by Johann Adam Jung in Frankfurt 1719.

    Ostrov Msetnyy is in the Kara Sea south of Novaya Zemlya – Dolgy is to the west in the Barents Sea. The topography of the islands is contrasting Ostrov rather rugged and hilly whilst Dolgy is flat and pitted with lagoons. Sailing vessels very discretely engraved into the plate.

    Paper size 20cm by 17cm; map area 15cm by 10cm. Good condition on wove paper. Unusually wide leading margin consistent with this printing.

    Allain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV and became a Sergeant Major and an Inspector of Fortifications a role which afforded him the resources required to produce this treasure.

    Early unique map of little known Arctic islands

    $80.00

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  • Original Photograph Island of Ansoes – Dutch East Indies [West Papua) – 1939

    Original Photograph Island of Ansoes – Dutch East Indies [West Papua) – 1939

    A quality image 24cm by 18cm of the village on the Island of Ansoes [now called Palua Ansus], a small island south of Japen Island in the north of West Papua.

    Photographer unknown but taken for the Publisher’s Photo Service [A Photo Library], New York. Dated August 21st 1939 on the rear with various ownership stamps and a caption, which reads …

    “Dutch E. indies – Island of New Guinea … This entire village of Ansoes is built on piles which furnish protection both from disastrous floods and reptiles and preying animals from the dense surrounding jungles. Needless to say all visiting is done by native canoes.” i.e. the usual melodrama regarding the perceived primitive at the time of Tarzan the Ape Man.

    We love the little guys put at the front of the scene playing local flute like instruments

    Still a very isolated location … population at the last estimate was around 7,000 so we guess very little has changed.

    Super image – very good clarity – photographic contrast.

    $30.00

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  • Two Letters of Norman Lindsay – Richard Pennigton Private Press – Signed Number 5 of a Limitation of 75 Copies

    Two Letters of Norman Lindsay – Richard Pennigton Private Press – Signed Number 5 of a Limitation of 75 Copies

    Extended title … Two Letters from Norman Lindsay to Francis and Betty Crossle here printed for Members of the Christopher Brennan Society.

    Privately printed signed and numbered by Richard Pennington, limited to only 75 copies this number 5.

    The letters, in the possession of Richard Pennington printed for the first time – he received the permission of Janet Glad, Norman Lindsay’s daughter.

    Octavo, 24 pages, limitations page, bound in decorative string bound wrappers. Printed in Stephenson Blake’s Perpetua type on Barcham Green hand-made “Tovil’ paper by Richard Pennington at Presse de l’Abricotier Abatuu Blanzac France in September 1980.

    Richard Pennington was born at Rugby, England but spent a large part of his adult working life in Australia. He was Librarian at the University of Queensland for eighteen years from 1946. He retired to France where he purchased a hand printing set-up and operated first in Normandy then later in Blanzac. Ten years before this work he was involved in the printing of a special memoir on the Australian poet Christopher Brennan. Lindsay did a portrait sketch of Brennan for the memoir .. so you can begin to understand the connection.

    Pennington provides a lovely six page introduction. Pennington knew the recipients, who had introduced him to Brennan’s poetry. He describes the recipients interest in the arts and their rather metaphysical view of life and the world … something they had in common with Lindsay. Good content regarding their conversations about Lindsay and how Pennington came to receive the letters from Betty.

    The letters are most interesting a particularly that to Francis which runs to over 1,200 words. Lindsay clearly respects Francis as a Doctor and close friend .. as a consequence the content is extremely personal .. allowing one to understand this genius of man better. Lindsay struggles with over-reaching in his work and finds that whenever he tries to control this “problem” he usually turns to some other form of “work’. In the evenings he listens to classical music but that does not help as it stimulates his mind into thinking of many new elements of work yet to be done. Many rather complex metaphysical views are shared which seem to stem from deeper anxieties. He references Newman’s book .. the best revelation of the critical mind that I have come across, but read it with considerable disgust also. Critic Newman’s book on criticism was published in 1925 .. so dates the letter better than Pennington’s suggestion of the year before [Pennington references the wrong book].

    The letter to Betty is less wordy … just over 500 words … but perhaps more intimate. Lindsay obviously does not like Rousseau .. one of the most evil minds that ever appeared on earth in the disguise of a Good man. Lindsay adores Beethoven, Turner and Byron. He is close to finishing his novel Madame Life’s Lovers … which he will send shortly.

    Special Very Limited Private Press Lindsay Item – with an interesting series of connections

    $180.00

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  • Men of the Jungle [Daintree Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess

    Men of the Jungle [Daintree Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess

    Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, a 1955 edition in very good condition. Octavo, end paper maps, illustrated from period photographs.

    One reviewer stated ‘This must be one of the most delightful books on Australia that has ever been written” … high praise indeed … and worthy.

    Idriess and his mates, for three years, in the back of Cooktown and the Daintree River … the aboriginals, the characters … special and more interesting than any fiction.

    Ion Idriess in the Far North among his mates

    $70.00

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  • First History of The Australian Club Melbourne – Reprinted in its Centenary Year, 1978. – Adrian Akhurst

    First History of The Australian Club Melbourne – Reprinted in its Centenary Year, 1978. – Adrian Akhurst

    The original history penned by distinguished member Adrian Akhurst was produced in 1943 and covered the period from formation in 1878 to 1932. Subsequently, F.F. Knight produced the “extension” from 1932 to 1965. At the Centenary it was decided to reprint the first work which was scarce and few existing members had a copy … here it is. The particular interest in this early period is the building of the magnificent premises from which the esteemed Club continues to operate.

    Octavo, 67 pages, bound nicely in blue cloth covered boards, gilt titles front and spine. Illustrated with plans, photographs and facsimiles programs of early events. A really nice clean robust copy.

    Australia’s poshest Club the history of its early years.

    $25.00

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