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  • Travel and Travellers of the Middle Ages – Edited by Arthur Percival Newton

    Travel and Travellers of the Middle Ages – Edited by Arthur Percival Newton

    A later edition, 1949, of an excellent book, contributed to and edited by Arthur Newton when he was Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at London University.

    Octavo, 223 pages, nicely illustrated. Blue cloth covered boards with bright gilt design to front, gilt title to spine. Clean and a very good copy.

    Starts with …. The Conception of the World in the Middle Ages, then the Decay of Geographical Knowledge and the Decline of Exploration AD 300-500; Christian Pilgrimages AD 500-800; the Viking Era; Arab Travellers and Merchants AD 1000-1500; Trade and Communication in Eastern Europe AD 800-1200; The Opening of the Land Routes to Cathay; Prester John and the Empire of Ethiopia and the Search for the Sea Route to India.

    Super content on a number of subjects not well covered elsewhere


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  • The Journal of George Blaxland (Across the Blue Mountains) 1813 – Centenary Issue 1913

    The Journal of George Blaxland (Across the Blue Mountains) 1813 – Centenary Issue 1913

    Full title … “A Journal of a Tour of Discovery across the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, in the Year 1813, by George Blaxland, with References and Explanatory Notes, Maps etc by Frank Walker – president Australian Historical Society.

    Octavo, original red cloth binding, 56 pages with the new illustrations to support the journal. Map of the Route Across the Mountains. Missing the front blank endpaper, someone has pasted maps inside rear board as reference. A little loose as usual, still a good to better copy.

    The first crossing of the Blue Mountains by Europeans, an expedition led by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth in 1813. All three wrote accounts, only Blaxland’s was published in 1823, in England. Early editions near impossible to come by.

    Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson in the Blue Mountains …


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  • A History of Bass Strait “Dire Strait” – Bateson

    A History of Bass Strait “Dire Strait” – Bateson

    Charles Bateson brought this book together from his wealth of Maritime knowledge for BHP. And their money was well spent … a very good easily read historical account

    First edition 1973, small folio, 112 pages, heavily and appropriately illustrated. A very good copy.

    Starts with the “Finding”; the Sealers; Chart makers; James Kelly; Tragedies; the Aboriginals; Sails and Steam; Modern Times and the exploitation of resources.

    Good all round history of the Bass Strait.


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  • Explorers’ Maps – Chapters in the Cartographic Record of Geographical Discovery – R.A. Skelton – Perry’s Copy

    Explorers’ Maps – Chapters in the Cartographic Record of Geographical Discovery – R.A. Skelton – Perry’s Copy

    Another special book by the former head map man at the British Museum, as well as Hon Sec of the Hakluyt Society.

    Small quarto, first edition, published by Routledge, London in 1958. Perry’s copy with his signature on the front end paper. 337 pages with numerous illustrations of relevant charts and maps. Coloured frontispiece of HMS Racehorse stuck in the ice off Spitzbergen. A very good copy. Heavy book might require a postage supplement if Overseas.

    Selection and breadth of knowledge sets Skelton’s book apart.

    The Way East and Marco Polo starts the serious stuff. Then Portuguese Sea-ways to the Indies. The Way West … and where will it get you Cathay or the New World?. The North-East and North-West Passages. European rivalry for the Spice Islands … the Spanish in the South Seas; and the Dutch and that special quest for the land down-under. Cook and the mapping of the Pacific. The rivers of Africa and the Poles … wonderful.

    Explorers and the maps they created … some special Australian content and the rest. Expert Perry’s copy.


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  • George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Medal – 1968

    George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Medal – 1968

    George Bass, Surgeon and Explorer carried out two voyages to confirm the Bass Strait and the separation of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) from mainland Australia – known affectionately in Tasmania as “The Other Island”.

    First, in 1797 he set off in an open whaleboat with a crew of six. They sailed to Cape Howe at the farthest point of South-east Australia and, from there sailed west along the Gippsland coast to Western Point, at the entrance to Port Phillip. Observations of the rapid tide and long south-western swell supported his view that a large Strait lay in front of him.

    In 1798 he set out again, with Matthew Flinders in the sloop Norfolk and circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land. They visited the Derwent River which had previously been named by Captain John Hayes. On return to Sydney, Flinders promoted the naming of the Strait after Bass … the then Governor, John Hunter agreed.

    Bass’s later life was adventurous and possibly … likely … tragic, making the date of his death noted on the medal questionable.

    The medal was struck in 1968. It was produced by K.G. Luke & Sons, Melbourne for the Numismatic Association of Victoria. 160 examples were produced in this bronze form and a similar number in silver. 50mm in diameter, 48gms weight, with a high relief bust of Bass facing right, carrying his spyglass. On the reverse a delightful image of the whaleboat, the sloop Norfolk and the chart and route of the vessels, appropriately dated. Comes with its original blue case, with red velvet plush setting, gilt description top of lid, pop button release.

    Unusual medal to celebrate the achievements of George Bass


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  • Topographical Maps – P.D.A. Harvey

    Topographical Maps – P.D.A. Harvey

    Full title … “The History of Topographical Maps – Symbols, Pictures and Surveys.

    Small quarto, a first edition published by Thames and Hudson, London in 1908. 199 Pages with 116 illustrations some in colour.

    The author Professor of Medieval History at Durham University and had previously been Assistant Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum.

    A super intriguing book which focuses on some rather are and obscure examples which makes stand out from more general book on cartography. Classical imagery in maps, bird’s-eye views, the Medieval approach .. with interesting images from Europe, the Far East and India. Surveys from the earliest scale-maps into 16th Century Europe … we love it.

    The dust jacket front image is from an 18th century atlas of the Kiangsi Province, China.

    Beautiful book with special high level content. A cartographers delight.


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