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Exploration

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  • The Albert N’yanza, Great Basin of the Nile, and Explorations of the Nile Sources – New Single Volume Edition – Sir Samuel W. Baker – 1876

    Published by MacMillan, London in 1876 a new single volume edition. Octavo, 499 pages, plus publishers catalogue. With a general map of the Country and Nile Basin, numerous illustrations some full page. Original green cloth covered binding with embossed design in black to front, gilt titles and design to spine. A few knocks but looking pretty good. Internally some patches of foxing, original chocolate end paper, still a good copy.

    Samuel Baker was another one of those remarkable Victorian era individuals. This account represents one of the most important written on the Nile River. Speke and Grant had already proclaimed the Southern shore of Lake Victoria as the source of the White Nile. Baker accompanied by his second wife had commenced his own expedition whilst Speke was still active in the area. They met, and Speke gave Baker a rough map designed from reports by natives showing a possible large lake to the east. Baker explored in that direction and after finding and naming the magnificent Murchison Falls came across the western bank of a new massive lake which he named Lake Albert. He discovered that Lake Victoria emptied into Lake Albert before progressing north as the White Nile. Consequently, other inflows into Lake Albert were in themselves “sources” of the Nile. After a long period in the interior Baxter made his way north and eventually reached Khartoum in May 1865. On return to England this book was published in a two volume form with extra map etc. His writing style is well regarded as being very readable and his adventures reflect quite extraordinary circumstances and a quite extraordinary individual.

    Baker’s earlier years are worth understanding. He was brought up in a relatively wealthy family, including private tuition and finishing in Germany. His first job was a civil engineer in Eastern Europe working on rail and bridges. He married young and his bride went to the Seychelles to manage the family plantation. After a couple of years, they went to Ceylon and started what was to be a successful mountain retreat. His wife had seven children and died at 32 from typhoid. By this time Baker had become a renowned hunter and already published books on the subject. On return to the England he organised a hunt in eastern Europe for the Maharajah Duleep Singh. Out of interest he took the Maharajah to the Vidin slave market. There, he fell in love with a girl destined for the harem and bought here freedom. They were to marry (but much later on return form Africa) and she went by the name Florence Baker. She accompanied Baker everywhere and she features throughout these volumes on the source of the Nile. Baker was given the Gold Medal of the RGS for his achievements and similar honours overseas. He was knighted, although Victoria refused to meet him due to the circumstances of his marriage and possibly because of an age discrepancy as Florence may have been rather young when they got together. Baker went on to big things politically becoming the first Englishman to sit in high office in Egypt.

    The single volume edition of an important African journey.

    $120.00

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  • The First Crossing of Spitsbergen – Martin Conway – First Edition 1897

    And a rather exhausting full title …The First Crossing of Spitsbergen Being an account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of Several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, Down Hinloopen Strait, Nearly to Wiched Land, and Into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and an almost Complete Circumnavigation of the Main Island.

    First edition published by Dent, London in 1897. Quarto, 372 pages, 8 coloured plates, 2 folding maps and 99 black and white illustrations. Original brown bevelled boards with tan spine, gilt lettering and decoration. Spine darkened somewhat as usual from sunlight. Occasional light spotting, plates and maps clean. A good to better copy.

    Martin Conway spent the summers of 1896 and 1897 exploring Spitsbergen. During the first year Conway led a party of five overland from Advent Bay to Bell Sound and on to Sassen Bay and Agardh Bay before returning. Altogether there were thirteen mountain ascents, such is the territory. During their endeavours they complied generous geologic and natural history collections.

    Sir Martin Conway (1856-1937) was a critic, politician, cartographer, mountaineer and more. He studied Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first significant expedition was to Spitsbergen in 1896 (the subject of this book) and then an expedition to the Bolivian Andes. He was President of the Alpine Club 1902-04 and knighted for his cartographic work on the Karkoram region of the Himalaya. Later in life he was made First Baron Conway of Allington. Quiet a chap!

    Spitsbergen means “Pointed Mountains” from the Dutch. Now under the jurisdiction of Norway. The archipelago has been named Svalbard since 1925 with Spitsbergen reserved for the largest island, which is the 36th largest island in the World. Spitsbergen is the only island in the group with permanent habitation although even now there are barely 3,000 people.

    Conway across Spitsbergen – first time recorded

    $390.00

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  • Edward Wilson of the Antarctic  – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Edward Wilson of the Antarctic – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Published by John Murray, London in 1963. Soft cover issue. Excellent condition. Octavo, 228 pages. Illustrated and with maps.

    Edward Wilson (known as “Uncle Bill”) was one of the four men who reached the South Pole in January 1912 together with Captain Scott and later perished in their tent after failing to return to their base.

    This is a magnificent book; we rarely have paperback, but this one is such good condition we couldn’t resist. Folding map courtesy Apsley Cherry- Garrard and his “Worst Journey”

    Great book about a Great Man

    $20.00

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  • Bibliography of Antarctic Exploration Expedition Accounts from 1768 to 1960 – Conrad

    Bibliography of Antarctic Exploration Expedition Accounts from 1768 to 1960 – Conrad

    A first edition of Conrad’s superior bibliography. We say superior in that each expedition has its own section which contain a brief expedition account (very good); expedition responsibilities; expedition accomplishments; bibliographic information and reviews the bibliographic entries.

    Makes good use of Spence, Renard, Scott Polar Collection etc. Effectively self-published, Washington, USA 1999.

    Octavo, 424 pages a substantial book in fine condition. One of 975 available copies (set out in WordPerfect for those that remember it!)

    Larry Conrad was in the Antarctic from 1982 to 1985 flying helicopters transporting scientists, explorer and “distinguished visitors” in an area about 150 miles of Ross Island. This would includes Scott’s huts at Hut Point and Cape Evans and Shackleton’s hut on Cape Royds. His interest continued afterwards and this important reference was a result.

    Conrad .. thorough and with expedition accounts.

    SO SORRY SOLD

    $140.00

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  • Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition –  Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition – Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Contemporary prepared microscope slides of samples taken on the Challenger Expedition are highly sought after. This one is of particular interest as few can be found prepared by John Browning.

    The Challenger Expedition 1873-1876 was the perhaps the world’s greatest marine focused scientific expedition. Organised by the world’s greatest club. The Royal Society, a total of 126 thousand kms were travelled. She carried 190km of Indian hemp for making soundings and taking samples, had beautiful fitted laboratories and the finest instruments of the day; and no doubt microscopes made by John Browning a leading maker of microscopes and spectroscopes of the highest standard.

    The slide is very clearly labelled with the preparers name and address at 63 The Strand. The date the sample was taken on the Challenger, 21st March 1876. The depth of sample taken, 1,990 fathoms and the location Latitude 21.15 South Longitude 14.2 West.

    On the 21st March 1876 the Challenger had been at sea three years and was on her way home to England. The location is almost the same longitude as Voyager’s favourite island Tristan d’Acunha and a few degrees north.

    Campbell’s “Log Letters from the Challenger” recorded the passage of the vessel. In literally the final paragraph we have our location.

    “On the 6th February 1876 the Challenger left the Falklands for Monte Video; thence she proceeded towards Tristan d’Acunha. [Here they found the water very cold at depth, finding a stratum of water 400 fathoms in thickness below freezing.] From the neighbourhood of Tristan d’Acunha the ship sailed to Ascension, finding shallow soundings, and the bottom temperature 35.9F having left Ascension she touched at Porto Praya, St Vincent, and Vigo, and arrived at Spithead on the 24th May 1878. And so ended the cruise of the Challenger”

    In our images we show a chart showing the track of the vessel (taken from Campbell’s Log-Letters – see our copy) and the nature of various sample taken [Yellow] is Globigerina Ooze. The location of this sample is almost equidistant between Tristan and Ascension [just south west of St Helena}. You will see that it is marked Station 21 and the depth of 1,990 noted.

    Globigerina refers to planktonic foraminifera with calcareous shells.

    See our Research Section for a note on the achievements of John Browning. We have his spectroscopes for sale elsewhere on this site.

    Original Challenger Expedition prepared slide, of good Globigerina sample, from known location and date of sample – rare distinguished preparer.

    $290.00

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  • Log-Letters from the Challenger –  Campbell -1877

    Log-Letters from the Challenger – Campbell -1877

    Lord George Campbell’s informative log regarding the greatest Oceanographic survey ever made – the voyage of HMS Challenger.

    The interest in the voyage so great at the time the book soon went to many editions. This is a super copy of the fifth published by MacMillan, London in 1877.

    Octavo, 52 pages plus publishers’ catalogue. Important folding map bound in as frontispiece outlining the course of the voyage with colour coding for various ocean floor encounters. Nice condition in original green cloth covered binding.

    The log has been criticised by some for being rather unscientific whilst we find it very readable and informative. Written without the initial view of being published. The chapters have a logical progression … England to the Cape (Good Hope); The Cape to Australia; Melbourne to Cape York; Cape York to China; China to Japan; Japan to Valparaiso; Valparaiso to Monte Video. An excellent accompaniment to the log written by Spry of which also we have a copy.

    The Challenger Expedition Day by Day

    SO SORRY SOLD

    $120.00

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