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  • Etah and Beyond or Life Within Twelve Degrees of the Pole – MacMillan – First UK Edition 1928.

    Etah and Beyond or Life Within Twelve Degrees of the Pole – MacMillan – First UK Edition 1928.

    One of America’s greatest Arctic explorers, Donald Baxter MacMillan (1874-1970). He was there with Peary but had to turn back at 85 North because of “frozen feet”. Over his life he made thirty odd expeditions into the Arctic, the last when he was 82 years old!

    This perhaps one of his most successful expeditions in 1923-24 in the Bowdoin which he had specially built for Arctic work. Setting off from Wiscasset, Maine they sailed up the Labrador coast to the Davis Inlet from there north-east reaching Greenland at Godthaad and then the hard voyage almost due north up the Greenland west coast past northerly Melville Bay, Whale Sound and into the Inglefield Gulf to Etah in the Smith Sound adjacent to Ellesmereland. Much about the Eskimo, the finding of the 1,000-year-old Viking ruins, and meeting the most northerly living human beings on earth. A scientific voyage with a magnetic laboratory established and much about the bird life and other natural history.

    A book quite popular in North America but very rare to find a first UK edition published by Chapman and Hall, London in 1928. Octavo, 287 pages, after preliminaries and before map of the vicinity of Etah. Red cloth covered binding blind impressed design to front gilt titles to spine. Illustrated throughout from excellent photographs taken by the author, appropriate maps, diagrams etc. A very good clean copy.

    This book contains an extra special appendix … “The Speech of the Smith Sound Eskimos”. First discovered by John Ross in 1818 the Smith Sound Eskimos have occupied the coast between Cape York and Etah for over a thousand years … knowledge of the Viking arrivals is embedded in their folklore. This extensive vocabulary by MacMillan is not only fundamental reference material … it confirms through analysis the connection between this group and other Eskimo as far south as Labrador.

    MacMillan in the Arctic all the way up to Etah and the people and their language.



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  • Manila Galleon [Anson’s Voyage] – F van Wyck mason – First Edition 1961.

    Manila Galleon [Anson’s Voyage] – F van Wyck mason – First Edition 1961.

    An unusual one from the Anson’s Voyage Cannon … the novelisation of the dramatic events by American author Francis van Wyck Mason.

    First UK edition published by Hutchinson, London in 1961. Octavo, 490 pages plus appendices and explanatory forward. Dust jacket a bit tattered cloth covered boards a bit flecked. Nice and clean inside, end paper charts etc. A pretty good copy of an interesting read.

    The story of Anson’s voyage to put it about the Spanish in the Pacific and steal their gold [lots of it] from the “Manila Galleon” is a remarkable one. Several books from the period, mid 18th century, and many afterwards. Our author was languishing in a London hospital bed in 1946 when he read the interesting contemporary account of Pascoe Thomas … like many he was hooked on the broader story from then … it took a while to read the other volumes, assimilate the basis of his historical story and finalise this weighty fact based novel. We love it.

    The Manila Galleon – Anson’s Prize


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  • Hornblower and the Hotspur – C.S. Forester – First Edition 1962

    Hornblower and the Hotspur – C.S. Forester – First Edition 1962

    First edition published by Michael Joseph, London in 1962. Octavo, 266 pages, blue cloth covered boards, very good dust jacket, top page edges quite aged.

    The tenth volume in the Hornblower series and we make it third in chronological order. The last finished Hornblower novel “Crisis” being incomplete at Forester’s death.

    Set in 1803 with war with France imminent Hornblower is promoted to Commander and given the Sloop HMS Hotspur. Sent off to enforce the blockade at Brest … does his usual super job not without difficulty and danger. Corwallis considers him for promotion to Post-Captain … a position achieved when he executes his plan to deliver false documents to the French … it all had a bearing on “Trafalgar”.

    Hornblower’s career develops with bravery and cunning


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  • Sailing Directions – Territory of Papua – Leonard Murray – 1930

    Sailing Directions – Territory of Papua – Leonard Murray – 1930

    A second and final edition of this scarce maritime advisory printed and published in Port Moresby.

    Original brown card wrappers, marked with age and use bur really quite good. 42 pages with illustrations of approaches, coastal characteristics etc.

    Contents … Part I – Port Moresby and Approaches; Part II – Port Moresby Eastward inside the Barrier Reef, to Samarai and China Strait; Part III – The North-East Coast, and Notes on the Trobriands, Woodlark Island, the Conflicts, Misma, Sudest, and Rossel Islands, and the main routes thereto; Part IV From Port Moresby Westward, inside the Barrier Reef, Hall Sound and the Gulf of Papua.

    The bound in “Addendum” … Reported new islands, provides a bit of amusement.

    The author Leonard Murray was the nephew of the great Sir Hubert Murray, Governor of Papua New Guinea … he succeeded Hubert on his death in 1940. The war and other matters made life very difficult for him and he was replaced before the war was out. He had previously held a number of public administrative roles in Papua New Guinea some of which involved maritime expeditions … hence the “Sailing Directions”. He was a great swimmer and almost represented Australia in the Olympics.

    Sailing Directions around Papua specifics from one who knew …


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  • Tek Sing Shipwreck Treasure –  Sunk 1822

    Tek Sing Shipwreck Treasure – Sunk 1822

    Qing Dynasty floral plate recovered by Mike Hatcher from the Tek Sing shipwreck.

    Lovely condition. One of the larger bowls, 15cm in diameter, 3cm deep with well executed decorative border and elaborate inner floral display. Floral features and line decoration bellow. Original Nagel auction reference sticker still attached.

    The Tek Sing Shipwreck – Background

    The Tek Sing (Chinese for “Bright Star”’) was a large Chinese Junk which sank in 1822 in the South China Sea at the Belvidere Shoals. She was 50 meters long, 10 metres wide and weighed a thousand tons. Manned by a crew of 200. The great loss of life has led to the Tek Sing being referred to as the “Titanic of the East”.

    Sailing from the port of Amoy (now Xiamen), the Tek Sing was bound for Jakarta, with a cargo of porcelain goods and 1,600 Chinese immigrants. After a month of sailing, Captain Lo Tauko took a shortcut through the Gaspar Straits and ran aground on a reef and sank in 100 feet of water.

    The next morning and English East Indiaman captained by James Pearl sailing from Indonesia to Borneo passed through the Gaspar Straits. He found debris from the sunken Chinese vessel and survivors. They managed to rescue 190 people.

    In 1999, marine salvor Mike Hatcher discovered the wreck. His crew raised what has been described as the largest cache of Chinese porcelain ever recovered. It was auctioned by Nagle in Stuttgart, Germany the following year


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  • Sei Whale (Balaena Borealis) – Lesson – 1838

    Sei Whale (Balaena Borealis) – Lesson – 1838

    Original hand coloured copper engraving of the giant Sei Whale produced for Rene Primevere Lesson (1794-1849) for his extension of the great natural history work originally produced by Count Buffon. They were published in Paris in 1838. Lesson participated as doctor and naturalist in the Duperry voyage round the world on board La Coquille (1822-1825).

    The Sei is the world third largest whale behind the Blue and Fin Whales. It eats a tonne of food per hour and is very quick reaching 50km per hour in shorter bursts. Lives all over the world although tends to avoid very hot and very cold waters.

    Price $160.00 unframed or $260.00 framed in Voyager Natural History style in cream mat with black core in gilt frame … superb ready to hang

    Iconic early whale image of the large and fast Sei


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