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Maritime

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  • The Wreck of the Amsterdam – Peter Marsden – First Edition 1974

    The Wreck of the Amsterdam – Peter Marsden – First Edition 1974

    The Dutch East Indiaman set out on her maiden voyage in 1748 loaded with cargo and silve7r, with three hundred people on board.

    A storm in the English Channel forced the captain to beach her near Hastings after a near mutiny.

    She’s still there and at the occasional low tide remnants can be seen from the shore. Peter Marsden was the Field archaeologist at the London Guildhall Museum and he was called in when a party of workmen with access to a digger tried their luck and found something rather special.

    First edition published by Hutchinson, London in 1974. Octavo, 288 pages, heavily and well illustrated. A very good copy.

    The Wreck of the Amsterdam; a long time afterwards fresh discoveries are made.

    $30.00

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  • They Reigned Supreme [Steam Ships in Tasmania] – Thomas W. Fox

    They Reigned Supreme [Steam Ships in Tasmania] – Thomas W. Fox

    Self published second printing, scarce as hen’s teeth.

    Red card wrappers, 50 pages plus advertisements, including one for Purdon & Featherstone Shipyard! Illustrated with a few images of steam boats.

    Excellent account of the steam ships that used to ply the Derwent, Tamar and coastal routes in Tasmania. From the very beginning to the very end.

    Lengthy list of vessels in alphabetic order with details regarding their construction, when and where they were put to use and by whom. Often ending in a mishap.

    After the boats comes a chapter on the famous O’May family who for three generations were at the heart of the Derwent ferry services. Then a brief section on boat builder and a most interesting account of River Steamer racing.

    Super primary reference for anyone interested in the now gone steamer activity in Tasmania.

    $50.00

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  • Bruny Island and Adventure Bay  – John McLean – 1950′s

    Bruny Island and Adventure Bay – John McLean – 1950′s

    Extremely scarce historical booklet concerning Bruny Island. Self-published likely with the help of the Tasmanian Government circa 1950.

    18.5cm by 12cm, 783 pages. Attractive decorative soft cover (a fold line down the front). Tow full page maps of Bruny Island and Adventure Bay … both with references.

    Potted histories including Tasman; Dufresne; Furneaux and Cook; Bligh; Cox; D’Éntrecastaux; Hayes; Baudin and Bass … and Captain Kelly. Other content includes … Adventure Bay Historical Sites; Bruny Island Aborigines; Triganini and “Bruny Island Nomenclature”

    A scarce little history from a devoted local with some little treasure that only a local and an enthusiast could properly articulate.

    $60.00

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  • Unpublished Work – “The Dream and the Reality” – Single Handed Transatlantic Yacht Race 1968 – Brian Cooke.

    A unique item, the typescript account of Brian Cooke relating to his participation in the 1968 Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (STAR) east to west from Plymouth to Newport Rhode Island.

    182 pages of foolscap, corrected in manuscript. Having read through it all … it is an exceptional account ready for the press … we are not sure why he did not follow through with the publication.

    Cooke was very much an amateur before this event and he states clearly in his Preface that the book has been written “to indicate the way in which the dream of crossing the Ocean became a reality to me … what is involved for the ordinary person … to know first hand that it is quite a feasible proposition and a very worthwhile challenge …”.

    We like the way the book proper starts … “It was 1949, when I was walking down St James’s Street, London one lunchtime. I looked in a Bookshop window. One of the books on display was by Allcard describing the Atlantic voyage he had made. It was the dust cover that took my eye. On it was a photograph of Allcard, at sea, sailing his yacht single-handed, looking up at his sails, which conveyed to me a most vivid picture of satisfaction and achievement”

    The first sixty eight pages are taken up with establishing and preparing for the dream. First the yacht that had been commissioned to be built by an acquaintance with the wherewithal connected to his work at the Westminster Bank. The first trials, the personal training, the qualifying voyages etc all very interesting. At page sixty nine we have the race start proper. What follows is a very detailed account of the events of the race, nothing tedious in our view. Cooke came in sixth, out of 48, many had to turn back. Those ahead were either trimarans or larger boats, on any handicap system he may have won.

    The appendices are good for perspective and emphasise his comments in the Preface that preparation is key. We have the “sailing instructions” from the Royal Western, Plymouth. The list of yachts by nation, rig, length, hull, and rating where available. Daily records of sailing achievements and sail changes. Provisions of all sorts … we are amused to see Mars Bars, Steak and kidney puddings, HP sauce etc.

    Yachting treasure unpublished major single-handed yacht race

    $380.00

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  • Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    This is the third edition nicely updated with aerial images and some extra anchorages. A really super book about the tropical coast of Queensland and the Ocean and Islands. The kind of book that is probably difficult to continue to produce spoilt by the accessibility of the internet. But nowhere is so much useful and interesting information presented in an orderly and balanced fashion.

    Published by Horwitz in 1976, large octavo, 336 pages with a multitude of maps, sketches, the aforesaid photographic images etc.

    After a useful introduction we have a description of the reefs , the islands past present and notes on conservation. Then a handy chapter on catching and cooking your own food .. and the number of poisonous creatures encountered. Safety in the waster … not just sharks but the stingers even the small ones that can kill. Then into the detail of the approaches and anchorages and what a good anchorage looks like …

    A special book on Queensland and only dated where it is interesting …

    $30.00

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  • Medal Commemorating Admiral Vernon’s Capture of Porto Bello [Panama] – 1739 [Struck 1740]

    Medal Commemorating Admiral Vernon’s Capture of Porto Bello [Panama] – 1739 [Struck 1740]

    Half length figure of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), full face with baton in the left hand, right hand on hip, curved tree to left, fort with steeple to right. Inscribed above “A VIEW OF FORT CHAGRE”, below a sailing ship. No line enclosing legend “VICE AD: RL. OF THE BLEW, & COM : ER. IN. CHIEF. OF ALL HIS MAI: SHIPS IN THE WEST INDIES”. Exergue: “THE. HON: EDWARD VERNON. ESQ”.

    Reverse a view of the Port; six ships, placed tow and four, the later in a curved line. Four small vessels inside. No line enclosing legend “PORTO BELLO. TAKEN. BY ADMIRAL VERNON. WITH SIX MEN OF WAR ONLY. NOV.22. ANNO DOM. 1739”

    Design attributed to one of the greatest medal makers of the 18th Century, Pinchbeck but unsigned as usual. 40mm diameter some wear, as can be seen, priced to condition and, an opportunity to obtain this scarce type.

    For those impressed but also confused by the elaborate art work and extensive description … there is a whole world out there of collectors of Admiral Vernon medals, and the detailed description matters to identify the precise medal, there were quite a few types. He was pretty much admired for his success at capturing Porto Bello on 2nd December 1739 and he possibly became the most medal(ised) person in history.

    The event was an early conflict in what became known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear. In 1738 Captain Robert Jenkins appeared before the House of Commons with his amputated ear which had been severed by the Spanish in the West Indies. This added to other stories of bad behaviour by the Spanish led to war. Veron, then Vice Admiral was in charge of the Jamaica Station. Vernon preferred small well armed fleets and his attack with only six vessels was seemed foolhardy by others .. he succeeded and had a mountain named after him and the most fashionable street in London was named after the battle.

    Vernon takes Porto Bello and get one back for Jenkins’ Ear …

    $160.00

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