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Natural History

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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Contains an important historical paper by Clive Lord on the planting of the Dutch Flag in Tasmania.

    Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy … Ingleton Catalogue stamp no 14258 on rear cover.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers, 196 pages with 11 plates and 22 figures within the text.

    Contents further include inter alia … Isostatic Background of Tasmanian Physiography; the Constitutional Separation of Tasmania from New South Wales 1825; Oil Shales of Tasmania; Tasmanian Spiders; Tasmanian Cetacea; New and Little Known Tasmanian Lepidoptera; Notes on the Tasmanian Race (Crowther) etc etc. As well as the formalities … Annual Report etc.

    The Dutch plant their flag and Crowther on the Tasmanian Aborigines

    $60.00

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  • First Annual Report of the Acclimatisation Society of Southern Queensland – 1897 – Robert Logan Jack’s Copy

    First Annual Report of the Acclimatisation Society of Southern Queensland – 1897 – Robert Logan Jack’s Copy

    Fragile yet very scarce original report published at Warwick, Queensland in 1897. Printed at the Argus in Palmerin Street, Warwick.

    The principal object of the Society was to introduce fish (trout), birds (pheasant, partridge, quail) for the purposes of promoting gentlemanly country pursuits.

    Famed geologist, explorer, and author Robert Logan Jack’s copy with his signature clear top right front cover despite edge chipping,

    The report covers the year ending 31st July 1897 and includes a Balance Sheet with Appendices. The Office Bearers are listed on the front cover … the President being His Excellency Lord Lamington.

    13 pages starting with a nice plan of the Society’s facilities during establishment at Killarney. The narrative report includes Finance; Work of the Society; Fish; Birds all dealt with by the Chairman Arthur Morgan. Then a “Report of the Manager” W.G. Morris regarding his achievements to date … which include the building of a “substantial 4-roomed Veranda Cottage, in which I reside”. A list of Rainbow and Brown trout distributed to several rivers is provided. Those of an accounting bent will notice that the Balance Sheet takes the form of a Statement of Receipts and Expenditure and appears to be in the red … well that’s start ups for you.

    A curious rather unique Queensland item – Logan Jack’s Copy.

    $90.00

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  • Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Vol VI December 1918 – Scarce and Controversial

    Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Vol VI December 1918 – Scarce and Controversial

    This edition had been delayed by the consequences of WWI and as such contained material intended to be published in 1917. It contains a remarkable body of work but is controversial for the content it includes regarding aboriginal people. It is a fine line … we continue to sell it in the hope it contains between the lines some useful anthropological information that deserves to be preserved … we suspect it does.

    Largish size, 25cm by 19cm, light card covers, 174 pages, with 32 full page plates not included in the pagination. The main body in very good condition, the covers have seen better days and are now re-enforced at the spine and susceptible to edge chipping.

    Contents include … Notes on Certain Human Crania in the Queensland Museum; Queensland Ethnological Notes; On Message Sticks employed among Queensland Aborigines (A super article); Notes on Some Queensland and Papuan reptiles; Edible Fishes in Queensland (Special Plates); Bees Collected in Queensland etc.

    The plates include four of Crania in the Museum, a troublesome plate … suckling young dingo; many good ones on message sticks and twenty odd full-page plates of fish all finely engraved.

    Despite its challenges, extremely scarce and, one for the scholar and collector to decide.

    $190.00

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  • The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication 2 Volumes – Charles Darwin. 1888

    The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication 2 Volumes – Charles Darwin. 1888

    Charles Darwin conceived this book in the early 1850’s. It was to be his ‘Big Book”. However, in June 1858 he received a paper from Borneo by Alfred Russell Wallace relating to Natural selection … the race was on to publish so Darwin took the elements drawn up from his work on the Big Book relating to his views on natural selection and had Origin published to great success in November 1859. This book was published first in 1868 and in the intervening years Darwin published other elements on Descent of Man etc. Regardless of the pilfering for his other works this work still remained his largest work and he later described the difficulty he had in finishing it … a true 4 year and 2 months of labour went into it over the years.

    Second Edition Revised published by Murray, London in 1888, two volumes 473 pages and 495 pages after preliminaries. Illustrated throughout from wood engravings. Original “Murray” green cloth covered bindings, blind embossed front and back, gilt titles etc to spine. An attractive set bar some light foxing and flecking to page edges.

    This work contains the first reference to “pangenesis” in which Darwin proposes that cells contain hereditary material which he referred to as “gemmules” which could be modified by an organism’s environment and passed on to the next generation. Debunked for good by Mendel’s theories … the similarity with DNA is dismissed by all and sundry, but we quite like the idea.

    You may be curious about the focus on domestic creatures and plants … but Darwin was concerned about “Variation” and had been since the Galapagos Islands – there are again references here to the Beagle Voyage. He could see that whilst man had a hand in selecting changes in domesticated breeds … it was the environment that was making the changes not the man. “It is an error to speak of man “tampering with nature” and causing variability. If a man drops a piece of iron into sulphuric acid, it cannot be said strictly that he makes the sulphate of iron, he only allows their elective affinities to come into play. If organic beings had not possessed an inherent tendency to vary, man could have done nothing”. Simple but we like it.

    Incidentally, the principles behind pangenesis had been referred to as early as Hippocrates. Count Buffon had a crack at it as did Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus Darwin in his book “Zoomania” published in 1801.

    Darwin’s Big Book – what was left of it – Variation behind or in front of Evolution.

    $740.00

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  • Global Warning – A Pop-Up Book of Our Endangered Planet – Sandy Ransford

    Global Warning – A Pop-Up Book of Our Endangered Planet – Sandy Ransford

    A super high standard educational pop-up book from 1992 … threats to the Earth from ozone depletion, global warming, rain forest destruction.

    Conceived and designed by Graham Brown and Ruth Mawdsley, who did the “Paper Engineering” … written by Sandy Ransford. From the Five Miles Press, Balwyn, Australia.

    60cms by 22mc, illustrated boards, ten pages with some super pop-ups, pull outs and an inspiring narrative which has none of its meaning in a current sense.

    Serious fun for a budding environmentalist …. a warning on the warming

    $50.00

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  • Victorian Microscope Slide – Horse Ant … Whole Insect Specimen – Mounted and dated 1880.

    Victorian Microscope Slide – Horse Ant … Whole Insect Specimen – Mounted and dated 1880.

    Nice condition, quality mount of a whole insect specimen of the Horse Ant, also known as the Red Wood and Southern Wood Ant. Classified by Linnaeus in 1761. Earlier, in 1648 the English Chemist John Ray distilled thousands of these ants to discover formic acid.

    Mounted in gum arabic, with minimal oxidation a super example dated 1880.

    Horse Ant in all its glory over 140 years old.

    $40.00

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