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Natural History

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  • Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania – 1887

    Printed at “The Mercury” Office Hobart in 1888. Bound in original salmon pink paper covered boards, lxvii pages ,289 pages plus 43 lithographic plates mainly of botanical items at the rear. Other folding plates and tables some of significant interest.

    Many papers demonstrating the broad range of intellect in Tasmania at that time.

    Much on fish and the introduction of salmon by Saville-Kent. New botanical discoveries … a short paper on the Comets of 1880 and 1887 with a useful chart … a surprising paper on the orbit of Alpha Centauri. Topographically Colonel Legge’s paper on the Highlands of Lake St Clair is of a high standard and the lengthy review of the Tertiary Rock of Australia by the esteemed R.M. Johnston similarly with many folding tables accompanying this article.

    Showing some age and wear to the covers, see images, and some minor soiling lower down on a few of the preliminary pages, still a very good example of a scarce and worthy journal.

    Substantial Journal with a broad range of Tasmanian interests – many engraved plates.


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  • Fangs of the Sea – Norman Caldwell – First Edition 1936

    Fangs of the Sea – Norman Caldwell – First Edition 1936

    An extremely rare first edition of Shark Hunter Norman Caldwell’s classic book.

    Written in conjunction with Norman Ellison. Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1936.

    Thick octavo, 282 pages, illustrated throughout with images from original photographs, diagrams of shark catching techniques, end paper maps. Missing the original dust jacket but rare as is in original green cloth covered binding, very slightly cocked, very clean inside a pretty good copy. Best obviously available currently.

    Caldwell could see money in catching sharks – his hunting ground was in Queensland between Repulse Bay and Gloucester Island taking in the Whitsundays.

    Obviously if you don’t have the appetite for shark hunting this is not the book for you. Caldwell also went after and caught “big Fish” other than sharks and Rays and massive Grouper Fish were within his aim.

    The book has taken on almost legendary status and sought after by those with a bit of Hemingway and Lee Marvin in them.

    Caldwell’s Fangs one for the game fisherman


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  • World Famous Books in Outline [Simply the Best] – Odhams – First Edition 1948

    World Famous Books in Outline [Simply the Best] – Odhams – First Edition 1948

    Some readers are worried they will not get through all the books they have to read … this understandably can be quite stressful.

    Regarding the great novels, a course in speed reading may help, but this produces its own form of anxiety … am I really giving the book justice etc? Publisher Odhams, London came up with this precis of the best novels in 1948 … there are other books of this type but none as good as Odhams.

    Published in 1948, octavo, 512 pages, with illustrations of some quality and uniform style which helps you along. Very good condition albeit with a solid chip in the dust jacket at spine ends.

    All up 35 books covered, so you can do the maths. Classics include … Pride and Prejudice; Lorna Doone; Jane Eyre; Don Quixote; the Brothers Karamazov; Madame Bovary; Tess; Notre Dame; Vanity Fair; War and Peace; Faust etc … And, some non-fiction … On the Origin of Species for example

    Get ahead of the game … A good way in and a tease for the full work


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  • Islands of South-West Tasmania – Gary White

    Islands of South-West Tasmania – Gary White

    A very helpful book by the thorough Gary White. Not much else is written about the islands of the South West of Tasmania and this fills the gap.

    Published by the author in 1980. Softcover, 63 pages and more content than the pages suggest. Some images from photographs .. the islands from a distance quite worthwhile.

    In case you are unfamiliar covers .. De Witt island; Maatsuyker .. where you can still put your hand up to be Lighthouse Keeper; Flat (Mutton Bird) Island; Louisa; Fiat Witch and other lesser ones as a group.

    South of Tasmania there are some cold islands but they are special.


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  • Burrunguy – Nourlangie Rock [Kakadu] – George Chaloupka

    Burrunguy – Nourlangie Rock [Kakadu] – George Chaloupka

    The striking natural features of the Burrunguy, also known as Norlangie, in the Northern Territory Kakadu National Park are World Heritage listed. The ancient rock forms are surrounded by a massive network of crevices and gorges containing a wide range of geology, flora and fauna.

    Also at Burrunguy are many quite curious and relatively recent (20th century) aboriginal rock painting depicting stories of the people and their history.

    Published by North Art in 1984. Small quarto, 40 pages intensely illustrated with images from colour photographs many of the unusual rock painting. End paper maps.

    Hidden Kakadu treasures.


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  • Antique French Field or Students Microscope – Triple compound objective

    Antique French Field or Students Microscope – Triple compound objective

    A late Victorian possibly Edwardian student’s or field drum microscope of the French variety. Comes with a “Nachet” style triple compounding objective which gives a number of magnifications when combined.

    A functioning microscope in very good barely used condition … good clean mirror. Case in very good condition.

    Nice triple objective field microscope


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