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Natural History

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  • Moana – The Vastness of the Sea – Bernard Gorsky – First English edition 1956

    Moana – The Vastness of the Sea – Bernard Gorsky – First English edition 1956

    A very nice copy of the first English edition published in 1956.

    Translated from the original French by Alec Brown an published by Elek Books, London. Interestingly, still published a year before the French equivalent.

    Octavo, 239 pages with endpaper maps and numerous illustrations taken from photographs of the voyage, many underwater. Very goo condition, tres clean inside.

    Bernard Gorsky was inspired on reading a sailing adventure. He assembled a crew of three and bought a forty-foot cutter. They set sail from Dinard and the book follows their travels to Tangiers, the Canaries and across the Atlantic to the West Indies with some beautiful sailing and diving. Through the Panama with time in the Galapagos among the turtles and further west to the Atolls of Tuamotu and Tahiti.

    The writing is special and has been compared, rather curiously, with Melville and Conrad .. well it is a delight

    Moana – a superior sailing and diving adventure


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  • Antique French Field or Students Microscope c1900

    Antique French Field or Students Microscope c1900

    A late Victorian perhaps Edwardian student’s drum microscope. In good working condition. Original wooden case. This variety would have been used by naturalist’s in the field and is likely French by manufacture.

    Spare brass objective missing tiny lens. Primary objective, shown fitted, complete and in excellent condition. Overall, good optics, retains all the original lacquer, swivel mirror in very good condition. Original brass tweezers and a sample French slide of a fossil. Mahogany fitted case in fine condition.

    Practical antique scientific instrument


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  • King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise  – Lemaire 1836

    King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise – Lemaire 1836

    The most beautiful hand coloured engraving. Executed by Pauquet for Lemaire’s supreme work “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques” published in Paris 1836.

    The plate is 23cm by 14cm rich creamy paper and in fine condition. The colours are so vivid and, enhanced with gum arabic, they surprise the eye. We think this is maybe the prettiest of the smaller Victorian bird prints

    The King Bird of Paradise and the Regent Bird of Paradise. Two striking male birds. Both frequent the lowland forests of Papua New Guinea. What a place.

    The King Bird of Paradise is often regarded as the most beautiful and during his mating ritual can ruffle his white feathers up so much that he almost looks like a white ball .. with all his finer protruding of course.

    The Regent Bird of Paradise is a cousin to the Australian Regent Bowerbird … the more extensive yellow, particularly across the top of the head is the giveaway.

    Price framed $190.00 unframed

    No birds more beautiful than the Birds of Paradise


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  • Report on the New Guinea Exploring Expedition 1885 published 1886 – H. C. Everill

    Report on the New Guinea Exploring Expedition 1885 published 1886 – H. C. Everill

    A rare item, complete 20 page extract from the Journal of the Geographical Society of Australasia 1886 with the scarce folding map of the Fly and Strickland river systems. Very good condition, sugar paper wrappers.

    Henry Charles Everill was the appointed leader of a scientific, collecting and anthropological expedition to New Guinea in 1885. The expedition used the 77 tone steamboat “Bonito” an took with them a whaleboat which they would use beyond the Bonito’s capability.

    The report is a detailed account of goings on and observations during the expedition. Initially they were to explore east of the Fly river but Everill changed the plans because of difficulties encountered traversing the Gulf. They discovered, named and explored the Strickland river which was missed by D’Albertis who had seen an opening but failed to explore further. Whilst the expedition was over in three months they collected a monumental amount of specimens particularly botanical, which would have been down to the skill and energy of botanist Bauerlin.

    Before the returned fake news had been spread that they had been ambushed and massacred by natives. Reprisal boats had already been sent before their actual return. In fact they had encountered hostile activity and were rather lucky in their endeavours.

    Everill was highly praised in Australia for his exploration effort and management. He went on to be a tobacco planter in Sumatra and died in England in 1900.

    Scarce fundamental New Guinea Exploration report and excellent unique map.


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  • An Account of the “Winter Journey” British Antarctic Expedition – Terra Nova – Wilson and Bowers (A Tale for Our Generation)

    An Account of the “Winter Journey” British Antarctic Expedition – Terra Nova – Wilson and Bowers (A Tale for Our Generation)

    The enviable Kerry Stokes collection contains key manuscripts from the Heroic Era of Antarctic exploration.

    This super publication by Stokes’s, Australian Capital Equity references two key manuscripts, Edward Wilson’s 40 page “Sledge Journey to Cape Crozier from Cape Evans June 27th 1911 to Aug 1st 1911” and, “Birdie” Bowers 16 page “Winter Journey- Dr Wilson, Apsley Cherry- Garrard & Lieutenant H.R. Bowers, Midwinter 1911”. This journey being the feature of Cherry-Garrard’s “The Worst Journey in the World”/

    Octavo, 95 pages with 8 colour plates, 5 black and white, 4 pencil sketches, 2 maps. Printed to a high standard uncut quality paper, bound in unusual three fold boards, decorated paper covering. Fine condition.

    Good recent addition to the Polar cannon, essential complement to “Worst Journey”


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  • The Story of the Rear Column of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition (Jameson’s Story of the Rear Column) – First UK Edition 1890.

    The Story of the Rear Column of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition (Jameson’s Story of the Rear Column) – First UK Edition 1890.

    First UK edition 1890 published by R.H. Porter, London. A book edited by Mrs James Jameson … as the author of the diaries, letters etc upon which this is based died during the expedition. Published partly to exonerate her husband from rather difficult accusations

    Royal octavo, 455 pages with 100 plus illustrations. Two pages of folding maps at the rear that if which joined must be close to two metres long [We have only shown a scan on one map in two scans, in the images provied]. Really nice “Woodburytype” of Jameson as frontispiece. Original green cloth covered boards, gilt title to spine, gilt device to front with some loss of gilt. Some age, generally in a good to better condition. Illustrations by Charles Whymper from sketches by Jameson

    This is one of the four important accounts concerning the Henry Morton Stanley lead mega-expedition of 1886 to 1889 to save Emin Pasha who was under siege as the Governor of Equatoria. Stanley had put together an impressive yet unusual array of officers and gentlemen to assist in the expedition. Stanley’s account is written up in his best seller “In Darkest Africa” … volumes written within a few weeks of the expedition being over whilst resting in Cairo.

    It is a long story … Stanley heavily connected to Prince Leopold of Belgium decided to approach Equatoria, in the east from the west coast, up the Congo and through some very difficult previously unexplored territory “Darkest Africa”. There were many difficulties and mainly due to the immense number of personal and feeding them etc he decided to split the venture and produce and Advance and Rear Column

    James s Jameson was of the Irish whiskey family and a man of money. He was assigned to the Rear Column under the command of Barttlot. He acted as Naturalist and Artist. The organisation within the rear column quickly was in disarray many because they were left with insufficient currency to procure men, food etc (which was ammunition). Barttlet was shot attempting to strike a woman. Jameson got involved in one of the greatest scandals of the 19thC. He was said to be obsessively intertest in cannibalism and procured a young woman paying ten silk handkerchiefs … and the purpose was for him to witness her being offered in a ritual act of cannibalism. It is suggested he made sketches of various parts of the process. A Syrian translator with the Rear Column, Assad Farran, exposed these goings on which naturally Jameson vehemently denied … the book containing letters back to his wife etc on the affair … news of which had reached London. Perhaps fortuitously, Jameson contracted a fever and died.

    Jameson – in Stanley’s Darkest Africa with the Rear Column


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