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Natural History

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  • Silvester Diggles – Australian Birds – Pied Honey-eater, Slender-billed Spine-bill and the White eye-browed Spine-bill

    Silvester Diggles – Australian Birds – Pied Honey-eater, Slender-billed Spine-bill and the White eye-browed Spine-bill

    Rare original hand-coloured lithograph by Queensland naturalist Silvester Diggles. Published as part of his magnificent work “”The Ornithology of Australia” between 1866 and 1870 in twenty-one parts by Pugh of Brisbane, in a very limited edition. By the time part sixteen was published there were only 92 subscribers. The original plates were executed by Diggles and his niece, Rowena Birkett.

    The work measures 38cm by 27cm, good hand colouring pretty clean with just the odd surface mark. A really scarce item.

    Silvester Diggles (1817-1880) artist and musician born in Liverpool, England. He came to Australia in 1853 settling in Brisbane where he taught music and drawing. Diggles was a founder of the Brisbane Choral Society in 1859 and the Philharmonic Society in 1861 known as “the father of music in Brisbane”. Diggles was also a founder of the Queensland Philosophical Society and helped establish the Museum. His greatest work was The Ornithology of Australia. However it nearly sent him broke. His health deteriorated worry about finances being a factor. He died at Kangaroo Point in 1880.

    Price $240.00 unframed

    An opportunity to own a rare original bird print by Queenslander Silvester Diggles

    $240.00

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  • “Cowslips” – Original Multi Coloured Woodcut – by Australian born Hall Thorpe – 1922

    One for the collector. A striking example of a desirable woodcut by Australian born Hall Thorpe.

    A very good bright impression, signed in pencil below the image. Thick wove paper 27cm by 23cm, printed area 16.5cm by 15.2cm. A lovely example. Authority on Hall Thorpe, Richard King (see Voyager listing) reference no 10. This work was completed in 1922.

    Hall Thorpe (1874-1947) was born in Victoria, Australia. In the 1890’s he was apprenticed to John Fairfax as an engraver for the Sydney Mail. He was pretty good. In 1902 he moved to England and commenced further study at the Heatherly School of Art, Chelsea. He honed his skill in woodblocks holding his first one-man show in London in 1918. It was a great success and by the early 1920’s he had gained an enviable reputation for woodblock floral still life. He printed each example himself ensuring consistency and standard. Operating first from a studio in Redcliffe Square, he then moved into gallery space in South Kensington. As well as the UK they were popular in the USA and France

    Original signed Hall Thorpe Woodcut – Cowslips.

    $360.00

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  • Original Platypus Engraving  – Fournier -1849

    Original Platypus Engraving – Fournier -1849

    An original hand coloured engraving of two platypus drawn by distinguished Natural History artist Travies end engraved by Fournier.

    Published in Paris as part of the Dictionnarie Universal d’Histoire Naturalle promoted by Charles Dessalines D’Orbigny a leading French naturalist of the time.

    Dimensions 24cm by 15cm in very good condition with fine stipple engraving (which brings out every hair) and natural understated colouring of the delightful platypus (plural).

    The image would appear to us to be based on the Lesueur artwork from the Baudin expedition.

    Price $140.00 unframed

    Fine and early Platypus engraving

    $140.00

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  • Paradise Quest – A Naturalist’s Experiences in New Guinea – Lee Crandall – First Edition 1931

    Paradise Quest – A Naturalist’s Experiences in New Guinea – Lee Crandall – First Edition 1931

    First Edition published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York in 1931. Octavo, 226 pages, 52 illustrations from period photographs … some really special ones.

    Crandall was the Curator of Birds at the New York Zoological Park. This is an excellent account of his travels in Papua New Guinea. He journeys up the back of the Owen Stanley Range, meets the Mekeo and Kuni people, the latter being excellent bird catchers. Visits Deva-deva and many Birds of Paradise are seen. Mountain climbs, hidden villages and friendly cannibals (the best type) are all par for the course.

    Numerous birds identified include the Sun Bird, New Guinea Pitta, Macklot Pitta, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Lawes’ Six-plumed Bird of Paradise and the Prince Rudolph, Count Raggi’s, Long-tailed, King Birds of Paradise and, several Bower Birds and the Bonaparte Flycatcher and, many more …

    Excellent naturalist’s account – Papua and Birds

    $50.00

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  • Original Press Photograph – The Archbold Expedition at Mount Wilhelmina – 1939

    Original Press Photograph – The Archbold Expedition at Mount Wilhelmina – 1939

    An original photograph 22cm by 15cm of the Archbold Expedition camping at the tree line near the base of Mt Wilhelmina, Dutch New Guinea during their important biological exploring expedition of 1938/39 … the third and most ambitious of Archbold’s expeditions, under his leadership.

    Very good condition albeit usual press stampings and pasted narrative to rear.

    The narrative reads – “Exploring New Guinea by Air – Mount Wilhelmina, Netherlands New Guinea – The camp of the expedition carriers near the timber line in the shadow of Mount Wilhelmina (background) the second loftiest peak on the island, rising mor than three miles at the Equator. It was in this area that MR Archbold discovered a bird he said was hitherto unknown to science. It is slightly larger than the ordinary sparrow, with a bluish-black boy an a brilliant red patch to its throat. It has a delicate, flycatcher- type back and warbles melodically”

    Richard Archbold (1907-1976) was a wealthy American zoologist and philanthropist … his three expeditions to Dutch New Guinea were very successful, particularly this the third and final expedition. In it they concentrated mainly in the area from Mt Wilhelmina to the Idenburg River.

    Mt Wilhelmina, known as Puncak Trikora since 1963 is 4,750 metres high. It was first climbed in 1913 by Alphons Herderschee. At that time its peak was still covered by a substantial ice cap, as were a number of other high peaks in the area. During the early part of the 10th Century the ice gradually melted and had disappeared by c1940.

    The Archbold expeditions continued, under Australian leadership, after WWII and included territory in Papua New Guinea. We have the reports of these later expeditions in stock.

    Price $40.00
    Nice image of the Archbold camp New Guinea 1939.

    $40.00

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  • Antique Microscope Slide – Human Fleas – E Bryan c1900

    Antique Microscope Slide – Human Fleas – E Bryan c1900

    A very nice example prepared by E Bryan Optician of Manchester, England [Not in Bracegirdle]. Bryan operated at the premises in 24 Cross Street c1900. The slide carries his label and a brief subject description.

    Male and female examples of the human flea .. that is male and female fleas not fleas of male and female for the grammatically and scientifically challenged.

    The Human Flea (Pulex Irritans), an interesting Latin name, is happy on a number of hosts not just humans. It was thought to have originated on South American Guinea Pigs. The female burrows into the flesh particularly around the feet and ovulates internally.

    The first single flea image is the female and the second the male

    Antique He and She Flea

    $70.00

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