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New South Wales

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  • Reminiscences of an Australian Pioneer – Robert Barton [Uncle of Bajo Patterson]- 1917

    Barton’s reminiscences – a “squatter of the olden days”. Born in 1842 in the central West belonging to the first generation to follow the original land-takers in the west.

    Barton, was an uncle to Banjo Patterson and spent his life in New south Wales and Queensland.

    By 1840 the squattocracy was firmly ‘landed’ and well-to-do. Barton looks back positively to the convict origins of his family’s assigned men. As a young man in his twenties the bushrangers Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall bushranging gangs were part of his life. Later he is confronted by the trade union movement and striking shearers.

    First edition published by Tyrrells, Sydney in 1917. Octavo, vii, 288 pages with portrait of author. Original purple cloth binding, spine faded as usual. Pages slightly tones and some age to ends, ownership details on front ends and a helpful annotation in the Preface. Scarce and worthwhile copy.

    One on the best Australian Pioneering stories


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  • The Diamond (Stone of Destiny) – Ion Idriess

    Idriess found this his hardest book to write yet it is another masterpiece of yarn and knowledge all revolving around the elusive diamond.

    First published in 1948 under “Stone of Destiny” this book includes re-written elements and improvements.

    Published by Angus and Robertson, a 1969 it is described as a second edition, but is really first of type.

    Large octavo, 325 pages, illustrated from original photographs, diagrams and a map. A very good, clean copy.

    For those with a basic knowledge of the discovery of gem diamonds in Australia, Argyle Pipe, etc the Author’s Note to this edition is very predictive … wish we had followed his lead.

    Diamonds for ever – A very nice copy


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  • Lord Howe Island – Jean Edgecombe.

    Lord Howe Island – Jean Edgecombe.

    A first edition softcover published in 1987. Published by Australian Environmental Publications, Mullens Street, Balmain [effectively self published].

    151 pages, heavily illustrated, including some good images in colour from relevant photographs. Large, detailed fold out map provided separately. A very good copy.

    Jean Edgecombe was indeed the best writer on Lord Howe and Norfolk Island. Starts with a good history re discovery and early settlement before excellent work on the geography and abundant natural history. Dick Smith’s foray to top Ball’s Pyramid gets an airing.

    Lord Howe another special island location


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  • Gold Escort Robbery Trails – Noel Thurgood.

    Gold Escort Robbery Trails – Noel Thurgood.

    Hard to find published by the special Kangaroo Press in 1988. The author passed away before the press.

    Octavo, 192 pages, simple map of the region of the criminal goings on re the gold escort. Interesting group of illustrations including images of the main players

    The Eugowra gold escort robbery likely the most sensational event in Australian bushranging history. In the year 1862, Frank Gardiner and his band od trusted bushrangers shot it out with the police escort and made off with a King’s ransom of gold and notes. The Forward and Prologue set the scene – the event and the capture. The main game “the trial” makes riveting reading for the colonial historian, gold buff or curious legal mind – theatre

    The Biggest gold heist and subsequent trial …


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  • King of the Australian Coast [Phillip Parker King] – Marsden Hordern

    King of the Australian Coast [Phillip Parker King] – Marsden Hordern

    Marsden Hordern’s magnificent book about “the Work of Phillip Parker King in the Mermaid and Bathurst 1817-1822”.

    A quality production by the Miegunyah Press. Published in 1998 a second limited release. Large octavo, 441 pages nicely illustrated throughout some in colour many from images drawn or painted by PPK. A heavy book. Eight folding historic maps in facsimile in pocket at rear.

    Very good condition.

    We agree with the summary of this work .. Phillip Parker King stands with Cook and Flinders in the history of exploration and charting of the Australian coastline. To a degree until this book he has not been given the credit deserved … this sumptuous book makes amends. It is the go to reference of PPK and his time in and around the Australian coastline. A must have and already highly sought after.

    Phillip Parker King in Australia in Full.


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  • Sydney Centennial Park – Unusual Period Ephemera – Design for the Main Gates – Self Measuring Pocket Book –    J Moore 1886

    Sydney Centennial Park – Unusual Period Ephemera – Design for the Main Gates – Self Measuring Pocket Book – J Moore 1886

    This little self measuring pocket book could be found at W.E. Smith, bookbinder printer etc of bridge Street Sydney in the 1880’s.

    Original owners name J Moore and dated Feb 16th 1886. Contains a number of architectural sketches and notes and financial doodles.

    Most interestingly are the notes re ”3 Gateways for Centennial Park”. We have Moore’s rough notes re dimensions – 122 ft in total with various access for Carriage and Horse, below that a lightly scribbled concept. To the right some finer work on the suggested pillar work and wrought iron embellishments.

    Overleaf a much fuller concept. All of which would have made for a fine set of gates.

    The actual gates were in fact built between the date of these sketches and the official opening of Centennial Park in January 1888 – three trees were planted in a rather [then barren plot. Sadly for Moore the gates were not to his design – but not completely dissimilar – we prefer our man.

    Some interesting little sketches and the odd house and kitchen design elsewhere but also, as with many similar items, rather a lot of blank pages.

    An interesting architectural conversation piece.

    Sydney Centennial Park Gates the Preferred Design


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