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  • The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. From His Lordship’s Manuscripts – 2 Folio Volumes – 1809 J.S. Clarke and J. McArthur

    The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. From His Lordship’s Manuscripts – 2 Folio Volumes – 1809 J.S. Clarke and J. McArthur

    Nelson died at Trafalgar on 21st October 1805. This is essentially the official biography of his great life. A monumental work of scale and content.

    Published by T. Cadell and W. Davis in the Strand, and W. Miller Albermarle Street in 1809.

    Two large folio volumes, 375 pages, 511 pages after preliminaries etc. Complete with 21 full page plates including 4 by Westall depicting notable events in Nelson’s naval career, each accompanied by a battle-plan by Nicholas Pocock; also a architectural plan of Mertello Tower and its gun. A two page fold-out of Nelson’s family tree etc.

    Bound in sumptuous contemporary style by Roger Perry. Full polish calf with double gilt lines to boards. Five raised bands to spines with separate gilt on black leather title and author/volume labels. Lavish gilt decoration to remaining compartments with alternating Anchor and Square Rigger devices in gilt with ornate gilt boarders; new headbands and endpapers. Best we have seen. Thick wove paper, generally clean in the text although quite some foxing around the borders of plates as usual and the first few pages.

    Complied by The Rev James Stainer Clarke FRS who was then Librarian to the Prince and Chaplain of His Royal Highness’s Household and John McArthur LLD late Secretary to Admiral Lord Viscount Hood.

    McArthur was a former naval purser who has served with Nelson. After Nelson’s death, he had already begun collecting material for a biography when he saw an advertisement announcing that Nelson’s family has already selected a gentleman of appropriate rank to carry out the task. McArthur claimed Nelson has asked him to carry out that task and that he had already spent huge amounts of money including commissioning a set of paintings from which engravings were to be made for illustrative purposes. A right squabble ensued and the Prince Regent got involved promoting his Librarian and Chaplain James Clarke to the job. To pacify the Prince it was agreed that Clarke and McArthur would work jointly on the project.

    The subscribers list a remarkable testimony to Nelson, a “who is who” of the era. William Beckford had a copy “on vellum”, Rear Admiral Hunter late Governor of New South Wales, Sir Home Popham, Admiral Keats, Admiral Cornwallis, Admiral Anson (a later one), Earl St Vincent and of course Lady Hamilton and all the best booksellers od the day

    One of the finest biographies of one the greatest of men – in a superb full leather binding


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  • Egyptian (Isis and Osiris) Trade Cards – 1920’s

    Egyptian (Isis and Osiris) Trade Cards – 1920’s

    A group of six very colourful trade cards by Liebig advertising their tasty Fray products. Printed and issued around 1920. Complete 11cm by 7 cm each in very good condition.

    Titled Isis and Osiris they have text about each image on the back in Italian making them doubly useful!

    Special Egyptian set with striking colours and imagery.


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  • Thomas Cook’s – Tours of Egypt the Nile, Sudan, Palestine and Syria -1928

    Thomas Cook’s – Tours of Egypt the Nile, Sudan, Palestine and Syria -1928

    We love this 110 page brochure advertising Thomas Cook’s tours in the style of Poirot and Death on the Nile.

    It would take us a week to explain the depth of information, photographs, maps, intricate details of each of the numerous vessels with photos of the cabins, saloons etc. End paper maps and layout of each of the vessels.

    Very good condition albeit some pencil annotations of a planned holiday – luck bastards!

    Comprehensive view of Egypt and Palestine in the 1920’s


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  • Australian Wood Chopping World Championship -1938

    Australian Wood Chopping World Championship -1938

    An original press photo of the 1938 World Wood Chopping Championship held at Sydney.

    The caption on the back reads … “Mighty Axemen – Brawny men of the Australian lumber lands stage the world championship tree-felling contest at the Royal Agricultural Show, Sydney. It’s tough going to chop through an Australian tree, because most of the lumber produced is hardwood” … mmmh

    A sizeable image 27cm x 20cm taken 28th August 1938

    Iconic Aussie Image away from the beach


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  • Napoleon Bonaparte by Bertrand Andrieu – 1810

    Napoleon Bonaparte by Bertrand Andrieu – 1810

    A rare bronze plaque of Napoleon Bonaparte by Bertrand Andrieu, a fair size 14cm in diameter. Signed in the lower neck.

    Bertrand Andrieu (1761-1822) was born at Bordeaux and became France’s foremost medalist. He was apprenticed to Andre Lavau and attended the Academie de Peinture et de Sculpture in Bordeaux. In 1786 he moved to Paris and worked with Nicolas-Marie Gatteuax. His first success was a detailed medal of the Fall of the Bastille in 1789. He developed a technique of casting lead and then using a metallic finish to give the appearance of bronze. He followed this with the Arrival of Louis XVI in Paris. He lay low in the latter part of the French Revolution. When he reappeared, he had much success receiving valuable commissions including this one circa 1810 re Napoleon likely celebrating his marriage to Marie Louise Archduchess of Parma.

    Napoleon divorced Josephine who could not give him children. They both had many lovers. In 1810 he married the 19 year old Marie Louise Archduchess of Austria and great nice of Marie Antoinette. The design is of a noble Napoleon wearing a laurel wreath, a symbol of honour and victory.

    The plaque has a lovely depth to the bust of Napoleon and aside from the hole introduced for wall mounting is in very good condition.

    Napoleon a very true likeness by Andrieu – 1810


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  • Tek Sing Shipwreck Treasure – 1822

    Tek Sing Shipwreck Treasure – 1822

    Qing Dynasty decorated bowl recovered by Mike Hatcher from the Tek Sing shipwreck.

    Beautiful condition, with a hint of a rim nick, some ageing from its life under water otherwise a fine example.

    Beautifully decorated with bands of lotus flower around a central spiral and set in alternate designs of lingzhi fungus and fruiting peach. Bright colours. 13 cm in diameter 6 cm high. Retains Nagel auction sticker.

    Bright deep well decorated shipwreck bowl

    The Tek Sing Shipwreck – Background

    The Tek Sing (Chinese, “True Star”) was a large Chinese junk which sank in 1822 in the South China Sea at the Belvidere Shoals. She was 50 meters long, 10 meters wide and weighed a thousand tons. Manned by a crew of 200. The great loss of life has led to the Tek Sing being referred to as the “Titanic of the East”.

    Sailing from the port of Amoy (now Xiamen), the Tek Sing was bound for Jakarta, with a cargo of porcelain goods and 1600 Chinese immigrants. After a month of sailing, Captain, Lo Tauko, took a shortcut through the Gaspar Straits and ran aground on a reef and sank in 100 feet of water.

    The next morning an English East Indiaman captained by James Pearl sailing from Indonesia to Borneo passed through the Gaspar Strait. He found debris from the sunk Chinese vessel and survivors. They managed to rescue 190 survivors.

    In 1999 marine salvor Michael Hatcher discovered the wreck of the. His crew raised what is described as the largest sunken cache of Chinese porcelain ever recovered which was auctioned in Stuttgart, Germany the following year.


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