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  • Armorial Book-Plates. Their Romantic Origin and Artistic Development – Signed limited edition of 300 this number 218 by the expert of all experts Neville Barnett – published in 1932

    Unusual faux snake-skin binding. Excellent condition 172 pages.

    With numerous book-plate illustrations with 17 tipped in originals from those of great fame (our favourite being that of Polar Explorer Douglas Mawson).

    Chapters on the Origins of Armory; the Age of Chivalry; the Pageant of Heraldry; the Romance of Arms; German, French and British Book-plates the latter extensive and importantly Australian and New Zealand Armorial Book-plates.

    Collectable work from the doyen of Australian Bookplates – Neville Barnett – Numbered Limited Signed edition with Mawsons bookplate.


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  • Michael Howe Bush-Ranger [early detailed account of his goings on and arrest] in – The Military Sketch-book (2 Volumes finely bound) William Maginn – First Edition 1827.

    Michael Howe Bush-Ranger [early detailed account of his goings on and arrest] in – The Military Sketch-book (2 Volumes finely bound) William Maginn – First Edition 1827.

    Fine examples of this rare 2 Volume set of reminiscences, first editions, published by Henry Colburn, London in 1827. Listed in Ferguson 1141a.

    Octavo, 347 pages and 347 pages after preliminaries in each. Bound beautifully in half calf over nicely marbled paper covered boards. Gilt lines, title, decoration and date of publication to each spine. Super copies.

    This scarce collection of “military yarns” includes an account of convict life in Van Diemen’s Land and a first hand account attributed to a “veteran of the Nore mutiny” titled “The Bush-Rangers”. Over 42 pages he recounts the attempts to and final capture of Michael Howe and a few of his bush-ranger comrades. Graphic details of a first failed attempt, a gun battle that saw some of the would be capturers worse off; and then a Hobart sighting and second attempt in curious circumstances etc before he was finally clapped in irons to receive the worst of punishments.

    It has been suggested that the Michael Howe story is based on a pamphlet by Bent … but that pamphlet is so exceedingly scarce we cannot corroborate that view.

    Irish born William Maginn (1794-1847) was a brilliant writer and journalist of the period. He knew and worked with Charles Dickens in the latter’s early days. Fought a duel against a parliamentarian who bashed the editor of a publication in which Maginn had written a damning review of the said parliamentarian’s recently published novel. Like many of his type got into debt, off to prison and died in poverty. Tough days.

    Interesting and various military goings on finishing with some classic Tasmanian history – a first edition set from 1827. Early for any Tasmanian content.



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  • Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea  Captain John Moresby – First Edition 1876

    Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea Captain John Moresby – First Edition 1876

    Title continues … and the d’Entrecasteaux Islands: A Cruise in Polynesia and Visits to the Pearl-Shell Stations in Torres Straits of H.M.S. Basilisk.

    First Edition published by Murray London 1876. Large octavo, 327 pages after preliminaries, nice original gilt decorated blue cloth covered boards. Three maps and four plates. Professionally repaired tear to large folding map.

    The historic record of John Moresby’s explorations and discoveries in New Guinea including the finding of Port Moresby (named after his Admiral father) and the magnificent harbour there.

    Also the mapping of the coastline between Heath Island and the Huon Gulf, all completed during the visit of H.M.S. Baslilsk in 1873. A safe passage was found through the Louisiade Reefs to the East of New Guinea and some 140 islands were placed on the chart as a result of his endeavours.

    New Guinea cornerstone book – Moresby First Edition


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  • Northmost Australia – Logan Jack   2 Volumes First Australian Edition – 1922

    Northmost Australia – Logan Jack 2 Volumes First Australian Edition – 1922

    … Three Centuries of Exploration, Discovery, and adventure in and around the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. A first edition the Australian edition published by George Robertson, Melbourne in 1922. Two volumes with all 17 separate folding maps.

    Robert Logan Jack was the senior Government Geologist for Queensland for 20 years. He replaced Richard Daintree who was the first to hold that position. The best work of its type by far and with a number of unique aspects. Completed in Logan Jack’s final year as he passed away November 1921.

    Large, royal octavo, very good condition, nice clean covers, some foxing to page edges and ends as usual due to the tick spongy paper. Maps in great condition.

    Volume 1 commences with early exploration – Maghelen, Quiros and Torres and the Duyfken at Cape York followed by the Pera and Aernemdealt. Tasman arrives in 1644 and then pre-Cook the voyages of the Buijs and Rijder in 1756 with Van Asschens and Gonzal. And then we have the Endeavour and Cook’s discovery from the South and East and soon after in 1789 Bligh in the Bounty launch. Flinders with the Investigator and the after “Wreck Reef” the Cumberland and captivity. Philip Parker King in the Mermaid fills the gaps in 1819 and then in the Bathurst a year later. The wreck of the Charles Eaton in 1834. Wickham and Stokes in 1839 to the Normanton and Albert Rivers and Burketown. Blackwood and Yule and the “Fly” and their mark on the Straits.

    Then Logan Jack takes us to the interior and much on the great Leichhardt and Kennedy and that other fateful expedition. Back to the coast and Owen Stanley and the Rattlesnake. And then Burke and Wills up the centre and the searching parties … Landsbourough, Walker and McKinley. Closing with good content on the Jardine Brothers up the Cape, the special efforts of first geologist Daintree and then Captain John Moresby (jnr) into the Torres Straits.

    Whilst volume I contains hard to find narrative such as the Jardines and Daintree Volume II is a masterclass. After opening comments on Aboriginal and Polynesian labour we commence our explorations with the elusive William Hann and the Palmer River followed by Mulligan and 150 pages of Logan Jack’s own extensive explorations. Ending with explorations gems with Donald Laing, Embley, William Baird, John Dickie, William Lakeland and William Bowden.

    We have gone on a bit but fell justified in attempting to describe the effort put into this book and the scarcity of the accounts. The whole wonderfully illustrated by images of the explorers often from family sources and at the rear separate indexes by persons, localities and subjects.

    The Further North you go the better it gets in these Volumes.


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  • Martin Cash – Life After Bushranging – Maree Ring

    A unusual item, an extended pamphlet really all about Tasmania’s favourite bushranger Martin Cash. Not so much his goings on in his early days of bushranging (although there is a good snippet of that) but more about his time in New Zealand and then later on return to Hobart.

    Written from a sympathetic viewpoint, as often the case with Cash. We are not sure quite why that is the case. For sure he is supposed to have had a soft spot for women and we guess in return women had and still have a soft spot for him.

    However, and it’s a big however … when in NZ he seemed to spend most of his time forming and running brothels (yes plural). In fact in the end he was given the big tip off to leave the country … forcing his return to Tasmania. His illicit activities paid him well and he was able to purchase a smallholding up the back of New Town … he spent most of his leisure time in the pubs of Salamanca … well don’t we all.

    Self published Hobart in 1993. Softcover, stitched, 41 pages with some useful and relevant illustrations. We like the unpretentious writing of the researcher author. A fine copy.

    Martin Cash – the final story – and an interesting one too.

    Postage will be reduced on this item on final billing.


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  • Antarctica and Back in Sixty Days – Tim Bowden – Double Audio Cassette

    We love this sort of fairly recent ephemeral curiosity. Audio cassettes so common and used by many in the 1970’s and 1980’s and died an almighty death with the advent of the DVD. If you still have a tape player then you are the target customer for this item.

    Tom Bodwen went off to the Antarctic and he took his tape recorder with him. He did a few of these and this one is our favourite. A good length, two tapes, and in good playing condition. Still housed in its protective box

    A good one to relax to when you need a break from the heavy exploration classics.

    Tim Bowden a super Polar entertainment.


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