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  • Wings of Gold – How the Aeroplane Developed New Guinea – James Sinclair

    Wings of Gold – How the Aeroplane Developed New Guinea – James Sinclair

    No greater expert in his subject, James Sinclair’s formidable book about the exploration driven development of aviation in New Guinea. Covering the period from 1922 to 1942 during which New Guinea was the busiest place for aircraft movements anywhere in the world.

    Published by Robert Brown in 1983 in fine condition. Quarto, 326 pages a substantial book. Images to end papers and illustrated throughout with numerous period photographs, maps, facsimile documents etc. The aviation images are to die for.

    Expatriates will know the Leahy family and Jack Hides and pleased to see Frank Hurley standing on the Curtiss Seagull flying boat and a special image of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan just before they left Lae on their fateful attempt to cross the Pacific.

    Wings of Gold – Best book on the period vies with Sinclair’s Three Volume “Balus” as the best aviation book ever.


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  • Jean-Baptiste Charcot – Polar Explorer – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1936

    Jean-Baptiste Charcot – Polar Explorer – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1936

    Large commemorative medal to celebrate the life of Jean-Baptiste Auguste Etienne Charcot (1867-1936) struck by the French Mint, in 1936, under the auspices of Expeditions Polaires Francaises. Charcot Frances greatest polar explorer led two successful expeditions to the Antarctic during the Heroic era. He was a doctor and son of neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.

    His first expedition from 1904-1907 in the Francais explored the west coast of Graham Land. This was followed by the 1908-1910 explorations in the Pourquoi-Pas? The subject of the edition offered here. Later he turned his attention to the North and made scientific explorations off Greenland and Svalbard again in the Porquois-Pas? He died when the ship was wrecked in a severe storm off the coast of Iceland in 1936.

    This substantial bronze medal, 67mm in diameter and weighing 150 gm celebrates his life. It was designed by E.M. Lindauer, with a bust after Paul Richer. Richer, an anatomical artist, was a colleague of Charcot’s father and worked with him in illustrating certain medical texts. Richer’s sculptures are found in museums around the world including the Musee d’Orsay.

    The medal carries a bust of J.B. Charcot on the front acknowledging Paul Richer and on reverse and image of the Pourquoi-Pas? Among icebergs with Expeditions Polaires Francaises above and the ships name below. Very good condition, if not fine condition, with very strong relief.

    An example of this medal sold as lot 79 in the Scott Amundsen Centenary Sale at Bonhams, London in 2012 for just short of A$2,500

    Special Antarctic Collectable Celebrates the life of J.B. Charcot


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  • The Antarctic Pilot – Comprising the Coasts of Antarctica and all Islands Southward of the Usual Route of Vessels – Collectable 1974 Fourth Edition – Keith Shackleton’s Copy

    The Antarctic Pilot – Comprising the Coasts of Antarctica and all Islands Southward of the Usual Route of Vessels – Collectable 1974 Fourth Edition – Keith Shackleton’s Copy

    Original work hardbound in blue cloth covered boards with gilt title. Highly technical works published by the Hydrographer to the UK Navy. Foolscap format, 336 pages after preliminaries.

    Keith Shackleton (1923-2015) a relative of Sir Ernest Shackleton and inspired by him. A wildlife painter with a specialty for colder climates and the Antarctic. Close friend and collaborator with Conservationist and fellow painter Peter Scott, son of Robert Falcon Scott. Keith was co-presenter on one of the first televised wildlife programs the BBC’s ‘Animal Magic’. He was a skilled yachtsman and represented Britain on several occasions. He was President of the Society of Wildlife Artists and the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and a Trustee of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. In his later years he spent much time in the Antarctic on board the MV Lindblad Explorer … where this Pilot was put to good use (see below). A retrospective exhibition of his “Polar Art”’ was held at the Scott Polar Research Institute in 2007.

    The “Pilot” contains many highly instructive charts and shoreline photographic images as would be expected. Also serious chapters with good illustrations on fauna, birds, albatrosses and petrels, penguins etc and tables of breeding distribution. Fish similarly covered and the various members of the seal family and whales and dolphins that inhabit the southern waters. The islands covered include Bouvetoya, Prince Edward Islands, Crozet, Kerguelan, Heard, McDonald and Macquarie and the South Georgia, South Sandwich and South Orkney and Shetland Groups

    The front end papers, title and facing page are covered in stamps and stickers from Shackleton’s Antarctic voyages on the Lindblad Explorer – 57 in total with three signatures from Base Commanders … including that of Grytviken, South Georgia dated 1981 … which was invaded the following year as part of the Falklands War. An interesting manuscript addition at the top of the front free endpaper “Though it may be left in the bridge …. This is Keith Shackleton’s Antarctic Pilot”. The Lindblad Explorer sank near the South Shetlands in 2007. Presumably, Keith Shackleton took his Pilot with him … he was not on that voyage!

    Another interesting note in Shackleton’s hand appears on page vi quoting American writer and naturalist Charles William Beebe [from "the Bird" - 1906] … “The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though the first material expression is destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things [beings] breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again”

    In addition there is also Supplement of 1977 which includes a sheet of stamps associated with a voyage in the Frontier Spirit … we understand that Shackleton worked as naturalist on both the Lindblad and Frontier Spirit.

    Lastly, a large original photograph 25cm by 18cm of bergs and snow capped mountainous island … could be Deception Island.

    A wealth of Antarctic knowledge beyond the navigation – special provenance with additional elements


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  • Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    The author George Manville Fenn was a prolific writer of adventure stories for the young in the Victorian era.

    Published by Partridge and Co, London. Octavo, 416 nicely illustrated. Evenly browned internally otherwise a very good copy. Embossed illustrated boards and spine in near fine condition. Looks a beauty.

    A rare book and we cannot find the title on his “official’ list of publications This edition circa WWI era .. we cannot find any other contemporary copies available.

    Hvalross is Norwegian for Walrus. Steve Young is an orphan whose uncle, Captain Young has disappeared on a voyage in and around Spitzbergen in the Arctic Ocean. The Captain’s friends charter a boat the Norwegian “Hvalross” to search for him. Sixteen year old Steve goes along much to the disgust of the ships Doctor who thinks young fellows are just a nuisance. Gales, storms, intense cold and Polar Bears … strong currents complete darkness all add to the adventure.

    Scarce adventure on the “Walrus” up around Spitzbergen …


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  • Kiap – Australia’s Patrol Officers in Papua New Guinea – Jmes Sinclair – First Edition 1981

    Kiap – Australia’s Patrol Officers in Papua New Guinea – Jmes Sinclair – First Edition 1981

    Published by Pacific Publications, Sydney a first edition 1981. Quarto, 294 pages with illustrated end paper and many many images from photographs … quite afew iconic of the people particularly the KuKuKuKu. A very good copy in a complete and bright dust jacket.

    The author James Sinclair is the man , if you understand us. After WWII he too up the position of Cadet Patrol Officer and rose to District Commissioner by Independence in 1975. He was there all through the period with a keen eye a handy camera and an ability and desire to record activities as he and others saw them.

    This book is much more than about the Kiap role … it is about the people, the many varied people of this remarkable place on Earth. The photographic record contained within this volume is justification alone.

    The Kiaps had their place and surrounded by the people and the environment of Papua New Guinea

    Postage will be more than the automatic allowance for this heavy book … we will absorb that within Australia.


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  • Jack Hides of Papua The Outside Man – James Sinclair – First edition 1969

    Jack Hides of Papua The Outside Man – James Sinclair – First edition 1969

    Published by Lansdowne Press, Melbourne a first edition 1969. Large octavo, 266 pages plus index. Well illustrated from many photographs with a good folding map in a pocket at front. A very good if not fine edition.

    Sinclair’s excellent book on Moresby born Jack Hides whose work took him deep into uncharted territory in Papua New Guinea.

    One of Australia’s greatest adventurers … certainly not given the recognition he desrves.

    Hides more than an oilfield


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