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Northern Territory

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  • One Ceremony One Song. An Economy of Religious Knowledge Among Yolnu of North-East Arnhem Land. A PhD Thesis – Australia National University – 1978 – Ian Keen

    One Ceremony One Song. An Economy of Religious Knowledge Among Yolnu of North-East Arnhem Land. A PhD Thesis – Australia National University – 1978 – Ian Keen

    An original copy of the monumental Thesis written by Ian Keen to obtain his PhD from ANU in 1978. Keen to go on to be a respected anthropologist holding positions at Queensland University and ANU and spending time at Oxford, visiting Professor at Osaka etc.

    Perfect bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt titles to front and spine. Typed on one side 412 pages with 19 pages of plates from the authors photographs; 72 Figures in text; 45 tables of information and 4 maps. This copy gifted to “Jimmy” clearly an associated academic with a few marginal notes etc. Over 3 kgs in weight so if Overseas a postage supplement will be necessary.

    The English born author was late to the academic world having first worked as an art restorer before doing an undergraduate degree at the University of London under Mary Douglas in his mid thirties. He did well and soon won a scholarship to work on Aboriginal religion through song symbolism in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia. This thesis demonstrates the depth of his research and provides a meticulous record of his findings.

    He commenced his work on the island of Milingimbi in 1974 and worked there for fourteen months before completing a further 10 months on the mainland at Nanggalala. Its is not surprising that “’writing up” took him some time.

    His “Abstract” explains his examination of the relationship between the organisation, ownership and content of religious practice and knowledge, marriage and power relations in Yolnu society. He argues that older men require the authority gained through their control of secret ceremonies and religious knowledge, in order to sustain a polygamous regime. Making possible a system of marriage through which some men gain many wives. Keen’s description of the various ceremonies is highly detailed … we doubt if any broadly published material covers such content with similar vigour.

    A special reference relating to the Yolnu of Northern Australia.


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  • Discovery – Stories of Modern Mineral Exploration – Alan Trengove

    Discovery – Stories of Modern Mineral Exploration – Alan Trengove

    A fine copy of the first edition published by Stockwell Press in 1979.

    Octavo, 278 pages, illustrated from photographs and numerous maps of mineral areas.

    Starts with the “Forgotten Frontier” … Cape York and the Weipa area. Then the Bowen expanses, Pilbara before the arrival of the super mines, Gold and the advent of the offshore drilling ships. Closes with an appendix “A History of Resources of Metallic Ores” by King. Well its all a history really.

    What is now a super background to the history of mineral exploration in Australia.


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  • The Exploration of Australia – Albert Calvert – First Edition 1895

    A pretty good copy of the first edition of Calvert’s book much admired and coveted in any collection on the subject. A compendium volume was issued a year later due to the success of this work.

    Published by George Philip, London in 1895. Small quarto, 26cm by 21 cm, quarter bound cream buckram (simulated vellum) over deep blue buckram with gild titles and line decoration. Aged to spine as usual, corners rubbed. Pretty good internally the large folding map repaired close tear. Internally a little browned due to the spongy nature of the paper, really quite clean throughout; viii, 26 pages. Frontispiece of Dampier, 16 plates. A solid book 1.4kgs.

    The super map is 87cm by 72cm with the routes of the likes of Sturt, Mitchel, great, Winnecke etc marked

    Albert Calvert carried out his own explorations often influenced by gold exploration and mainly in western Australia. He was a prolific writer about Australia partly to fund his exploratory activities. He had previously published ‘The Discovery of Australia” concerning the early maritime activities of the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, British etc. In the Preface to this work he describes his pain in working with the early accounts, in terms of their completeness, reliability etc. In this work he is more at ease in that he has the first hand accounts of the various explorers .. on land he mapped out each day of their activities … hence the huge map included.

    Exploration covered include in the maritime, Dampier; the Dutch; Cook; Flinders; Phillip; Baudin, Bougainville … in the interior, Wentworth; Sturt; Mitchell; Macquarie; George Grey; Eyre etc

    Calvert’s collectable account on the exploration of Australia with valuable map.


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  • Forty Fathoms Deep – Ion Idriess – Signed Annotated 1937 Edition

    Forty Fathoms Deep – Ion Idriess – Signed Annotated 1937 Edition

    Signed, annotated third edition published February 1937, a month after the first edition.

    A vivid and thrilling edition from Idriess on the pearling industry centred in Broome, in the Northern Territory of Australia.

    Published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney. Octavo, 343 pages, 10 pages advertisements for other Idriess titles. Green cloth covered boards black titles to spine and front cover. Dust jacket designed by Edgar Alfred Holloway This is the orange variant (sometimes yellow or yellow and orange – see authority Feain and Aronry page 42). Map of northern Australia, Torres Strait and Papua New Guinea on front endpaper, rear blank. 19 pages of black and white illustrations.

    Very good condition, very clean inside and a dust jacket with minor nibbles along the top and a part removed top of inside flap.

    Annotated and signed boldly by Idriess on the title page … “Wishing Mrs Noah Van Cleef many happy memories on her trip to Australia. Ion L Idriess Sydney 1937” … a further note March 1, 1937 in Idriess hand bottom left of title.

    Australian pearling essential early edition signed and annotated by author.


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  • The Stars My Blanket [An 8,000 mile journey to find Aboriginal Cave Paintings] – Beryl Miles.

    The Stars My Blanket [An 8,000 mile journey to find Aboriginal Cave Paintings] – Beryl Miles.

    Beryl Miles led a rather dull life in Worthing, England until she gave up what she had to seek adventure in Australia. Once there she met Gordon Donkin and joined his 8,000 miles expedition to find yet unphotographed aboriginal cave paintings in the Northern Territory .. a mission accomplished with lots more along the way. Good sympathetic aboriginal content.

    Published by John Murray, London in 1954. Octavo, 235 pages, illustrated with a good map and numerous photographs from the expedition. A pretty good copy, nice and clean, ownership signature on end paper, near complete dust jacket

    Interesting post war travels to aboriginal cave paintings.


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  • Man Tracks [With the Mounted Police in Australian Wilds] – Ion Idriess

    Man Tracks [With the Mounted Police in Australian Wilds] – Ion Idriess

    Published by Angus & Robertson 1936, a ninth edition issued one year after the first. The copy of Chicago resident, Idriess friend and admirer, Frances Van Cleef with a note indicating she acquired it in Melbourne on Feb 16, 1937.

    Very good condition, a couple of chips to the dust jacket, very clean and tight internally. A super copy.

    An impressive Idriess book about the Australian Mounted Police up through the Centre, the North and West. Many lively accounts recounted in the normal Idriess way. The photography in this book is special with a number of unique aboriginal images.

    Real Crime solved by Australian Police on Horseback


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