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Prestige Items

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  • Victorian Spectroscope – Adam Hilger c1890

    A superb quality late Victorian brass Direct Vision Spectroscope, of the “Rainband” variety.

    The device includes a “train” of alternating crown and flint glass prisms.

    Made by Adam Hilger and his brother Otto who operated from Tottenham Court Road London from 1875 until 1916 when the business was taken over with the backing of Vickers. Nicely engraved A Hilger London and in near fine condition protected in its original custom brass canister.

    Interestingly, Adam Hilger supplied one of the most advanced spectroscopes of the day to the Sydney Astronomical Observatory in 1878 to be used in conjunction with their Merz 7 ¼ inch refractor. Three prisms alternating quartz and flint glass provide spectral quality clear of aberration.

    Neat Victorian Spectroscope top maker clear and true spectrum

    $280.00

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  • Sete – Images of Provence – Seven Poems by Count Potocki of Montalk; Five Drawings by Marjorie Jackson- Pownall – Limited Numbered Eccentric Private Press

    Sete – Images of Provence – Seven Poems by Count Potocki of Montalk; Five Drawings by Marjorie Jackson- Pownall – Limited Numbered Eccentric Private Press

    A scarce work by the rather odd Count Potocki of Montalk. Number sixty five of 120 copies set by hand by Count Potocki of Montalk, [which] have been printed by hand and foot by him.

    Produced in the aforementioned style at The Melissa Press, Villa Vigoni, Chemin de St Martin, Draguignan, Var France – the authors home – 1972.

    Printed on Fabriano watermarked paper – we are told in the introduction that “we went to Italy expressly to buy the art paper on which to print Marjorie Jackson-Pownall’s charming drawings, with their unambiguous clarity” ….

    Large octavo, 18 pages, bound quarter green cloth over papered [wallpaper?] boards – a fine copy.

    Copyright and limitation page, title, charming rather haphazard introduction, the poems and drawings – hints of risqué … see below authors background – artwork neat.

    The Count was born in New Zealand in 1903. He is generally described as a poet, polemicist and pretender to the Polish throne – he did genuinely have connections. In 1926 he deserted his wife and child for Europe and the arts. First, to England where he developed his extreme right-wing views knew Mosley but, appears to have been more interested in Mosley’s wife. Moved to Draguignan in southern France after WWII mixed with fellow arty folks in the region and printed several unusual private press items. Backtrack – in England in the 1930’s he was sent to prison for attempting to publish what was then regarded as obscene literature – “the Lament of Sir John Penis” along with translations of Rabelais and Verlaine. He was supported in court by Leonard and Virgina Woolf. Aldous Huxley later arranged bail for another skirmish with the law and funded the purchase of Potocki’s first printing press.

    Potocki was a truly odd one – often went about dressed in what he thought was medieval garb – tights, satin pyjamas all wrapped up in velvet curtains etc.

    The eccentric Count Potocki of Montalk – a unique item

    $120.00

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  • Portraiture of Socrates – Catherall – 1717

    Portraiture of Socrates – Catherall – 1717

    An extremely scarce work and one of the great 18th Century scholarly works in English re Socrates.

    Longer title from front – Eikon Sokratike Or, a Portraiture of Socrates, Extracted out of Plato. In Blank Verse by Sam. Catherall, A.B. and Fellow Oriel College, Oxon.

    Unbound as issued, amazing even though worn, that it has survived in this form for over three hundred years. Printed at Oxford by Lichfield and Peisley and sold by Knapton et al Booksellers in London 1717.

    Title reflects the “Imprimatur” of Jo. Baron Vice-Can, Oxon Ball. [Balliol] College Oxon June 17, 1717.

    Octavo, sewn as issued, 6, 53, pages, old water stain now faded. Ownership signature dated 1726 on title.

    The quite lengthy Preface by the translator is so humble we could all learn from it today. He explains his approach, omissions and limitations … he is obviously a great fan of Plato and Socrates – and why not they both had a good approach to life and focussed on meaningful thought and actions.

    All up there are 36 “Dialogues” by Plato that feature Socrates as the central character – here we have Socrates at the Bar (Trial); Socrates in Prison; Socrates Discoursing on the Immorality of the Soul with Crito, and Simmias; Socrates about to drink Poison, Discoursing with Crito in the Presence of all his Friends … interesting the work ends FINIS … which it did.

    Socrates by Plato and then Catherall at Oxford – 1717 – the pointy bits

    $290.00

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  • Kushan Empire Artefact (First Century BCE) – Hand Holding a Serpent by the Head

    Kushan Empire Artefact (First Century BCE) – Hand Holding a Serpent by the Head

    A fragment well carved in the red sandstone of the region. From the Kushan Empire of Northern India and beyond, circa 1st – 2nd Century BCE. A lovely and curious example.

    Dimensions roughly 10cm x 9cm x 8cm; 16cm high on its stand; weighs 450gm. The simple stand is all that is needed to make this unusual sculpture accessible. Acquired by Voyager from a broader beautiful private collection.

    The Kushan Empire was then at the heart of the world between the Roman Empire in the west and the Chinese Han Dynasty in the east. They were heavily influenced by the Greeks and in the earlier years used the Greek alphabet and language for official matters.

    The hand here is interesting and the grip unusual but likely the best way to hold a serpent or snake which students of the region will know had special meaning … the snakes not the way of holding.

    Special for its age, origin and symbolism. A pretty unique item.

    $420.00

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  • First Discovery  of Australia and New Guinea George Collingridge – First Edition1906 [Important Work]

    First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea George Collingridge – First Edition1906 [Important Work]

    Cornerstone book on the early exploration of Australia / New Guinea … a Voyager favourite/

    A narrative on the Portuguese and Spanish Discoveries in the Australasian Regions, between the Years 1492-1606, with descriptions of their old charts.

    Octavo, 132 pages the appendices with maps striking maps and images throughout. Published by Brooks, Sydney in 1906. Original green cloth covered binding with gilt title at front, bumped and rubbed, previous ownership signatures, very good internally.

    Includes the 16th century voyages to the spice islands and the discovery of New Guinea, the Villalobos Expedition and further discoveries in Papua, Jave-le-Grande and the early map of Australia, the maps of Pierre Descelier, and Deslien. The discovery of the Solomons by Mendana and Sarmiento with an early map and of course Queiroz voyage to Espiritu- Santo and Torres and his important discoveries.

    Frontispiece map and many others mostly coloured plus black and white illustrations and a useful chronology.

    Collingridge on the early discoveries.

    $120.00

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  • Fossil Tree Fern “Osmundacaulis pruchnikki” – Lune River Tasmania – Rare and unusual Early Jurassic Forest circa 182 Million years old.

    Fossil Tree Fern “Osmundacaulis pruchnikki” – Lune River Tasmania – Rare and unusual Early Jurassic Forest circa 182 Million years old.

    A significant piece in terms of size and quality of petrified tree fern “Osmundacaulis pruchnikki” from the Lune River area deep in the southern reaches of Tasmania.

    The dating of this location to the middle of the early Jurassic Period (182 Ma) was by isotopic measurements on zircons found in the volcanic sandstone hosting the fossils (Bromfield et al 2007). Also refer the excellent recently updated guide by P. Manchester.

    A substantial example weighing 362gm length circa 11cm – by 5cm by 5cm. The extremity is cleaved in the centre of the oval plant core and the core can be seen clearly on top and running down the side.

    This region is the area of the world where these plants developed. Twelve tree paratypes (arborescent) ferns and one bracken-like (rhizomatous) fern have been studied in the region. All of the tree ferns belong to the genus Osmundacaulis. This paratype exhbits numerous clear and tight trachioles

    The species evolved in this region, the Australian portion of Pangea, which was on the cusp of breaking up circa 200 million years ago. Gradually osmundacaaulis have spread elsewhere, but are limited in the Northern Hemisphere; they appear in North West USA .. whilst examples were only discovered in Eurasia in the year 2000 in northern China.

    Significant fossil tree fern from Jurassic Tasmania.

    $290.00

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