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  • Bliss – Peter Carey – First Edition 1981

    Bliss – Peter Carey – First Edition 1981

    A first edition of Peter Carey’s first novel Bliss published by the University of Queensland Press in 1981. Also published that year by Faber in London and Harper in the New York. Our preferred edition the thoughtful Queensland Press.

    Slightly larger octavo, 336 pages, with the unusual silvered dust jacket, just a little age to the top edge otherwise a very good copy.

    Peter Carey argued by many as Australia’s best modern era writer. Born in Bacchus Marsh in the 1940’s, living at various placed throughout Australia the New York, London etc. Married a number of times such relationships feeding his unusual story lines. Before becoming a literary success he worked for many years in the advertising industry writing pretty good copy.

    Unsurprisingly the protagonist of Bliss was an advertising executive Harry Joy. Harry dies from a heart attack but is brought back to life … as a consequence his view of what went on and what was around him changed. Life was Hell actually and it took meeting Honey to fix that. Bliss was received with great acclaim and won the Miles Franklin Award.

    Carey went on to win the Miles Franklin award three times and is one of only five authors to have won the Booker Prize twice.

    A First Edition of Peter Carey’s First Novel – the scarce Queensland Edition


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  • Lake Victoria to Khartoum with Rifle and Camera – Captain F.A. Dickinson [Introduction by Winston Churchill] – First Edition 1910.

    Lake Victoria to Khartoum with Rifle and Camera – Captain F.A. Dickinson [Introduction by Winston Churchill] – First Edition 1910.

    A rare book and one of the rarest books in the Churchill cannon. If you have a first edition of Churchill’s “My African Journey” then you are lucky and you will appreciate that this book by the guide of that event would make the perfect companion.

    Published by John Lane (Bodley Head), London, 1910.. in the days when you spoke to John Lane. Thick octavo, 334 pages after preliminaries and before publishers catalogue. Well over a hundred illustrations from photographs [not included in the pagination]. Bound in unusual orange/ red cloth covered boards, gilt titles and embellishment, decorative lines. The covers are quite well faded especially to the spine and the odd mark, this is common for this binding. Otherwise internally very clean indeed, just a couple of light spots on the title.

    Churchill in his introduction lavishes praise on Ricketts as a guide and organiser. The party walked/ travelled the whole Uganda and more, some 1,500 miles. Churchill did some of it on bicycle. A lot of bagging went on along the way – all very jolly. Churchill took them to Khartoum and enlivened the conversation with his first hand account of encounters during his various African military skirmishes.

    Churchill in Africa – mutual admiration – Ricketts


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  • First Class Polo – Tactics & Match Play – Brigadier-General R. L. Ricketts.

    First Class Polo – Tactics & Match Play – Brigadier-General R. L. Ricketts.

    For those that have always wanted to understand polo beyond the general idea of horses, a mallet and a bamboo ball (well plastic now) this is the book. Get ahead become an expert and make the right calls at these posh events.

    A fine copy of a super scarce book outlining the secrets of good polo play. Second edition, effectively self-published through Gale & Polden of Aldershot [British Military town] and London et, 1938.

    Octavo, 48 pages and IX full pages plates of tactics guaranteed to win the play.

    Ricketts played for the Alwar team in India circa 1900 and they won trophy after trophy – see the image of the frontispiece. They won the Indian Polo association Championship for several years and the Delhi Durbar without a single defeat scoring 117 goals against only 15.

    Ricketts describes the “merciless hitting of the ordinary easy ball by the Maharajah, and the advantages of the golf drive trajectory which he imparted to it etc”.

    Rickett’s motivation for the book is the fact that the Americans had more recently dominated the sport and to win back the advantage a quicker harder form of polo must be played. Bit like Bazball if you get that ..

    Ricketts on Polo everything you need to know to beat the Yankees


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  • The Downfall of Prempeh [The West African Ashanti Expedition] -Baden-Powell 1896

    The Downfall of Prempeh [The West African Ashanti Expedition] -Baden-Powell 1896

    A very special book by the Major Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (later Lord Lieutenant General) founder of the Boy Scouts (the first Chief Scout).

    First edition published by Methuen, London in 1896. Octavo, 199 pages, nicely illustrated and with a map. Red cloth covered boards, gilt titles to spine, a little spine fading, otherwise a clean and impressive copy.

    The capital of Ashanti land , Kumassi, sits 75 miles inland from Cape Coast Castle on the West African Gold Coast – now Ghana.

    This is about a military expedition to effectively oust the leader Prempeh because he was totally mad and made his subjects follow his passion which was basically sacrificing people, lots of them, all of the time. They had special places for these rituals and even a massive cauldron style object over which heads were severed. He had a passion for killing virgins sometimes hundreds at a time … not nice man. A think we can agree this was one Colonial intervention that was justified.

    Anyway, Baden-Powell writes so well and we learn a lot about the preparations for the forces sent in, how they were organised and the difficulties and calamities they came across. The ending was rather strange but we will leave that for the reader.

    Ashanti of the Gold Coast – Baden-Powell Expedition


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  • Scientific Instrument – Measuring magnetic field produced by an electrical current against the Earth’s magnetic field (compass) – Flemings Right Hand Rule etc – likely Philip Harris c 1930.

    Scientific Instrument – Measuring magnetic field produced by an electrical current against the Earth’s magnetic field (compass) – Flemings Right Hand Rule etc – likely Philip Harris c 1930.

    Nicely made pine / mahogany box with removeable glass lid; back wall hinges down. Inside we have a good sensitive compass and two sets of parallel wires which are internally connected to the two brass terminals on the front wall. We say likely Philip Harris of Birmingham England, it is not marked, but it sure looks like their reliable work to us. 11cm by 11cm 4 cm deep – very good condition

    The application of various levels of current will provide a changing level of deflection in the compass. This will vary also as the instrument is revolved around the compass line. i.e. the true reading is gained with the parallel wires lined up North / south with the compass. There will be zero deflection at 90 degrees to that. Of course the instrument can be used to measure current in reverse principle – see out notes on the tangent galvanometer.

    The maths involved is pretty straight forward and very enlightening for anyone who has missed the physics challenge at school or for an interested youngster about to embark on it.

    Flemings Right Hand Rule proves very reliable


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  • Sarangi – Indian Stringed Instrument

    Sarangi – Indian Stringed Instrument

    The sarangi is a short necked bowed stringed instrument with a skin covered resonator. Carved from a single piece of wood. The playing strings typically gut and the numerous sympathetic strings from steel. The instrument is played predominantly in Northern India and also in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    The sound it produces is very emotional and can resemble the human voice with special techniques such as gamaks (shakes) and meends (sliding movements).

    Its origins could be Persian the derivation of the name suggests that.

    The sarangi has a box like shape with three hollow chambers .. the names of which translate to stomach, chest and brain. This good example is around the usual size (slightly bigger) at 67cm. the lower chamber is covered in parchment. There is a bridge made from bone, earlier they would have been ivory. The bridge is strong as it supports the pressure from the numerous metal sympathetic strings.

    Nor really suitable for Overseas postage and will require a postage supplement in Australia dependent on buyers location. We are careful to pack well and obtain the most cost effect mailing.

    Expand your musical horizons with a Sarangi.


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