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  • Medal Commemorating Admiral Vernon’s Capture of Porto Bello [Panama] – 1739 [Struck 1740]

    Medal Commemorating Admiral Vernon’s Capture of Porto Bello [Panama] – 1739 [Struck 1740]

    Half length figure of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), full face with baton in the left hand, right hand on hip, curved tree to left, fort with steeple to right. Inscribed above “A VIEW OF FORT CHAGRE”, below a sailing ship. No line enclosing legend “VICE AD: RL. OF THE BLEW, & COM : ER. IN. CHIEF. OF ALL HIS MAI: SHIPS IN THE WEST INDIES”. Exergue: “THE. HON: EDWARD VERNON. ESQ”.

    Reverse a view of the Port; six ships, placed tow and four, the later in a curved line. Four small vessels inside. No line enclosing legend “PORTO BELLO. TAKEN. BY ADMIRAL VERNON. WITH SIX MEN OF WAR ONLY. NOV.22. ANNO DOM. 1739”

    Design attributed to one of the greatest medal makers of the 18th Century, Pinchbeck but unsigned as usual. 40mm diameter some wear, as can be seen, priced to condition and, an opportunity to obtain this scarce type.

    For those impressed but also confused by the elaborate art work and extensive description … there is a whole world out there of collectors of Admiral Vernon medals, and the detailed description matters to identify the precise medal, there were quite a few types. He was pretty much admired for his success at capturing Porto Bello on 2nd December 1739 and he possibly became the most medal(ised) person in history.

    The event was an early conflict in what became known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear. In 1738 Captain Robert Jenkins appeared before the House of Commons with his amputated ear which had been severed by the Spanish in the West Indies. This added to other stories of bad behaviour by the Spanish led to war. Veron, then Vice Admiral was in charge of the Jamaica Station. Vernon preferred small well armed fleets and his attack with only six vessels was seemed foolhardy by others .. he succeeded and had a mountain named after him and the most fashionable street in London was named after the battle.

    Vernon takes Porto Bello and get one back for Jenkins’ Ear …


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  • Through Lapland with Skis & Reindeer – Frank Hedges Butler – 1919

    Through Lapland with Skis & Reindeer – Frank Hedges Butler – 1919

    title continues … with Some Account of the Ancient Lapland and the Murman Coast.

    With the author’s brilliant bookplate on front pastedown, mots likely a presentation copy. Also probably later inscription of Edwin Clements who had participated in the North Russian expeditionary Force 1918-1919.

    Published by Fisher Unwin, London in 1919 a third impression. Octavo, 286 pages, decorated boards. Nicely illustrated from photographs taken on the expedition and other historical items for context. Four maps specifically annotated by the author, including folding map at the rear.

    A super account that befits the nature of the author. Butler was one of the first in England to own a motor vehicle … a Benz in 1898. Along with a now famous Mr Rolls formed the Royal Automobile Club. He took to serious ballooning with over 100 flight .. one from London to the South of France … partly designed to observe the Solar Eclipse of 1907. He formed the Royal Aeronautical Club as a result … he was the second private person to take flying lessons and flew with Wilbur Wright in France. Naturally, he was a member of The Ski Club.

    We say the bookplate is “brilliant” as it meets the test of defining the owners character with the images of the very vintage motor car; hot air balloon; Wilbur Wright aircraft and Reindeer powered sled … with the odd book thrown in.

    We have not described the book … it’s brilliant

    Frank Butler out skiing in northmost Lapland … if you want to start a Club this is the man to follow.


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  • Cook the Discoverer – George Forster – Fine Edition

    Cook the Discoverer – George Forster – Fine Edition

    Small quarto, number six in the prestigious Maritime series published by Hordern House in 2007. Limited to 1050 copies, 276 pages, bound in quarter tan kangaroo with speckled papered sides. Fine condition as new.

    The book includes a facsimile of the original book published in the German language with a new English translation to follow. Copious notes and a good bibliography the whole supported by an excellent introduction by Nigel Erskine, Curator of Explorations at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

    It was eight years after the death of Cook that Forster completed his essay on the great man Cook der Entdecker (Discoverer). Partly written as an introduction to Forster’s own translation of Cook’s Third Voyage. Foster had participated in Cook’s second Voyage along with his father who had taken over as naturalist with Joseph Banks dropping out. Forster displays a true understanding of the character of Cook and that alone makes his viewpoint worthy of this sumptuous presentation.

    Forster required reading for all Cook followers


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  • Original Pochoir Gazette du Bon ton – Mon Coeur Soupire – Andre- Edouard Marty – 1914

    Original Pochoir Gazette du Bon ton – Mon Coeur Soupire – Andre- Edouard Marty – 1914

    A beautiful Pochoir by Andre-Edouard Marty (1882-1974) exclusively for the Paris Gazette du Bon Ton published in July 1914.

    Mon Coeur Soupire (My Heart Sighs) and a “Dress for the Park”. A sheath draped in crepe de chine and a crinoline with tulle flounces. So French and what a dress – must have been stunning in that era … well any era really.

    Probably our favourite pochoir image.

    The ultimate in fashion print from a perfect era.

    Price $290.00 framed in Voyager Gazette du Bon Ton style or $190.00 unframed.

    Sought after Bon Ton’s …. so classy so stylish


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  • Northward over the “Great Ice”. A Narrative of Life and Work Along the Shores and upon the Interior ice-Cap of Northern Greenland in the Years 1886 and 1891-1897. In Two Volumes. Robert E Peary. First Edition 1898.

    Longer title continues …With a Description of the Little Tribe of Smith-Sound Eskimos, the Most Northerly Human Beings in the World, and an Account of the Discovery and Bringing Home of the “Saviksue,” or Great Cape-York Meteorites. with maps, diagrams and about eight hundred illustrations.

    American Polar hero Peary in the North of Greenland. Eventually Peary would claim the North Pole in 1909 contested by Frederick Cook. Over time Peary was generally given the recognition but in recent years, on further analysis, the barometer is swinging back to Cook. Cook and Greely participated in the adventures covered here.

    Peary was sponsored by the US navy and eventually given the rank of Commander. He went North many times and this account of two of those adventures, is enthralling. Well written and nicely summarised in the lengthy title.

    Published by Frederick Stokes, New York in 1898. Two quarto volumes printed on heavy paper stock, lxxx, 521 pages and xiv, 625 pages. Many illustrations as advertised one large folding image of Meteorite island, numerous maps on large folding at rear. Bound in original blue cloth with decoration to front, spines faded as usual with this set, binding holding firm, a pretty good example, and very clean inside.

    An expansive work which containing much information about the natives of northern Greenland and an expedition to McCormick bay which confirmed that Greenland was an island. Peary would learn much about Inuit survival that he would take forward to his later expeditions. He also took an Inuit mistress who he would later return to Greenland in 1909. There is also much about the Cape-York meteorites and an absolute monster at over 34 tonnes. Local Inuit had been using shards of the many meteorites to make tools and weapons so who knows how big they were originally.

    Robert Peary substantial work of Arctic Exploration and Ethnology in Northern Greenland


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  • 400 Year Old Map of Portugal  – Portugallia – Cartrographer Jodocus Hondius Jnr  for Geographer Petrus Bertius – 1616

    400 Year Old Map of Portugal – Portugallia – Cartrographer Jodocus Hondius Jnr for Geographer Petrus Bertius – 1616

    A striking copper engraved miniature map of Portugal engraved by Jodocus Hondius Junior to illustrate a geography book by Petrus Bertius published in Amsterdam in 1616. Bertius was only responsible for the Latin text what was titled “Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum”.

    The maps in this work were miniature renditions of the maps contained in the famous folio atlas by Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius Senior.

    The maps are considered by authority Geoffrey King as the most beautiful set of miniature maps ever. Scarce.

    On the death of Jodocus Hondius Junior in 1629 the miniature map plates came into the possession of William J Blaeu who used them in his own version in 1635.

    Printed area 12.5cm by 9.0cm, with fine wash colouring. An attractive engraving with good detail. The map is aligned with North to the right [Not unsual for the period for maps to be presented this way]. With swash lettering, cartouche and distance scale.

    We have included an additional image of the map aligned North to the top for those confused by the “horizontal” presentation. Also, we have provided an image of the title page of Tabularum Geographicarum … taken from Geoffrey King’s reference. We have a copy of King’s book for sale for those interested in collecting and/or understanding the history behind the creation of beautiful small scale maps.

    Price $160.00 unframed … $280.00 framed in Voyager miniature map style.

    High quality map of Portugal from 1616


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