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Prestige Items

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  • Original Herculaneium Mezzotint  By Vanni – Late 18th Century

    Original Herculaneium Mezzotint By Vanni – Late 18th Century

    An original copper engraved hand coloured mezzotint after Vanni depicting antiquities unearthed at Ercolano (Herculaneum) a Roman municipium buried when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD79.

    Engraved area 24 cm by 12c, with very strong plate mark, excellent condition. Matted ready to frame.

    The engraving was included in set of rare books entitled “Le Antichita di Ercolano Espotse” (the Antiquites discovered at Herculaneum) published under the command of Carlo II, King of Naples. They were printed by the Royal Printing House in Naples between 1755 and 1792, This production was the first item published on the excavations and made a major contribution to the formation of the neoclassic style which spread over Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Price $220.00 matted and unframed.

    Super classical image.

    $220.00

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  • One Wet Season – Ion Idriess – First Edition 1949 – Signed by the Author.

    One Wet Season – Ion Idriess – First Edition 1949 – Signed by the Author.

    Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1949. Octavo, 272 pages, end paper maps, illustrated with images from period photographs. Minor wear and chips to jacket … otherwise a very good copy.

    Signed boldly by Idriess as a gift to his friend Frances Van Cleef, wife of a Chicago industrialist with whom he remained in contact for many years.

    Idriess at his best. Growing peanuts at Fred Merry’s place was a tough way to start a new life. In and around Derby and the King Leopold Range often isolated during the long three month wet season.

    Signed Idriess First Edition out in the West Kimberley.

    $90.00

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  • Fine Photograph – Dr David Livingstone.  J. G. Tunny, Photographer, Edinburgh Circa 1870’s.

    Fine Photograph – Dr David Livingstone. J. G. Tunny, Photographer, Edinburgh Circa 1870’s.

    Distinguished African Missionary and Explorer, Dr David Livingstone died in 1871. This photograph likely taken just before his final African adventure. He left for Zanzibar in 1866, part of his objective to find the source of the Nile, believing it to be further south than proposed by Burton and Speke. It was in 1870 that Stanley found him with that now famous introduction “Livingstone I presume?”.

    The photographer James Good Tunny (1820-1887) was highly regarded and in business for many years. This image was reproduced likely to commemorate news of the death of Livingstone as it references 13 Maitland Street, Edinburgh and 11 Salisbury Place … the latter being Tunny’s second studio and home from 1871 to 1886.

    A very good image in carte de visite style, a trifle marked, otherwise a fine albumen print.

    Important photograph of the esteemed African Explorer, Dr David Livingstone, possibly commemorative.

    $120.00

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  • “Society of Arts” Victorian Brass Microscope with Case – c1860-70

    “Society of Arts” Victorian Brass Microscope with Case – c1860-70

    A quality fully working English brass microscope from around 1860-70.

    With the early V shaped bar for rack and pinion focus and fine adjustment knurled knob. Two objectives both multiple compounding. There is also Live Box for observing creepy crawlies. The concave mirror is in very good condition. The original mahogany case is a quality box, original to the instrument and in very good condition, with separate drawer for slides and bits and pieces. The case still has its original lock and its key, often long lost. The microscope is mounted on a rectangular mahogany board which slides into the case.

    Very similar to the example presented by Peter Turner FRMS to the Royal Microscopical Society catalogued as number 92 in authority Turner.

    In the early 1850’s the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce offered a prize for the design of a compact compound microscope that could sell for 3 guineas. The design, which is reflected here, was won by Robert Fields & Son of Birmingham in 1854. Due to the popularity of the design it was copied by others but often at a higher price. These copies were often unsigned as is the case here. However, the brass foot is very much in the style of Ross so we suspect it came from that maker.

    Nice 19th Century Cased Brass Microscope..

    $590.00

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  • Magnificent Bird of Paradise and the Superb Bird of Paradise [From Papua New Guinea] – Lemaire – 1836

    Magnificent Bird of Paradise and the Superb Bird of Paradise [From Papua New Guinea] – Lemaire – 1836

    The most beautiful hand coloured engraving of the Magnificent and the Superb Bird of Paradise. Executed by Pauquet for Lemaire’s supreme work “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques” published in Paris in 1836.

    The plate is 23cm by 14cm rich creamy paper and in fine condition. The colours are so vivid the engraving so fine they surprise the eye.

    Both birds inhabit the Papua New Guinea mountain forests and can also be found in Indonesia. Whilst shy birds they exist in substantial number and are thankfully not considered endangered.

    Price unframed $240.00 …. price framed in gilt $340.00

    No birds more beautiful than the Birds of Paradise

    $240.00

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  • Letters From High Latitudes – Earl of Dufferin Governor General of India – From the Library of The Novar of Raith, Ronald Munro Ferguson, to be 6th Governor General of Australia and, who had married the daughter of Lord Dufferin, Lady Helen Hermoine in the year that Ferguson signed the inside of this book 1889.

    Letters From High Latitudes – Earl of Dufferin Governor General of India – From the Library of The Novar of Raith, Ronald Munro Ferguson, to be 6th Governor General of Australia and, who had married the daughter of Lord Dufferin, Lady Helen Hermoine in the year that Ferguson signed the inside of this book 1889.

    Being some account of a Voyage in 1856 in the Schooner Yacht “Foam” to Iceland, Jan Meyen, and Spitzbergen.

    Eighth edition published by John Murray in 1887, London, having been published a number of times since the first of 1857. New editions continued on well into the 20th Century.

    Octavo, 248 pages, with frontispiece of the “First Glimpse of Jan Mayen”, and numerous illustrations throughout. Original blude cloth covered boards with gilt device to front, gilt titles to spine. Original jet black endpapers with Ronald Munro Ferguson, Novar of Raith’s bookplate on the front paste down. Also, signed and dated by Ferguson on a blank page before the half title July 27″ 89, the year he married Duffrein’s daughter … a wedding gift from the father-in-law?

    Written as if a series of lengthy letters. Some unusual introductory content … poem “To The Figure=Head of the “Foam””; list of Dramatis Personae … Protesilaus stumbles on the threshold; the Icelander – a modern Sir Patrick Spens; Loch Goil – the Saga of Clan Campbell; through the Sounds – Stornaway; Out into the North Atlantic and gales and sea sickness – first sight of Iceland, landing at Thule; Reykjavik and buying horses … the lava plateau, mystical mountains, crossing the Arctic Circle; On to Jan Mayen and the volcanic Mount Berrenberg; Sailing for Bear Island and Cherie Island, the Freer Sea, landing at Spitzbergen, English Bay and Lady Edith’s Glacier …

    Despite the popularity of the expedition and the book of events this was the only published work of the rather busy Frederick Hamilton-Temple -Blackwood, the First Marquess of Dufferin and Ava of Northern Ireland. Dufferin (1826-1902) was variously .. 3rd Governor of Canada, Viceroy and Governor General of India, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster etc he also held senior positions in the Middle East. Born into wealth he was educated at Oxford. Late in life he became involved in a major financial scandal resulting in the loss of most of his own fortune. He was exonerated of any blame , seemingly.

    Ronald Munro Ferguson (1860-1934) was born at Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He attended Sandhurst an after a military career was elected to the House of Commons in 1884. In 1914 he was appointed Governor-General of Australia, forming a close bond with Prime Minister Billy Hughes during the difficult years of WWI. He held office until 1920, the six year term then being a record. Returned to Scotland to become 1st Viscount Novar and Secretary for Scotland. After politics he held Board and Management position in a number of Insurance and banking companies and, was knighted in 1926.

    Price $180.00

    Dufferin in the “Foam” in the cold North … unusual descriptive writing. Exceptional provenance

    $180.00

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