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  • The Convict King (Jorgen Jorgenson) – James Francis Hogan – Rare Walch of Hobart issue 1891.

    The Convict King (Jorgen Jorgenson) – James Francis Hogan – Rare Walch of Hobart issue 1891.

    Rather scarce and no wonder given the paper wrappers. The long title worth detailing

    The Convict King being The Romantic Life and Adventures of Jorgen Jorgenson who was for a time Monarch of Iceland, helped to Discover Bass Strait, was at the Founding of Hobart etc etc. and Closed His Extraordinary Career in the Hobart Hospital in 1845.

    Published by J Walch & Sons, Tasmania. No date but 1891. Authority Ferguson 104889.

    Interestingly for a book published by the famous Hobart printing firm – this book was actually printed by Kelly of London and Kingston on Thames, England.

    Octavo, 235 pages, with advertisements for other contemporary Walch publications in the ends and on the back cover. Splitting a bit down the spine edge, now repaired and secured with acid free archival Japan paper.

    Published as part of Walch’s Series of Books on Old Van Diemen’s Land – No 3. A very good copy despite any deficiencies given its rarity and obvious vulnerability.

    The story of Jorgen Jorgenson is a full and strange one – at first hid life appears surely a fiction … but no this man was out for adventure and mixed with many who were making their own mark on the World and its History.

    The Convict King a scarce edition for sure.


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  • Important Voyage Account – The Voyage of the Duff to the South Sea Islands – Captain James Wilson – First edition 1799.

    Full title … A Missionary Voyage to the Southern Pacific Ocean Performed in the Years 1796, 1797, 1798, in the Ship Duff, Commanded by Captain James Wilson. Compiled from Journals of the Officers and the Missionaries; and Illustrated with Maps, Charts and Views drawn by Mr William Wilson, and engraved by the most eminent Artists. With a Preliminary Discourse on the Geography and History of the South Sea Islands; and an Appendix, including details never before published, of the Natural and Civil State of Otaheite.

    Printed by Gosnell for Publisher T. Chapman, Fleet Street, London 1799. Large quarto with wide margins. 420 pages after preliminaries and before substantial and distinguished subscribers list. With seven folded engraved maps and six beautifully engraved plates. Rebound at some time in half crimson morocco over matching red cloth covered boards, headband, top edge freshly gilt. A very good solid and internally clean copy.

    An early voyage to the Pacific, undertaken for the purpose of establishing a mission in Tahiti. A settlement of was formed with twenty five members. Though the King befriended them, they met with continual difficulties due to continuous civil wars and were finally forced to flee to Australia. Though some returning some time much later in 1815. The work contains many valuable details regarding Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, Tonga, the Marquesas, etc. The discovery of a new group of islands, named the Duff Group among the Santa Cruz Islands. The narrative is full and readable with considerable valuable observation – not at all in the often dry “missionary” style. Stands, in our view, as a key read in the early Pacific Voyages genre.

    The large folding “Chart of the Duff’s Track in the Pacific Ocean” was the first map to use the name Australia than New Holland.

    Other important maps comprise – Feejee Islands; Marquesas Islands; Duff’s Group; Gambier Islands; Island of Otaheite and Island of Tongataboo.

    Views comprise … Harbour of Rio Janeiro; Missionary Settlement at Matavai; View of Tallo Harbour; Great Morai of Oberca; Morai and Ark of the Eatooa at Attahooroo and Fiatookas of Futtasaihe.

    One of classic late 18thC voyage accounts of significant exploration interest – a very good copy.


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  • The First Fleet: The Record of the Foundation of Australia from Its Conception to the Settlement of Sydney Cove. Compiled from the original documents in the Public Record Office, with extracts from the Log-Books of H.M.S. Sirius – Owen Rutter with engravings by Barker – Mill, Peter – 1937

    The First Fleet: The Record of the Foundation of Australia from Its Conception to the Settlement of Sydney Cove. Compiled from the original documents in the Public Record Office, with extracts from the Log-Books of H.M.S. Sirius – Owen Rutter with engravings by Barker – Mill, Peter – 1937

    Published by the distinguished The Golden Cockerel Press, London, 1937. Very good condition. Peter Barker-Mill (illustrator). Limited edition, one of 375 copies.

    Tristan Buesst’s copy with his bookplate. Buesst, a legal eagle, was the first President of the Friends of La Trobe Library.

    Folio 15 inches. Foreword by the Hon. B.S.B. Stevens, M.L.A., Premier of New South Wales. Five Engravings by Peter Barker-Mill. Four pages of facsimiles between pp. 8 and 9 (not included in pagination). “printed & published by Christopher and Anthony Sandford and Owen Rutter at the Golden Cockerel Press. Printed on Arnold’s hand-made paper in “Perpetua” type.

    Original Blue Cloth. Front cover with cream-coloured cloth label decoratively stamped in gilt. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Top edge trimmed, others uncut. A simply beautiful production.

    Published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of Australia. The Editor has provided a judicious selection of the original documents and created a connected narrative. The Times Literary Supplement referred to the distinction of the printing and binding, adding that it was certainly a volume which all interested in Australia would care to possess and at the same time paying high tribute to Peter Barker-Mill’s imaginative engravings.


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  • The Mutineer – A Romance of Pitcairn Island – Louis Becke and Walter Jeffrey – First Colonial (Australian) Edition 1898.

    Likely technically the first edition is the London issue of that year. The first and this issue the first Colonial issue by Angus & Robertson both extremely scarce.

    Octavo, 298 pages plus Publishers catalogue. Original dark green cloth covered binding, gilt title to spine. The odd mark to the boards, missing front free end paper and occasional light ageing. Otherwise really not bad and, try to find another one.

    George Lewis Becke (1855-1913) was born at Port Macquarie and must be regarded as the best Australian author of the period in the genre adventure … South Seas … historical based fiction. He has been compared with Robert Louis Stevenson, Melville, Kipling, Conrad etc exalted company indeed.

    Becke had the pedigree – from an early age he escaped to the South Pacific … ferried vessels to Bully Hayes, was tried (and acquitted) as a pirate at Brisbane at the age of 19 etc etc.

    Prolific writer once he settled down. This Bounty Mutiny based story one of the later works and a collaboration. Didn’t get into print in the USA as a relationship between different races didn’t fit the then standards.

    With a novel we at Voyager always like a good short helpful first sentence. We have the first paragraph here just to get you into the mood.

    “It was night at Tahiti, in the Society Islands. The trade-wind had died away, and a bright flood of shimmering moonlight poured down upon the slumbering waters of a little harbour a few miles distant from Matavia Bay, and the white curve of beach that fringed the darkened line of palms shone and glistened like a belt of ivory under the effulgence of its rays. For nearly half a mile the broad sweep of dazzling sand showed no interruption nor break upon its surface save at one spot; there it ran out into a long narrow point, on which, under a small cluster of graceful cocos, growing almost at the water’s edge, a canoe was drawn up”.

    Louis Becke’s scarce and somewhat controversial South Seas story.


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  • Robert O’Hara Burke and the Australian Exploring Expedition – Andrew Jackson 1860

    Robert O’Hara Burke and the Australian Exploring Expedition – Andrew Jackson 1860

    Scarce first edition of this essential Burke and Wills book published by Smith and Elder in 1862.

    Octavo, xxi, 229 pages with woodcut portrait of Burke and folding map, extensive Publishers Catalogue at the rear. Original green cloth covered binding, some internal foxing particularly the map and adjacent pages as usual. Very good original embossed green cloth covered binding, gilt title to spine bright and fresh. Unusual for a usually distressed book.

    Andrew Jackson may have known Burke personally, he was certainly an acquaintance of Burke’s father, they were officers in the same Regiment. The first chapter give an interesting account of the family military history and background on Robert O’Hara Burke.

    Written from papers, journals, letters, reports, interviews etc associated with the expedition. Nicely written carefully compiled.

    An important “companion work” to the Bentley published book based on Wills’s journal and letters.

    Scarce Burke and Wills contemporary reference


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  • The Voyage of HMS Galatea – Visit to Australia – Prince Alfred – 1867

    The Voyage of HMS Galatea – Visit to Australia – Prince Alfred – 1867

    Medal commemorating the Australian visit of the then Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, to Australia.

    Created and cast by Thomas Stokes of Melbourne. There are two slightly different forms, with differing decorative borders.

    On the obverse the Duke’s bust in naval dress uniform with Ribbon and Star of the Garter. Legend HRH Duke of Edinburgh. Surrounded by an ornamental border. Reverse with a starboard broadside view of the “Galatea” under steam and sail, the top gallant sails in the act of being taken in. Legend … to Commemorate the Visit of HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh KG to Australia – HMS Galatea 1867.

    See the Greenwich National Maritime museum for an example – reference MEC1362.

    47mm in diameter, 40 gm white metal. Holed for a loop as usual, a couple of scratches, negligible edge bumps, a pretty good example.

    HMS Galatea circumnavigated the World and spent six months in Australia. During his stay the Prince was subject to an assassination attempt by an Irishman – he was shot but the bullet actually glanced off his ribs and he survived.

    Historical Maritime Medal – HMS Galatea in Australia 1867.


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