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  • The Hermit of Warkworth – Catnach Press Alnwick Northumberland – Thomas Percy 1806 – Special Provenance

    The Hermit of Warkworth – Catnach Press Alnwick Northumberland – Thomas Percy 1806 – Special Provenance

    This work had been published in the 1770’s in London. Penned by Thomas Percy and concerning his family.

    This edition is of special interest as it was produced by James Catnach of Catnach Press, Alnwick, Northumberland (the seat of the Percy family), Catnach Press has a special position in the history of English printing. The illustrations from wood cuts by Thomas Bewick who would become famous for his beautiful natural history engraving particularly birds. Catnach was to publish a work based on Buffon.

    Special provenance … owned by George Skelly September 19th, 1861 who was an expert on Catnach and lived at The Market Place, Alnwick. If you have never been there, then you should it’s a magical place. There is an inscription from Skelly to Charles Hindley dated Alnwick June 9th, 1876. Hindley a prolific author was to write the definitive history of the Catnach Press and separately James Catnach. He records his thanks for assistance given by Skelly in both.

    The Hermit of Warkworth a Northumberland Ballad in Three Fits (Parts), 170 four line verses in all. Marked as a second edition but dated as the first 1806. Dedication to the Duchess of Northumberland dated October 1805. Small octavo, 102 pages, the equivalent of the last three pages has been bound in in manuscript. Exceptionally neat and in the hand of gift giver George Skelly. The work also contains a short poem to the Duchess; and an “Advertisement” referencing Warkworth Castle and the Hermitage (another special place … more so) and Brinkburn Priory; and the Postscript which deals with the history of the Hermitage. At the end of each “Fit” are a few pages of notes regarding the use of language, places, historical events etc.

    We must give you a few lines from the First “Fit”.

    Dark was the night, and wild the storm,
    And loud the torrent’s roar;
    And loud the sea was heard to dash
    Against the distant shore.

    Musing on man’s weak hapless state,
    The lonely hermit lay;
    When, lo! He heard a female voice
    Lament in sore dismay.

    With hospitable haste he rose,
    And wak’d his sleeping fire:
    And snatching up a lighted brand,
    Forth hied the reverened sire.

    All sad beneath a neighbouring tree
    A beauteous maid he found,
    Who beat her breast, and with her tears
    Bedew’d the mossy ground

    O weep not, lady, weep not so;
    Nor let vain fears alarm;
    My little cell shall shelter thee,
    And keep thee safe from harm.

    The Hermit of Warkworth – Based on a True story – and another Magical Place … we love it!


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  • Illustrations De Zoologie (Complete with 60 Hand Coloured Stipple Engraved Plates) – Rene Primevere Lesson  – Published progressively from 1831 to 1834 – Scotland’s Great Naturalist Sir William Jardine’s Copy

    Illustrations De Zoologie (Complete with 60 Hand Coloured Stipple Engraved Plates) – Rene Primevere Lesson – Published progressively from 1831 to 1834 – Scotland’s Great Naturalist Sir William Jardine’s Copy

    Illustrations de Zoologie, ou recueil de figures d’aninaux peintes d’apres nature.

    Published by Arthus Bertrand progressively between 1831-1834.

    Complete. Originally published in twenty parts with three plates each giving sixty hand coloured stipple engraved plates in total. Bound in half calf in the 20thC, nicely done, top edge gilded, with original dark brown wrappers from the first and the last of the twenty parts bound in at the ends. General spotting of the text, the plates pretty clean and bright and beautifully executed.

    Rene Primevere Lesson was born at Rochefort and joined the French Naval Medical school at sixteen. He served in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1816 he became described as a Naval pharmacist. He served on the Duperrey scientific expedition on board La Coquille round the World and in particular to the Pacific from 1822-1825. During that voyage he, along with Dumont d’Urvillle, collected natural history specimens … many were first specimens to the western world … and Lesson was the first to observe and take interest in the birds of paradise of New Guinea. On returning to Paris he focused his life on natural history, and this is one of the first publications he produced. To be followed by a works on the Birds of Paradise and an extension of Buffon’s Natural History and works relating to the Duperry expedition.

    Sir William Jardine (1800-1874), 7th Baronet of Applegarth FRS, FRSE, FLS, FSA and Voyager Hero was the Scottish equivalent of Sir Joseph Banks sponsoring all things natural history. Perhaps best known for his backing and editorial effort in creating The Naturalist’s Library which ran to 41 volumes containing numerous hand coloured plates. He worked closely with his brother in law, William Home Lizars a talented engraver and printer in Edinburgh. The pair were to inspire Audubon to create his magnificent work on American Birds. It is interesting to note that the date of the work offered here coincides with the publication of Volume 1 of the Naturalist’s Library – Hummingbirds Part I.

    Rare Natural History Plate Book – Lesson 1831– Complete – Distinguished Naturalist Sir William Jardine’s Copy



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  • Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire –  Sir Ernest Shackleton – Translated from “South”‘ by Landel – First French Edition 1920

    Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire – Sir Ernest Shackleton – Translated from “South”‘ by Landel – First French Edition 1920

    The French edition of “South” … The story of Shackleton’s Expedition (The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914 – 1917).

    A very good copy of the first edition published by Alfred Mame et Fils, Tours, France.

    Folio, 384 pages with folding map and 77 illustrations mainly from expedition photographs. Beautifully bound with vivid stamped front cover. All edges richly gilt. Corners bit bumped and hinge a little cracked, still a lovely example. A substantial book 1.6kgs.

    Shackleton believed that after Amundsen’s conquest of the South Pole in 1911 the “one great main object of Antarctic journeyings” was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. He sent the Aurora to the Ross Sea under Mackintosh and took the Endurance to the Weddell Sea. Before they could reach Vahsel Bay they became entrapped in ice and drifted with it throughout the winter of 1915. Eventually the ship gave way and was crushed and sank, Mon Expedition au Sud Polaire contains photographs of its gradual demise. Stranded on the ice they took to the lifeboats and made inhospitable Elephant Island. Shackleton and five men then made a 1,287km journey in the James Caird to reach South Georgia eventually mounting a rescue mission for the men left behind. The Ross Sea party also had difficulties and three men lost their lives.

    Special French Edition of Shackleton’s South … what way to improve your language skills!


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  • Polar Medal – Erwin Springweiler – 1941

    Polar Medal – Erwin Springweiler – 1941

    A Polar commemorative golden bronze medal sculpted by Erwin Springweiler and issued by the American Society of Medalists in 1941.

    73 mm in diameter weighing 160 gms a fine bright unpolished example. The Arctic side has a proud Polar Bear on a floe with Snow Geese flying in the background and the names Greely, Bartlett, Peary and Byrd celebrated. The Antarctic four proud Penguins with the names Palmer, Wilkes, Byrd and Ellsworth celebrated. Along the rim the Society and Sculptors full name is engraved

    Erin Frederick Springweiler (1896-1968) was born in Pforzheim, Germany and trained at the Munich Academy. During the 1830’s he worked with American sculptor Paul Manship at Havana, Cuba. He specialised in animal sculptures and his anteater can be seen at the Washington D.C. Zoological Gardens.

    The Society of Medalists was formed in the USA in 1930 to encourage the medallic work of superior sculptors. It ceased in 1995. Springweiler was selected to produce the 1941 issue, the only medal in the series to have a Polar theme.

    Springweiler wrote about his approach … “In creating this medal, I was thinking of another world, a silent and cruel one, the regions around the poles of our globe, the endless ice-wastes, the land of midnight sun”

    Polar Celebratory Medal by Springweiler


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  • The Life and Work of Sydney Long  – Joanna Mendelssohn

    The Life and Work of Sydney Long – Joanna Mendelssohn

    A first edition published by McGraw Hill, Sydney as part of the Copperfield Art Series, 1979.

    Folio, 284 pages in complete dust jacket all in very good if not better condition. With numerous illustrations of the great man’s work including 38 in full colour including folding colour frontispiece.

    Sydney Long (1871-1955) was born in Goulburn, New South Wales.

    One of Australia’s greatest artists partly inspired by the Heidelberg School. By 1897 he had developed his own style, with possibly his most admired painting being completed that year … The Spirit of the Plains. Painted in a soft colour palette a naked Grecian wood nymph leading a procession of dancing Brolgas … simply wonderful. His paintings in this style, often with low key eroticism, were the foundation of a new art style Australian Paganism and influenced the likes of Norman Lindsay.

    Long sold his early works at good prices which financed time spent in London just before WWI where he turned to etching and engraving and held positions of distinction in several Societies.

    Sydney Long the definitive work


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  • Tasman’s Journal – Fine Facsimile – Strictly Limited

    Abel Janszoon Tasman’s Journal of His Discovery of Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand in 1642, with Documents Relating to His Exploration of Australia in 1644, Amsterdam 1898.

    Reprinted in facsimile, Los Angeles, 1965. A large folio of Tasman’s illustrated journal with an English translation and five folding maps in an end pocket. Complete and in fine condition. Edition limited to 225 copies and as a result scarce and collectable. This copy as fine a condition as you will find.

    Tasman’s Journal a rare and fine facsimile – The Discovery of Van Diemen’s Land

    Not this is a very large and heavy volume and may require a postagae supplement on billing dependent on location … we will be helpful


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