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  • Waller’s Owl [Australian Eastern Grass owl] -Silvester Diggles – Brisbane – c1870

    Waller’s Owl [Australian Eastern Grass owl] -Silvester Diggles – Brisbane – c1870

    Rare original hand-coloured lithograph by Queensland naturalist Silvester Diggles. Published as part of his magnificent work “”The Ornithology of Australia” between 1866 and 1870 in twenty-one parts by Pugh of Brisbane, in a very limited edition. By the time part sixteen was published there were only 92 subscribers. The original plates were executed on stone and coloured by Diggles and his niece, Rowena Birkett.

    The Waller’s Owl in modern times referred to as the Eastern Grass Owl. A beautiful reclusive and rarely seen bird which is occasionally seen in New South Wales but mainly in Queensland where it hunts the cane fields and grasslands for rodents. A medium sized owl similar to the barn owl. Colouring tan-brown with black, white and orange mottling, long legs which it uses to snatch its prey from dense undergrowth.

    The work measures 38cm by 27cm, good hand colouring pretty clean and undamaged. A scarce item.

    About Silvester Diggles

    Silvester Diggles (1817-1880) artist and musician born in Liverpool, England. He came to Australia in 1853 settling in Brisbane where he taught music and drawing. Diggles was a founder of the Brisbane Choral Society in 1859 and the Philharmonic Society in 1861 known as “the father of music in Brisbane”. Diggles was also a founder of the Queensland Philosophical Society and helped establish the Museum. His greatest work was The Ornithology of Australia. It nearly sent him broke. His health deteriorated worry about finances being a factor. He died at Kangaroo Point in 1880.

    Price $490.00 unframed.

    An opportunity to own a rare original owl by Queenslander Silvester Diggles.



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  • A Queensland Pair – A Story of Forty Year Ago – Thomas Symon – First and Only 1912 – Extremely Scarce

    A Queensland Pair – A Story of Forty Year Ago – Thomas Symon – First and Only 1912 – Extremely Scarce

    A soft cover only published in this form. Printed at Brisbane at the Sapsford Printers Adelaide Street. Compact, perfect bound octavo, 184 pages, some foxing nearer the ends generally quite clean and a worthy copy as scarce as hen’s teeth. A few coloured pencil marks around chapter XXII when things get a bit amorous. A bit mind you – this is 1912.

    We think effectively self published the authors only book – he was a teacher at Ipswich may have retired before this work.

    The brief Preface … “The Following story is founded on personal experience; and, as far as possible, without exaggeration … The characters are real: and as true to life as I could make them …”

    Scarce Queensland novel and a bit of a curiosity.


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  • First Discovery  of Australia and New Guinea George Collingridge – First Edition1906 [Important Work]

    First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea George Collingridge – First Edition1906 [Important Work]

    Cornerstone book on the early exploration of Australia / New Guinea … a Voyager favourite/

    A narrative on the Portuguese and Spanish Discoveries in the Australasian Regions, between the Years 1492-1606, with descriptions of their old charts.

    Octavo, 132 pages the appendices with maps striking maps and images throughout. Published by Brooks, Sydney in 1906. Original green cloth covered binding with gilt title at front, bumped and rubbed, previous ownership signatures, very good internally.

    Includes the 16th century voyages to the spice islands and the discovery of New Guinea, the Villalobos Expedition and further discoveries in Papua, Jave-le-Grande and the early map of Australia, the maps of Pierre Descelier, and Deslien. The discovery of the Solomons by Mendana and Sarmiento with an early map and of course Queiroz voyage to Espiritu- Santo and Torres and his important discoveries.

    Frontispiece map and many others mostly coloured plus black and white illustrations and a useful chronology.

    Collingridge on the early discoveries.


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  • Queensland Illustrated  – 70 Exquisite Views – c1925

    Queensland Illustrated – 70 Exquisite Views – c1925

    Published by A. A. White Brisbane and in our opinion the best of the nostalgic promotional books of the early 20thC. We say that as the images are often vanilla, same size pseudo postcard images.

    Here we have a mixture of forma and subjects, some with aboriginal people albeit a bit posed .. the railways shots are varied including a super image of the logging train going through the Barron Gorge. Gympie Gold Mine is still active as is Mount Morgan and the bush images prove a good counterbalance to the Brisbane street scenes which are compared with nowadays rather bereft of people. The trams and very limited motor car activity … the odd horse help date this undated publication.

    Landscape (30cm x 24cm) 32 pages, original decorative cover. In really good condition given its age – best we have seen.

    Voyager’s favourite early Queensland views


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  • Headhunters of the Coral Sea – Ion Idriess – 1955

    Headhunters of the Coral Sea – Ion Idriess – 1955

    Idriess scarcity a tale for the young or the “young at heart”. Based on the true story of two young lads captured in the Coral Sea and their subsequent adventures. Based around the shipwreck of the Charles Eaton.

    This is the new edition of 1955. Published by Angus and Robertson, octavo 207 pages, plus a list of the passengers and crew of the Charles Eaton and a chart of the cruise of the Isabella rescue ship. Within the text a chart of the Coral Sea – where the boys were wrecked.

    Idriess – stories based on truth always have a special interest


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  • The Great Trek [The Expedition of the Jardine Brothers in Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess – 1947 Edition

    The Great Trek [The Expedition of the Jardine Brothers in Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess – 1947 Edition

    This is Ion idriess’s adaption of the incredible exploratory journey of the Jardine Brothers from Rockhampton all the way up to Somerset at the very tip of Cape York. They drove cattle all the way – their father already there by more comfortable means – he must have been a pretty confident parent. They had help of course but it was their termination that drove the party through – they didn’t all make it – it was pretty hostile on the way.

    Printed on “war paper” so has the characteristic even toning of the pages, a pity because its otherwise clean inside. The dust jacket a trifle worn – pretty good really and truly scarce.

    Published by Angus and Robertson. Octavo, 222 pages, illustrated frontispiece of an attack on the party.

    Idriess on the Jardines – a rare one.


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