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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition –  Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Important Microscope Slide – HMS Challenger Expedition – Globigerina Ooze – Station 21 South Atlantic in 1876. Preparer John Browning, the Strand, London.

    Contemporary prepared microscope slides of samples taken on the Challenger Expedition are highly sought after. This one is of particular interest as few can be found prepared by John Browning.

    The Challenger Expedition 1873-1876 was the perhaps the world’s greatest marine focused scientific expedition. Organised by the world’s greatest club. The Royal Society, a total of 126 thousand kms were travelled. She carried 190km of Indian hemp for making soundings and taking samples, had beautiful fitted laboratories and the finest instruments of the day; and no doubt microscopes made by John Browning a leading maker of microscopes and spectroscopes of the highest standard.

    The slide is very clearly labelled with the preparers name and address at 63 The Strand. The date the sample was taken on the Challenger, 21st March 1876. The depth of sample taken, 1,990 fathoms and the location Latitude 21.15 South Longitude 14.2 West.

    On the 21st March 1876 the Challenger had been at sea three years and was on her way home to England. The location is almost the same longitude as Voyager’s favourite island Tristan d’Acunha and a few degrees north.

    Campbell’s “Log Letters from the Challenger” recorded the passage of the vessel. In literally the final paragraph we have our location.

    “On the 6th February 1876 the Challenger left the Falklands for Monte Video; thence she proceeded towards Tristan d’Acunha. [Here they found the water very cold at depth, finding a stratum of water 400 fathoms in thickness below freezing.] From the neighbourhood of Tristan d’Acunha the ship sailed to Ascension, finding shallow soundings, and the bottom temperature 35.9F having left Ascension she touched at Porto Praya, St Vincent, and Vigo, and arrived at Spithead on the 24th May 1878. And so ended the cruise of the Challenger”

    In our images we show a chart showing the track of the vessel (taken from Campbell’s Log-Letters – see our copy) and the nature of various sample taken [Yellow] is Globigerina Ooze. The location of this sample is almost equidistant between Tristan and Ascension [just south west of St Helena}. You will see that it is marked Station 21 and the depth of 1,990 noted.

    Globigerina refers to planktonic foraminifera with calcareous shells.

    See our Research Section for a note on the achievements of John Browning. We have his spectroscopes for sale elsewhere on this site.

    Original Challenger Expedition prepared slide, of good Globigerina sample, from known location and date of sample – rare distinguished preparer.


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  • Log-Letters from the Challenger –  Campbell -1877

    Log-Letters from the Challenger – Campbell -1877

    Lord George Campbell’s informative log regarding the greatest Oceanographic survey ever made – the voyage of HMS Challenger.

    The interest in the voyage so great at the time the book soon went to many editions. This is a super copy of the fifth published by MacMillan, London in 1877.

    Octavo, 52 pages plus publishers’ catalogue. Important folding map bound in as frontispiece outlining the course of the voyage with colour coding for various ocean floor encounters. Nice condition in original green cloth covered binding.

    The log has been criticised by some for being rather unscientific whilst we find it very readable and informative. Written without the initial view of being published. The chapters have a logical progression … England to the Cape (Good Hope); The Cape to Australia; Melbourne to Cape York; Cape York to China; China to Japan; Japan to Valparaiso; Valparaiso to Monte Video. An excellent accompaniment to the log written by Spry of which also we have a copy.

    The Challenger Expedition Day by Day



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  • Every Man His Own Physician – John Theobald MD – 1770

    Every Man His Own Physician – John Theobald MD – 1770

    Full title .. “Every Man His Own Physician being, A Complete Collection of Efficacious and Approved Remedies, for every Disease incident to the Human Body. With Plain Instructions for their common Use”.

    A New, Improved Edition, printed by W. Griffin, in Catherine Street, London 1770.

    John Theobald MD was the author of Medulla Medicine. This work was compiled at the command of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland (The King’s brother). This was the sixth edition of this then much admired work and the Preface highlights the additions, being the cure for: the Bite of a Mad Dog; the Bite of a Viper or Adder; Chilblains, Hooping Cough, Frozen Limbs, Milk Fever, difficult Cutting of Teeth, old Ulcers, Whitloes etc

    Octavo, 76 pages after Title (which was engraved showing strong plate mark), various Preface(s), Index of Diseases, Index to the Appendix (where the recipes reside). Original full leather binding with original red leather title label to second compartment. Some age to the binding, but really holding rather well. Nice and clean inside a very good copy

    Makes most interesting reading for the layman as well as medically inclined. Some of the more exotic Diseases include … Saint Anthony’s Fire; Baldness (seemingly help by rubbing with an onion), Falling Sickness, Gravel and Stone (Ouch), Green Sickness, King’s Evil etc.

    The procedures and cures equally unusual e.g. for excessive nose bleeding one should bleed the foot (a certain but limiting logic). Medications with strange formulations including Hungary-water (take of fresh rosemary tops a pound and a half; proof spirit of melasses, a gallon, and distil off about five pints); Mallow leaves; Hartshorn; Viper broth (really a broth of viper) etc

    Theobald’s “Physician” a special 18th Century Medical Reference



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  • The Geology and Palaeontology of Queensland and New Guinea – (Plate Album – Some Hand Coloured) – Robert Logan Jack and Robert Etheridge (Jnr) – 1892

    The Geology and Palaeontology of Queensland and New Guinea – (Plate Album – Some Hand Coloured) – Robert Logan Jack and Robert Etheridge (Jnr) – 1892

    This is the scarce first edition plate album published by James Beal, Brisbane in 1892 and Dulau, London

    Small quarto (25cm by 19cm) containing 68 striking plates. A plate 69 is listed being a Geological Map of Queensland, as this was bound separately it is nearly always missing as in this case. Original embossed brown cloth covered binding, gilt titles to spine, original patterned endpapers. Some ageing to extremities. Internally very clean, with some damage to one plate (no 25) not affecting the images.

    The specimens figured are predominantly from the Geological Survey of Queensland Collection along with some from the British Museum, Australian and Queensland Museum ; and private collections including the late Richard Daintree, Tenison Woods etc

    Robert Logan Jack (Voyager hero) was the Government Geologist for Queensland. Robert Etheridge son a an equally famous father of the same name worked with Logan Jack previously on the Geological Survey of Scotland. At the time of this work Etheridge was Government Palaeontologist of NSW.

    The first 44 plates contain 661 individual illustrations lithographed by Berjeau & Highley and printed by Mintern Brothers, London a combination active in scientific works of the period including the leading London Societies. 11 of the plates represent geological sections of varying degrees of complexity; a plate of drill cores; a coloured folding chart of the Burrum coal field; a larger folding coloured plan of Gympie Gold Field; a larger again folding coloured plan of Chartered Towers. The 12 excellent hand coloured images of rock thin sections drawn from the microscope by Isabel Phoebe Clarke (1863-1960) wife of Arthur Walter Clarke (1854-1893) who was at Chartered Towers

    Important Queensland Geological Work – Special Plates


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  • The Cruise of Her Majesty’s Ship “Challenger” – W.J.J. Spry – 1878

    The Cruise of Her Majesty’s Ship “Challenger” – W.J.J. Spry – 1878

    An 1878 edition of Spry’s book about the Challenger Expedition, the most important and certainly largest 19th Century Scientific Expedition.

    Published by Sampson Low etc London. Octavo, 320 pages with 46 black and white illustrations and large folding chart showing the track and activities of H.M.S. Challenger. Original burnt sienna colored cloth covered binding, with gilt image of vessel to front. Map with small repaired tear, slight ageing otherwise a very good copy of this desirable work.

    Challenger gave its name to the deepest Ocean and the best means of space travel.



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  • Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 –  Volume 3 – Optics, Astronomy, the Use of the Globes an Optical Instruments (Includes map of the World By Emanuel Bowen)

    Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 – Volume 3 – Optics, Astronomy, the Use of the Globes an Optical Instruments (Includes map of the World By Emanuel Bowen)

    One of originally three volumes each of which stands alone. We have two and are selling them individually or as a pair … scarce.

    Published by M Cooper in Pater-noster-row, J Newbery in St Pauls Church-yard, S Crowder and Co on London-bridge etc London and sold by the Author at his House in Fleet-street, 1759.

    Bound in original full speckled Calf showing some age but holding very well. Original maroon leather title labels. A beautiful antiquarian look.

    Text block speckled red. Inked name on front paste down. Title page in red and black. Octavo, 408 pages after preliminaries, with solid index at the rear. Thirty five magnificent copper engraved plates, all folding, two with professionally repaired tears.

    Benjamin Martin (1705-1782) established a school in Chichester during his twenties. Little is known about his own formal education. By 1738 he had taken a keen interest in optics and produced several wood and cardboard microscopes. He started presenting lectures in experimental philosophy to audiences in Reading, Bristol, Bath and London. He published his first “Philosophia” in 1747. This the second 1759 edition is a new and augmented version and is the high point of his work. The world (Wiki) has Martin down principally as a lexicographer who compiled and early dictionary … and a lecturer and maker of scientific instruments …. we would say wrong way around. By 1756 Martin was firmly settled in London. He began trading as an Optician and then in addition numerous scientific instruments. His business address, which is where he lived was described as “Hadley’s Quadrant and Visual Glasses”, near Crane Court, in Fleet Street, London. His trade cards advertised … “All Sorts of Philosophical, Optical and Mathematical Instruments many of which are of New Invention made and Sold by Benjamin Martin at his shop … viz Planetariums, Globes of any Size, Air Pumps, Barometers, Thermometers, Pocket Microscopes, Wilson’s Microscopes, Solar Microscopes, Reflecting and Refracting Telescopes, Reading Glasses, Opera Glasses, Spectacles, Hadley’s Quadrants, Cases of Instruments, Sectors, Sliding Rules. Artificial Magnets and of which may be sent safe to any part of England”.

    The book comprises; Lecture IX Optics containing inter alia; Lenses; Harmonical Reflection in Mirrors; Images; Algebraic Theorems; Of the Eye and Vision; Refractive Power; Defects of the Eye; Optical Instruments; Microscopes; Cata-dioptric Microscope; Reflecting Microscope; Micrometer; Pocket Microscope of the Author’s Invention; Refracting Telescopes; Newton’s Reflecting Telescope; Camera Obscura; Solar Telescope; Lecture XI Astronomy – inter alia The Universe; Ptolomean System; Tycho Brahe; Copernican or Solar System; Periodical Times of The Planets; Satellites or Moons; Atmosphere of the Moon; to Measure the Height of a Mountain in the Moon; Moons of Jupiter; Moons of Saturn; Saturn’s Rings; Newtonian Theory of Planetary Motion; the Orrery; Eclipses; Comets; The Path of the Comet of 1743/3 Ascertained by Observation etc. An Appendix of Chronology including the Cycles of the Moon; the Golden Numbers and Their Use; The Astronomical Principles of Sir Isaac Newton’s Chronology Explained. Lecture XII, the use of the Globes inter alia Catalogue of Stars; Zodiac; Nebulous Stars; Problems on the Celestial Globe; The Manner of Drawing a Meridian Line; the Voyage to the Arctic Circle by the French King’s Mathematicians; Mercator’s Projection Explained. Appendix of the Lunar Motions; Method of Computing the Quantity of Matter, Density, and Weight of Bodies, in the Sun, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. Appendix II – Improvements in Optical Instruments Universal Microscope; the New Solar Microscope; the New Reflecting Microscope etc

    The folding plates are very good, up with Principia or Pemberton’s book on Newtonian Philosophy. We can only conveniently provide a few scans. Special Astronomical plates and the early Instruments

    The folding map of the world is by distinguished English cartographer Emanuel Bowen (1694-1767). Described as “the Globular projection or A Map of the World Drawn from the best Authorities & Regulated by Astronomical Observations” circa 1750 but obviously before 1759.

    A special pre-Cook map of the world. Australia based on the Dutch understanding of the coastline with New Holland, Carpentaria and Van Diemens Land named. Elsewhere a number of false of fictitious landmarks add interest, including Darkes Land south of the Horn; Davis Land (which may be Easter Island) and Gamas Land in the North west Pacific, and Terra Australis just south of Tristan da Cunha. Strong plate mark and in good condition. Uncoloured as it should be. This map underpins supports the value of the book.

    Emanuel Bowen was appointed mapmaker to George II and Louis XV. He trained Thomas Kitchen and Thomas Jeffreys both distinguished followers, as well as his son Thomas Bowen who carried on the family tradition after his death.

    Superb 18thC Physics based on Newton and his followers with special engravings to demonstrate the principles and instruments involved.

    With the fine early world map by Emanuel Bowen.


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