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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • The Bridgewater Treatises: Including Rev William Buckland on Geology and Mineralogy, Charles Bell on the Hand, Whewell on Astronomy etc – Finely Bound – (1833-1845)

    The Bridgewater Treatises: Including Rev William Buckland on Geology and Mineralogy, Charles Bell on the Hand, Whewell on Astronomy etc – Finely Bound – (1833-1845)

    Eight works in 11 volumes, published in London by William Pickering, mixed editions various dates 1833 – 1845.

    Bound in full contemporary polished calf, boards gilt ruled, the spines with gilt lined raised bands, altered direct and dated at the foot of spine. Very good copies with an occasional mark externally and a faint damp stain to the uncoloured geology plates, outer corner. The famous massive folding coloured plate is in fine condition. Each volume carries the bookplate of Maximillian Dudley Digges Dalison.

    Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgwater, a gentleman naturalist and scientist, commissioned the Bridgewater Treatises to be written on his death bed. He died in February 1829. Eight thousand pounds was given to the President of the Royal Society for this purpose. In turn the President appointed leading authorities in key fields to write works with reference to Natural Theology.

    The Voyager Treatise comprise Thomas Chalmers – The Adaption of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man; John Kidd – The Adaption of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man; William Whewell – Astronomy and General Physics; Sir Charles Bell – The Hand, Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design; Peter Mark Roget – Animals and Vegetable Physiology; William Buckland’s – Geology and Mineralogy; William Kirby – On the History, Habits and Instincts of Animals and William Prout – Chemistry, Meteorology and the Function of Digestion.

    The ninth and final Bridgewater Treatise – Charles Babbage – A Fragment is not included in the run.

    Many of the volumes stand alone as important works … Sir Charles Bell on the Hand, Astronomy by Whewell etc. It is the Rev Buckland that produced a truly remarkable work in the field of Geology. The second of two volumes contains all the 87 plates required all finely engraved and the large folding hand coloured plate is something very special.

    Rev William Buckland (1784-1856) was an exceptional individual – a Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Geological Society. His interest in geology and palaeontology led him to write the first full account of a fossil dinosaur which he named Megalosarurus. He discovered the Kirkdale cave and concluded that it had been a prehistoric hyena den – for which he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society. This work was written just prior to his awakening that certain geological structures and fossil remains were a result of glaciation and not the effect of floodwaters from the great deluge. Buckland was a friend of a young Charles Darwin – there must have been some very interesting conversations.

    Important Georgian/ Early Victorian intellectual works by leading academics of the day

    $980.00

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  • British Mineralogy; or Coloured Figures intended to Elucidate the Mineralogy of Great Britain – James Sowerby Volume I and Volume II – Baron Stanley of Alderley’s Copy

    British Mineralogy; or Coloured Figures intended to Elucidate the Mineralogy of Great Britain – James Sowerby Volume I and Volume II – Baron Stanley of Alderley’s Copy

    One of the Greatest Illustrated Coloured Plate Books of all Time

    Printed by R. Taylor and Co, London 1804 – 1806. The first two volumes of what would eventually become a five volume set.

    Containing 200 stunning hand coloured engraved copper plates representing the first comprehensively illustrated reference on Mineralogy. Many of the plates have applied gum arabic which gives them a more intense image. Each plate has a strong plate impression and is engraved with the date of publication and the engravers name, Jas Sowerby, London.

    Octavo xii, 223 and 199 pages plus corrigenda to each volume. Plates not included in the pagination, but all present. Plates bright and clean … a very good set. Binding half leather with original marbled paper covered boards. Re-backed well at some time with separate black leather title labels, volume number in gilt applied direct. Original end papers retained.

    Volume I commences with a dedication to Sir Joseph Banks, as the “Grand Promoter of every Science connected with Natural History”. A three page Preface explaining the volumes to come. A “Sketch of a System for British Mineralogy” introducing the classifications of Combustibles (Homogeneous, Compound and Aggregate), Earth and Metals. Followed by certain “Observations on the System”. Each plate is followed by a two page description of the mineral depicted.

    The work was originally issued in parts commencing with Volume I Number I in November 1802 which contained only the first four plates. Subsequent issues came out monthly with a similar number of plates, so Volume II was not complete until December 1806. Full sets of five volumes are very rare and respected reference … Mineralogical Record Volume 26 Number 4 (Mineral Books) suggests there are less than 100 and is aware of only 50 as at 1995.

    Carries the bookplate of John Thomas Stanley (1766-1860) who was technically the first Baron Stanley of Alderley in the County of Chester, England. We say technically as his family had been Baron Stanley since 1485 … but titled Earl of Derby. The Stanley’s were bestowed the Baronetcy of Alderley Hall from 1660 and later collected Baron Sheffield, Baron Stanley of Alderley and Baron Eddisbury … presumably only one “Sir” applies. At the time of the bookplate John Thomas was a simple Esquire as his father, also John Thomas was the then Baron. He died in 1807 … so we can be very sure that our John Thomas was the first owner of these special volumes.

    $6,900.00

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  • Tasmanian Aboriginal Languages – A Word List – N.J.B. Plomley – First Numbered Limited Edition 1976

    Tasmanian Aboriginal Languages – A Word List – N.J.B. Plomley – First Numbered Limited Edition 1976

    Published by the author in association with the Government of Tasmania. Small quarto, 486 pages. A very fine copy of a great production.

    Hard to find despite 1,000 copies this being number 958. Published by the distinguished author in 1976. A comprehensive organised work which took Plomley 26 years to complete. Intended to be signed but not so seemingly many were missed or maybe he just ran out of ink/steam!

    Draws on the historic records of the following notable accounts … Arthur George, James Backhouse, George Washington Walker, William Bedford, Robert Brown, James Cook, Allan Cunningham, the D’Entrecasteaux Expedition, Peter Fisher, Gaimard, Jorgen Jorgenson, John Lhotsky, Joseph Milligan, Robert Roberts, Charles Robinson, George Augustus Robinson, Thomas Scott and Charles Sterling. A tight narrative on the activities of each of these individuals makes a magnificent part of the introduction. Notes follow regarding records of the nature of the speech … tone, speed, volume etc which assist greatly.

    Unlikely to ever be improved and the work of Plomley has to be admired. All this before personal computers!

    SO SORRY SOLD

    $120.00

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  • The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs  – Charles Darwin -1889

    The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs – Charles Darwin -1889

    Published by Smith, Elder edition in London in 1889, a very good near fine third edition of a scarce Darwin book. Interestingly, never published by Darwin’s principal publisher Murray.

    Darwin’s observations of reefs and atolls during the voyage of the Beagle. Darwin’s theory of the formation of coral reefs. He hypothesised that atolls and barrier reefs were formed on gradually sinking land, while fringe reefs appeared on land undergoing elevation.

    Three engraved superb maps two with colour. An important body of work by the great man.

    Rare in such condition.

    Darwin’s great work on the coral reefs

    $690.00

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  • Precious Stones and Minerals – Hermann Bank – First English Edition 1970.

    Precious Stones and Minerals – Hermann Bank – First English Edition 1970.

    First published in Germany in 1966. This is the first English edition published by Frederick Warne, London in 1970.

    Large quarto, 125 pages with 32 magnificent full page tipped in coloured plates from quality photographic images. Regarded independently as the best images yet prodcued … they really make this book special. The accompanying text by Dr Hermann Bank of Idar-Oberstein Centre of the German Diamond and Gem Industry.

    Minerals and Precious stones Displayed Perfectly

    $60.00

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  • Australian Mineral Specimen – Black Tourmaline – Yinnietharra

    Australian Mineral Specimen – Black Tourmaline – Yinnietharra

    A large and weighty example of Black Tourmaline a semi-precious crystalline boron silicate mineral.

    This fine example from the Yinnietharra deposit in Western Australia lovely crystal form at termination.

    Total weight xx gms

    Very good and sizeable example

    $80.00

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