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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Polar Manual – E. E. Hedblom

    Polar Manual – E. E. Hedblom

    Prepared and published in 1961 under the auspices of the U.S. Naval Medical School by Captain Hedblom of the Department of Cold Weather Medicine.

    Cold Weather Oceanographer, Patrick Arnaud’s Copy

    The author held a number of distinguished relevant positions including Staff Surgeon, Commander Naval Support Force Antarctica 1955-1959.

    Quatro, 133 pages after preliminaries. Some useful illustrations in the form of charts, diagrams etc. Sound advice under the following general headings … Living Condition; Selection of Personnel; Physiology; Hygiene; Psychological Adjustment; Clothing; Nutrition; Sanitation; Sled Dogs; Visual Disabilities; Cold Injuries; Medical Supplies; Safety; Survival; Polar Do’s and Don’ts; Antarctic Mortality and a relevant Bibliography.

    Makes for interesting reading and not just for the medically inclined. We learned that for sure if lost one should stay in the same place and wait to be found … but keep moving … and aircraft accident are the biggest cause of death so stay out of the sky. Alcohol at this time still highly recommended but gin was the recommended tipple, suggestions that on the occasional too much is consumed by some … and Cape Hallett although most of the year is sub-zero was nicknamed the “Banana Belt” by the “Pole Cats”.

    Patrick Arnaud (1939-2016) was born in Paris and after graduating was accepted, as oceanographer, on the 1961-1963 expedition wintering over on Adelie Land, Antarctic … at the Dumont d’Urville base. He went again to the Antarctic in 1964 to complete his work. He was the author of over 200 scientific papers on his subject. He spent several years as a member of the Editorial Board of the Polar Record.

    Essential Polar Advice – Arnaud’s Copy


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  • The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin – 1892

    The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin – 1892

    Published by John Murray, London, 1892. Sixth edition last to be edited by Darwin. Our preferred edition.

    Full title … “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

    In the much preferred original Murray green cloth binding, embossed boards, gilt title, author and decoration to spine and in very good condition. Octavo, 432 pages, complete. A little aged to ends and tenderness to joints, otherwise a really good copy in a super binding.

    Described by Dibner as “the most important single work in science”.

    Darwin’s theory of the origin of species by means of natural selection arose out of his studies in the 1830s during the voyage of the Beagle. In 1856 geologist Charles Lyell, urged him to write a book on the subject. In 1858 Wallace sent Darwin a summary of the views Darwin had formed twenty years earlier. Darwin set about writing “The Origin of Species” which was published in Nov 1859.

    Darwin concluded, “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that whilst this plan has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

    Darwin – The Origin of Species – The greatest scientific book ever written


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  • The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia – Bronislaw Malonowski

    The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia – Bronislaw Malonowski

    Bronislaw Malinowski’s landmark book about the sexual life of the people of the Trobriand Islands. Papua New Guinea.

    A third edition published in 1932 by Routledge, London after the first of 1929. Contains the important lengthy “Special Forward” by the author who was unhappy that the book had been sensationalised regarding its sexual content, and that his objective of the “synthesis, integration of details, the correlation of aspects, the whole functional mechanism in short was missed”. Time has corrected that and he would be happy now that this important book is more fully understood and appreciated

    Large, royal octavo, 505 pages after extensive forwards and preliminaries. Original salmon cloth covered binding, gilt title to spine, faded. Foxing to title and page edges otherwise clean. Complete with map, 91 illustrations from photographic and four figures

    Malinowski gives a detailed description of the social organisation of sexuality (social rites, partner choice etc). Tracing the Trobriand life cycle from birth through puberty, marriage and death. At the time of publication chapters such as “Lovemaking and the Psychology of Erotic Life” which includes “The Conversations of Two Lovers” and “Erotic Approaches” were considered rather racy requiring this book to be issued with a special notice indicating to booksellers that it was a work reserved for academic and research purposes. Malinowski argues that the unusual (“co-operative” – our word) lifestyle of the Trobriand Islanders proved the Freudian Oedipus complex is not universal.

    Malinowski broadened our minds in the Trobriands


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  • Rocks and Minerals of Australia – Oliver Chambers

    Rocks and Minerals of Australia – Oliver Chambers

    Published by Methuen in Australia a first edition 1976. Very good condition. 246 pages with lots of images, diagrams and maps. And with the striking Crocoite on the front board – see our examples on this website.

    Or favourite “Observer Book” part of an Australian contribution to the series. A serious miniature work on the subject and the source of much of Voyager’s knowledge.

    The detailed maps at the end and connectivity to the narrative open up the enormous subject to the newcomer

    An expert in a day!


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  • The Botanical Cabinet – George Loddiges Engraved by Cooke – August 1824

    The Botanical Cabinet – George Loddiges Engraved by Cooke – August 1824

    The Botanical Cabinet was a long running monthly publication of which this is a rare monthly fasicule (a separately published instalment of a book or work) containing some plants from Australia.

    Full Title … Part LXXXVIII to be continued monthly of the Botanical Cabinet, consisting of Coloured Delineations of Plants from All Countries; with a short Account of Each, Directions for Management etc by Condrad Loddiges & Sons – The Plates by George Cooke.

    Each part was to contain ten plates (which this does) and ten parts were to represent a complete volume. In original card wrapper 18cm by 12cm in very good condition.

    Printed by Wilson of Greville Street, London and published by the John and Arthur Arch, Cornhill; Longman, Hurst etc Paternoster-Row; Rivington on the Mall and at Loddiges establishment at Hackney.

    The plants presented and described from Australia comprise Epacris Purpurascens, the Hibbertia Grossularlaefolia found by Mr Brown near King George’s Sound and the Gevillea Sericea. Other plants come from Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope, Bohemia etc all drawn by G Loddiges and engraved by George Cooke.

    Joachim Conrad Loddiges (1738-1826) born in Saxony and emigrated to Britain at the age of 19. He took up a job as gardener and in his forties bought a small seed business. In the 1770’s he started encouraging explorer’s and travelers to collect plants and seeds for him and soon gained a reputation for the exotic. The nursery really took off under son George Loddiges (1786-1846) who was the mastermind behind this publication. George built the largest hothouse in the world and became a Fellow of the Microscopical, Linnean, Horticultural and Zoological Societies. His influence spread overseas … including the first Botanical Gardens at Adelaide. The Loddiges were the first to import rhubarb into Britain.

    Rare Botanical Publication in this Form with Australian Plants – 1824


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  • A Handbook to the British Mammalia – Richard Lydekker – 1896

    A Handbook to the British Mammalia – Richard Lydekker – 1896

    Published in London in 1896 by Edward Lloyd. Octavo, 339 pages, original maroon cloth binding with sharp gilt lines to boards and gilt title and author to spine.

    The highlight the 32 plus frontispiece full page chromolithographs highlighted occasionally with gum arabic.

    A superb Victorian systematic reference forming part of the Lloyd’s Natural History Series. Nice to see the bats, rodents etc getting equal weight with the badger, squirrel and fallow deer. The additional three chapters on the Ancient Mammals of Britain adds to the interest.

    Lydekker on British Mammals – Nicely Illustrated


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