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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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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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  • Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 – Volume 1 – Rules of Philosophy; Mechanics; Hydrostatics

    Philosophia Britannica – Benjamin Martin – 1759 – Volume 1 – Rules of Philosophy; Mechanics; Hydrostatics

    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, 333 pages after preliminaries including “Catalogue” of previous works used a reference … staring with Principia. Twenty magnificent copper engraved plates of which eighteen are folding.

    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 … set out as four lectures; Lecture 1 – including inter alia the Nature of Matter or Substance; Divisibility and Mobility; Proof of Vacuum; Laws of Attraction; Magnetism. Lecture 2 inter alia – Gravitation; Motion; Relative Motion and Acceleration; Non-elastic Bodies; Newton’s Laws; Time and Space… Pendulums; the Pyrometer; Projectiles and Parabolic Curves; Halley’s Invention; Centripetal and Centrifugal Force; Earth and Moon; Increase in Gravity from the Equator to the Poles. Lecture 3 inter alia – Centre of Magnitude between two or more Bodies; The Sun and the Planets; Mechanical Powers … levers, ships rubber, bees cell etc. Lecture 4 inter alia the Nature of Fluids; Centre of Pressure; Specific Gravity; Hydrometer; Newtons Theory of the Motion and Resistance of Fluids at Large.

    The folding plates are very good, up with Principia or Pemberton’s book on Newtonian Philosophy. We can only conveniently provide a few scans. The instrument for measuring specific gravity is extra special.

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


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  • Hutton’s Logarithms -1804 – Professor Wiilam Wallace Connection

    Hutton’s Logarithms -1804 – Professor Wiilam Wallace Connection

    Longer title … Mathematical Tables; containing the Common, Hyperbolic, and Logistic Logarithms. Also, Sines, Tangents, Scants, & Versed Sines both Natural and Logarithmic. Together with Several Other Tables useful in Mathematical Calculations. To which is Prefixed, A Large and Original History of the Discoveries and Writings relating to those Subjects …

    Bu Charles Hutton, Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, London. A fourth edition published in 1804.

    There is much debate about who really set down the first logarithmic tables, but it was certainly Scotsman Napier (his “bones” were used by Captain Cook et all). Napier’s work was taken up by Briggs and then on to Hutton.

    To have a book of tables may seen rather dull (we like them) but it is the 179 pages before the tables that make this book especially interesting to those with a penchant for the history of Science. The first 17 pages is just that a history of the development of “higher level” mathematics. Then the invention of logarithms and their construction … Napier, Kepler, Briggs, Mercator … and Newton and Halley’s methods.

    Large octavo, leather bound, rebacked with the original spine laid down preserving the separate red leather title label.

    Interesting gift annotation … given to David Wilkie Student in the Junior Mathematical Class as the Highest Prize … for Patrons of the University – William Wallace – Professor of Mathematics April 19th, 1832.

    William Wallace (1768-1843), astronomer and mathematician was Professor at Edinburgh University. He started adult life as a bookbinder! Inventor of the eidograph for scaling drawings. An expert in geometry. At the time this book was published he was a Master of Mathematics at the Royal Military College so would have known Hutton. It seems likely that this later prize (1832) was of Wallace’s personal copy of the book.

    Hard to find mathematics – essential for when the internet gets full.


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  • Two Representative Tribes of Queensland – John Mathew – First Edition 1910

    Two Representative Tribes of Queensland – John Mathew – First Edition 1910

    Two Representative Tribes of Queensland – With and Inquiry Concerning the Origin of the Australian Race.

    A scarce and sought after ethnological work. First edition published by T. Fisher Unwin, London in 1910.

    Octavo, 256 pages, rough cut edges., some pages not yet opened. Hints of foxing, generally very clean and tidy. Original red cloth covered binding with gold title to front a spine. A little flecked, not as bad as usual. Includes a map and six illustrations from photographs. Tables of vocabulary, genealogy etc A very good copy of a desirable work.

    The author, a Presbyterial Minister migrated from Scotland to Queensland to work on his uncles farm in 1864. He took a great deal of interest in the aboriginal people. And this work which includes significant discussion regrading social behaviour and language was regraded as pioneering in the field of anthropology. He spent a lot time with the Kabi and Wakka people living around Barambah.

    A wonderful pairing with the Walter Roth book on the tribes of North-West-Central area of Queensland.

    Important work of the aboriginal people


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  • The Voyage of Charles Darwin – Rawlings

    The Voyage of Charles Darwin – Rawlings

    Compiled by Christopher Rawlings for the BBC the writings of Charles Darwin. Published in 1978 a first edition.

    Octavo, 183 pages with charts and modern coloured photographic images to illustrate the work to the quality that befits the BBC. A very good if not fine copy.

    Incredibly detailed and with a personal tone the letters are arranged … Development of My Life and Character; Setting Sail; Brazil; Argentina, Tierra del Fuego; Chile; The Galapagos Archipelago and the Traveller Returned … including FitzRoy’s temper and later opposition to The Origin of Species .. and the acquaintances of Lyell, Owen, Hooker and Huxley .. and Wallace of course with his extract from Darwin and the critical reception of the great book.

    Darwin – a more personal account – through his letters


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  • Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea 1959 (Ascent of Mt Wilhelm) – Brass – Egloff’s Copy

    Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea 1959 (Ascent of Mt Wilhelm) – Brass – Egloff’s Copy

    Results of the Archbold Expeditions No 86. Summary of the Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea (1959)

    The Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Published 1964. Quarto, soft cover with standard blue wrapper, 215 pages plus illustrations from photographs at the end with a detailed folding map of the locations explored. Distinguished anthropologist Brain J Egloff’s copy. Very good condition.

    Richard Archbold (1907-1976), American zoologist, was from a wealthy background. He attended Columbia University but never finished his formal training. Before WWII he funded three substantial expeditions to New Guinea. One of the members of his team was the Toowoomba born Leonard Brass (1900-1971) a brilliant botanist. After the War the expeditions resumed with three further expeditions completed in New Guinea under the leadership of Brass. This is the “Summary” of the Fourth Expedition – 1953. Before the War Brass had moved to Canada and then the USA where he became a citizen, working closely with Archbold. He was a curator of the Archbald Collection housed and the American Museum of Natural History.

    Brian Egloff has had an inspiring career, assisting the National Museum of PNG, Port Arthur in Tasmania and the preservation and restoration of the Tam Ting Caves in Laos. He has published several interesting books … our choice being “The Bones of the Ancestors – The Ambum Stone” which centres on a 3,000-year-old New Guinea artefact that made its way to Australia.

    In this the Sixth Expedition, Brass and his team are back on the mainland. Based out of Lae they took in some high ground including New Guinea’s highest peak, Mount Wilhelm 14,950 feet, to which they made the top. Mt Otto and Mt Michael .. and also to the Eddie Creek region and the Upper Markham Valley

    Brass’s reports are written in a very readable style and whilst containing the scientific information expected (they collected another 50,000 specimens) his general narrative of the trekking and observations along the way are very enjoyable.

    Fundamental New Guinea record – Sixth Archbold


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