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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Australian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14. Scientific Reports Series C – Zoology and Botany – Vol VIII Part III – Echinodermata Echinoidea [Urchins].

    Australian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14. Scientific Reports Series C – Zoology and Botany – Vol VIII Part III – Echinodermata Echinoidea [Urchins].

    By Professor Rene Koehler, Lyon France – edited by professor Launcelot Harrison, University of Sydney.

    We have mentioned previously about how long it took to get the scientific reports from Mawson’s expedition published. This one 1926 so twelve years after the event.

    It is alos interesting how widely the field samples were dispersed in this process. This one from Lyon printed in Sydney in French without an English translation. So one for those that have the linguistic capability or the knowledge to interpret, and admire, the thirty three magnificent plates full page plates.

    Large format, soft cover, staple bound as issued, 134 pages of narrative followed the plates, very good condition.

    Cold water urchins given the French treatment with super plates

    $60.00

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  • Thermograph – Ex Australian Antarctic Division

    Thermograph – Ex Australian Antarctic Division

    A vintage instrument and an essential piece of Antarctic equipment something to measure and record the temperature over time.

    This is the weekly “Bureau of Meteorology” CBM metal cased design with clockwork drum – which ticks away quite pleasantly.

    We say ex Australian Antarctic because there is a big sticker on the back saying it was disposed – we will leave it for others to remove.

    Weighs a bit so a postage supplement may be required – enquire and we will do our best ….

    The principle used is that a coiled bi-metallic strip [steel and copper] is attached to a long light lever or arm that holds a tiny pen. Small movements in the bi-metallic strip cause much larger movements at the end of the arm making the pen rise and fall with changes in temperature – these changes being recorded on the chart which is clockwork driven and turns once every week – in this case. A simple but effective analogue process.

    Thermograph from the Australian Antarctic Division which has no doubt been safely digitised and using poisonous batteries rather than eco friendly hand cranked clocks.

    $220.00

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  • A Vindication of Phrenology – W. Matthieu Williams – First edition 1894

    A Vindication of Phrenology – W. Matthieu Williams – First edition 1894

    Published by Chatto and Windus, London in 1894 a first edition of this “vindication” book by the esteemed phrenologist Williams.

    Largish octavo, xxii, 428 pages. Frontispiece photograph of the author pondering the shape of the head and its bumps crevices. Several illustrated plates and figures within the text. A very good copy.

    The author was a distinguished scientist and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Royal Chemical Society. He also authored a book titled “The Chemistry of Cooking” … Heston please note.

    If you don’t understand phrenology well this is the book for you … interest in the pseudo science was waning by this date maybe hence the vindication … some good things came out of it though … it’s all a matter of perspective.

    Phrenology explained and vindicated!

    $90.00

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  • Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – Edited Beau Riffenburgh- 2 Volumes

    Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – Edited Beau Riffenburgh- 2 Volumes

    Published by Routledge in 2006 this two-volume set is regarded as the font of all things Antarctica.

    A substantial effort the number of distinguished contributors runs to over a hundred.

    Two quarto volumes, 1,272 pages heavily illustrated with all sorts, high technical level with many maps, charts, explanatory diagrams etc. Very good condition. Weighs in at circa 3.6kgs so not really suitable for Overseas postage.

    The elements relating to the History of Exploration and History of Science are understandably our favourites. Other broader topics include … Atmosphere; Birds; Conservation; Geography; Glaciology; Technology; Oceanography; Physics and astronomy etc.

    It is all here in the Encyclopedia of the Antarctic – more than a winter’s reading

    $480.00

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  • De Re Metallica – Georgius Agricola – the Hoover Translation.

    De Re Metallica – Georgius Agricola – the Hoover Translation.

    This is the second printing of the famous Hoover translation of the equally famous 16th Century monumental publication by Georgius Agricola on all things then known in mining, metallurgy, geology etc. Published by Dover, New York in 1950.

    Longer title … De re Metallica translated from the first Latin edition of 1556 with biographical introduction, annotations and appendices upon the development of mining methods, metallurgical processes, geology, mineralogy & mining law from the earliest times to the 16th century by Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover.

    This edition, large royal octavo blue cloth covered boards, 638 pages after xxxi preliminaries, illustrated throughout from the images of the original wood engravings, simply superb. Dust jacket closed tear at top front otherwise pretty good, a very good copy overall. Quite a heavy book which will require and Overseas postage supplement.

    The series of books within the book (an early style) I Arguments against the art of mining II The miner and the mining of veins III Veins and stringers and seams in rocks IV The method of delimiting veins and the functions of the mining officials V The digging of ore and the Surveyor’s art VI The miner’s tools and machines VII The assaying of ore VIII Rules for the work of roasting, crushing, and washing the ore IX Methods of smelting ores X the work of separating silver from gold, and lead from gold and silver XI Separating silver from copper XII rules for manufacturing salt, soda, alum, vitriol, sulphur, bitumen, and glass … Agricola’s works – Ancient authors on mineralogy, mining, metallurgy- Nomenclature to be adopted for weights and measures etc.

    There is so much to admire about this book … the date of the foundation work, its breadth and quality, the learning from the engravings. Strangely maybe we particularly like the section on pumps in mines – essential equipment for water bound mines and the ingenuity pre powered machines is very interesting. Regarding the translation – what a job done by Hoover(s). The difficulty must have been very challenging – for example Agricola struggled to find Latin equivalents for many mining terms so had to contrive them from everyday Latin words – Hoover then had to decipher these once and only Latin words – unsurprising that his hair was depleted.

    De Re Metallica – The Foundation Work for all Mining and related – the readable version

    $140.00

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  • The Tasmanian Tiger in Pictures – Dr Eric Guiler

    A scarce item by the unchallengeable Thylacine expert Dr Eric Guiller.

    Published in 1993. Soft wrapper, landscape, 28 pages with numerous illustrations from old photographs and contemporary photographs from the authors expeditions and field studies – he followed the Thylacine for over 40 years. Also, maps showing sightings and “unfortunately” earlier killings, sketches of Tiger tracks identified by Guiler etc.

    Very good if not better condition.

    Guiler about and searching for the Thylacine – convincing.

    $80.00

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