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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Cathedral Galvanometer [Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co Ltd] – 1915

    Cathedral Galvanometer [Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co Ltd] – 1915

    A fully operational cathedral design galvanometer made the A.T.M. Co Ltd (Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Company). In good working order and very clean internally. 18cms high and heavy at 1.6 kgs so really only practically sent domestically in Australia.

    This is a single coil galvanometer no manufacturers markings but definitely a design by Liverpool England based A.T.M Co Ltd which was formed in 1911. We would date the instrument between then and 1920. A.T.M. Co Ltd made a significant contribution in WWI including making Crystal Radios for the Royal Flying Corps. It is certainly and early one as it has stop pins at the end of the scale on each side which were later abandoned. The needle sits perfectly vertical on a central zero when the galvanometer is aligned facing due north or south. Stamped with a 30 on the back which indicates a coil resistance of 30ohms. On the back there are 2 cheese head terminal screws. The instrument is used to accurately measure low DC voltages.

    Automatic postage allowance will not cover this item … but we will make up the difference!

    Nice early 20thC Telegraphic Cathedral Galvanometer


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  • Daniel Solander – Collected Correspondence 1753-1782 – Edward Duyker

    Daniel Solander – Collected Correspondence 1753-1782 – Edward Duyker

    Published by The Miegunyah Press a first edition 1995. A quality solid production in very good if not fine condition.

    A pretty weighty effort by the talented Edward Duyker assisted by Per Tingbrand. Royal octavo, 466 pages printed on Perpetuum Wove paper and limited to 1,000 copies.

    Many would know of Solander’s important contribution to the Cook’s first voyage in the Endeavour. Allied to Sir Joseph Banks he did not make the second voyage after the “falling out” with Cook. Instead he joined Banks on his expedition to Iceland.

    He was indeed a brilliant talent and had many achievements. He was the first taxonomist to describe the natural history collection at the British Museum. He prepared the plant classification at Kew Gardens and was influential in implanting the Linnean system in Britain.

    This book is based on some 180 letters written by or to Solander collected from many parts of the world. Many translated into English for the first time.

    Solander – one for the scientist and the historian


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  • An Introduction to Social Anthropology – Ralph Piddington – Two Volumes

    An Introduction to Social Anthropology – Ralph Piddington – Two Volumes

    Two volumes published by Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh 1957. Octavo, 442 pages and 443 to 819 pages both after preliminaries and including a useful index. No dust jacket but very good condition. Illustrated mainly with tables and diagrams assisting the text.

    Ralph Piddington was Professor of Anthropology at Auckland University and his “Introduction” is now regarded as a modern classic in anthropology.

    For some reason this book set is rarely found as a pair which may explain the confusing publishing date with one volume 1963 and the other 1957 although they look a perfect pair.

    Volume I covers – primitive culture; a cook’s Tour of Africa and America, and Asia and Oceania (includes Australia); social organisation; cultural analysis; food, wealth, primitive law, religion and magic.

    Volume II deals in part with field work, contact and trends. Both nicely illustrated with appropriate photographs and competent diagrams and charts of a high standard.

    Rare as a pair – Piddington on People


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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


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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.


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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


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