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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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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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  • 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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