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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • Beyond the Frozen Sea – Visions of Antarctica – Edwin Mickleburgh

    Beyond the Frozen Sea – Visions of Antarctica – Edwin Mickleburgh

    A first edition published by The Bodley Head, London in 1987. Large octavo, 256 pages, endpaper maps, charts and great photographs throughout. Very good condition

    Much admired by the late Sir Peter Scott which makes it a winner for Voyager on that fact alone.

    This book is for one not only interested in the history of the discovery of Antarctica but also the preservation of its natural resources and environment.

    In the history we have from Cook and an interesting reference to Coleridge and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner [Spurred Voyage on to find a special copy]. Then the first sighting, perhaps first landfall, over-wintering and the heroic era.

    Moving to resources the best narrative we have read on the devastation of the seal colonies … island to island. Mineral resources, changes [then] in weather patterns, preservation of the krill, the Treaty and the reality of its working … food for thought with a big renewal coming up not too far off.

    In terms of depth and breadth of content a big book on the Antarctic.


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  • Georgian Guinea Scales c1800

    Georgian Guinea Scales c1800

    A good set of early Guinea Scales no makers label but likely by Anthony Wilkinson. Wilkinson died at Ormskirk in 1804. This set carries the original paper instruction label. All in very good working condition.

    Self-erecting and known generally as the Lancashire Gold Balance. The brass beam is rectangular in section and has a hinged “turn and swing” over weight which counter poises the beam for the guinea or half-guinea.

    A small rectangular sliding weight on the load arm registers in graduations to show discrepancies in of under-weight coins.

    The collapsing mechanism makes the whole entirely portal in the gentleman’s trouser.

    Functioning Georgian Gold Sovereign Scale


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  • The Theory of Relativity. An Introductory Sketch based on Einstein’s Original Writings including a Biographical Note – Henry L Brose – 1920

    The Theory of Relativity. An Introductory Sketch based on Einstein’s Original Writings including a Biographical Note – Henry L Brose – 1920

    Softcover, printed wrappers. Octavo, 32 pages with 3 diagrams in text, sewn as issued, slightly soiled and edge nibbles, still a good copy of the second edition of this important work in English concerning Einstein’s ground breaking Theory of Relativity. Published by Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

    Published February 1920 the first printing being in December 1919, with alterations as set out in the Preface. We have provided an image of this element as its interesting to read that amendments had been made after having contact with Einstein.

    Einstein’s theories, .. special and general, were published in Berlin between 1914 and 1916. This work by Brose was published before the full translations of Einstein’s work which first appeared in 1920. Brose completed the full translation for Methuen, London a work now worth many thousands of dollars.

    Henry Herman Leopold Adolph Brose (1890-1965) was an Australian physicist. He was born in Adelaide went to Prince Alfred College and then the University in Mathematics .. Rhodes Scholar to Christ Church, Oxford. He went to Hamburg in 1914 to visit relatives and was interned for the duration of WWI. It was during that time that he became in the developing Theory of Relativity. War over and back at Oxford he completed his Degree in 1919 and translated Einstein’s work the year after. He later obtained his Doctorate on the motion of electrons in oxygen under Townsend. All top end stuff.

    Brose had direct contact with Einstein, later in 1930 Einstein visited University establishments in England and Brose acted as his translator.

    Early English language papers on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity by noted Australian Physicist at Oxford.


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  • Edinburgh University Bronze Medal for Chemistry – Awarded in 1882

    Edinburgh University Bronze Medal for Chemistry – Awarded in 1882

    Edinburgh University issued a series of medals in its esteemed Medical and Science faculty in the late Victorian years.

    This medal was awarded to E. E. Pritchard for chemistry in 1881/82. His name clearly engraved on the verso of the medal.

    Bronze, 51mm in diameter weighing 75gms and in fine condition, nice patina. The medal is noted in Chapter V of the Catalogue of the Medals of Scotland by R.W. Cochran-Patrick [the accepted authority].

    The highly decorative obverse shows the arms of the University [with Saltire; Castle; Book and Thistle] within a trefoil, surrounded by the legend … ACAD. IACOB.VI.SCOT.REG.EDIN in a font of the period of its founding 1582/82 or perhaps earlier to our eye.

    For those confused by the abbreviation read … Academy of James VI Scottish King Edinburgh.

    See British Museum Collection for a similar example.

    Rather scarce science medal from distinguished University of Edinburgh.


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  • Ocean Passages For The World – 1973

    Ocean Passages For The World – 1973

    A fine copy of the third edition prepared by Commander H.L. Jenkins of the Royal Navy and published by The Hydrographic Department, Taunton, England. A Preface by Rear Admiral Hall.

    This essential reference was first published in 1895, then 1923, 1950 and then this edition 1973. Revised and modernised each time.

    Slipcase with folio volume plus wallet containing the numerous large folding charts. Folio volume bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt titles 258 pages with 25 charts and diagrams some coloured and folding. The work is divided into two principal sections … Part I – Power Vessel Routes; Part II – Sailing Vessel Routes. Also, the 1977 Supplement of 11 pages, with additions, corrections and other changes. Very good if not fine condition.

    The wallet contains seven large (a metre or so wide) charts and a viz .. World Climatic Charts (January and July); World Main Ocean Routes for Power Vessels; World Sailing Ships Routes; Tracks Followed by Sailing and Auxiliary Powered Vessels and World Surface Currents .. and D6083 Loan Line Rules etc. Also a ready reckoner … Logarithmic speed, time and distance scale.


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  • Gold Refining – Donald Clark – First Edition Australian 1909

    Gold Refining – Donald Clark – First Edition Australian 1909

    First edition published by Critchley Parker, Melbourne [Pitman’s London] in 1909.

    Octavo, x, 124 pages with 12 full page plates. Original cloth covered boards, some foxing otherwise a very good copy of what seems to be an extremely scarce and interesting book. Early ownership signature of Harold Sims, Helensburgh, New South wales.

    Donald Clark was born in Geelong in 1865. He studied under the Rev H Stewart who in turn had been a student of the great Lord Kelvin. After graduation Clark was soon made Director of the School of Mines at Bairnsdale and later Director at the School of Mines in Bendigo. He also authored “Australian Mining and Metallurgy”.

    This is a sophisticated work, which deals with the methods and systems of gold refining. Includes chapters on … the Occurrence of Native Gold; Refining Gold with Oxidising and Chloridising Agents; Sulfur Refining; Refining by Cementation Process; Refining Gold Bullion by means of Oxygen; Miller’s Process; Parting with Nitric Acid; Parting by Electrolysis; the Treatment of Cyanide Precipitates etc etc.

    First edition Australian Reference on Gold Refining 1909


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