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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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  • 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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  • 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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