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  • The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    A facsimile of the rare first published by Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh in 1906. This edition by ANU, Canberra in 1978.

    The original small quarto this octavo, 375 pages with numerous illustrations and a chart of the track of the Scotia; a map of Laurie Island South Orkneys and a large folding chart at the rear … Bathymetrical Survey of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Weddell Sea. A fine copy. The piper on the front is naturalist Burn Murdoch … the first person to play the bagpipes on the Antarctic … and also in the Arctic … quiet an achievement.

    With an additional forward by Sir George Deacon which adds greatly to our understanding of the expedition leader William Spiers Bruce and his colleagues who were joint authors of this account

    William Spiers Bruce (1867-1921) was born in Edinburgh and was Scotland’s greatest polar scientist and oceanographer. His greatest accomplishment is recorded in this account, leading the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-1904) to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea, where they conducted the first oceanographic explorations and discovered the northern part of the Caird Coast. They established the first permanent weather station in the Antarctic. Bruce would not write the popular account of the expedition so it fell to his three lieutenants to write this much admired work.

    Bruce had previously been on the Dundee Whaling Expedition (1892) having given up medical studies to participate. In between he participated in Arctic Voyages to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. He wanted to joined Scott’s Discovery Expedition but it is said that he fell out with Markham and therefore organised his own Scottish expedition. He was a good friend of Mawson and provided gear towards Mawson’s later expedition.

    The Scottish expedition, an early one with significant achievements, often overlooked.


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  • Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    This is the fourth edition of this most curios collection of “Poems in the Shetlandic” by Haldane Burgess illustrated by Frank Walterson.

    Published in beautiful Lerwick, Shetland by the local publishing company. Octavo, xxii,104 pages including the useful if not essential comprehensive glossary of Shetlandic words at the end. Very good condition in a like dust jacket.

    First published in the 19th century the work comprises forty seven poems which follow a very good biographical memoir of the poet by Manson and a preface by expert Lawrence Graham.

    There are smatterings of English .. “The Shetland words are rather tough, – And there are folk you’d reach – Who’d like the “’Buddie” right enough; – But can’t make out the speech. – I have knocked about the world, – Seen and read a thing or two – And picked up some plain English, – Which I’m pretty sure would do”

    But the fun in this work comes with the translation and the relaxing island style.

    Shetlandic poetry – what a way in to a beautiful dialect ..


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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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  • Harpoon at a Venture (In the Scottish Islands) – Gavin Maxwell – 1955 Edition

    Harpoon at a Venture (In the Scottish Islands) – Gavin Maxwell – 1955 Edition

    First published in 1952 this is the 1955 Adventure Library edition of the first work by “Ring of Bright Water” author Gavin Maxwell.

    Octavo, 254 pages with six maps, including in end papers 23 illustrations from photographs and eight illustrations in the text.

    Maxwell had active service with the Special Forces in WWII. After the war he purchased the Isle of Soay off Skye in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. There he attempted to start a Basking Shark fishery … which failed due to lack of finance.

    This book covers his exploits in that regard and provides a perfect picture of the Scottish Islands and the adventurous activities that ensue.

    Gavin Maxwell with the Sharks before the Otter.


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  • Round the World Non-Stop – John Ridgway and Andy Briggs

    Round the World Non-Stop – John Ridgway and Andy Briggs

    Published by Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough, England in 1985 a first edition. Octavo, 236 pages well illustrated from coloured photographs and with charts, diagrams and good technical content.

    John Ridgway and Andy Briggs sailed their 57 foot ketch “English Rose VI” around the world non-stop in 1983/4. The departed from Ardmore in the far north-west of Scotland and made it all the way back in 203 days, then the fastest on record.

    Ridgeway, another Voyager hero, formerly in the Parachute Regiment … rowed the Atlantic with Chay Blyth and sailed it single handed. He led expeditions to the upper Amazon, the Southern Andes of Patagonia, the Sahara and the Himalayas .. he also went round the world in the Whitbread race. Our sort of bloke.

    Top class account of a record breaking voyage


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  • The Whole Course of Chirurgerie – Peter Lowe (Originally 1597)

    The Whole Course of Chirurgerie – Peter Lowe (Originally 1597)

    Leather bound and beautifully gilt embossed all edges richly gilt from the Classics of Medicine Library 1981.

    Originally published in 1597 an edition from which this fine facsimile is produced along with engravings taken from the second edition of 1612. Peter Lowe of Scottish decent practiced in Paris at the time of writing this monumental work being appointed to the King of France. His dedication is to James the VI of Scotland.

    The engravings are enlightening – instruments for cutting off fingers and toes, siring or squirt for the care of hollow wounds, instruments to cut and knit the fistula in the fundament, portraiture of a man Rim-burst (ouch!)

    Chirurgerie in the 16th Century advanced by Lowe


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