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Tasmania

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  • George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass, Surgeon and Explorer carried out two voyages to confirm the Bass Strait and the separation of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) from mainland Australia – known affectionately in Tasmania as “The Other Island”.

    First, in 1797 he set off in an open whaleboat with a crew of six. They sailed to Cape Howe at the farthest point of South-east Australia and, from there sailed west along the Gippsland coast to Western Point, at the entrance to Port Phillip. Observations of the rapid tide and long south-western swell supported his view that a large Strait lay in front of him.

    In 1798 he set out again, with Matthew Flinders in the sloop Norfolk and circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land. They visited the Derwent River which had previously been named by Captain John Hayes. On return to Sydney, Flinders promoted the naming of the Strait after Bass … the then Governor, John Hunter agreed.

    Bass’s later life was adventurous and possibly … likely … tragic, making the date of his death noted on the medal questionable.

    The medal was struck in 1968. It was produced by K.G. Luke & Sons, Melbourne for the Numismatic Association of Victoria. 160 examples were produced in this bronze form and a similar number in silver. 50mm in diameter, 48gms weight, with a high relief bust of Bass facing right, carrying his spyglass. On the reverse a delightful image of the whaleboat, the sloop Norfolk and the chart and route of the vessels, appropriately dated.

    Unusual medal to celebrate the achievements of George Bass

    $180.00

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  • Lachlan Macquarie – His Life, Adventures and Times – Ellis   – First Edition 1947

    Lachlan Macquarie – His Life, Adventures and Times – Ellis – First Edition 1947

    The definitive work on Australia’s early Scottish Governor. The man that brought civilisation to the country from paved streets to the arts – also pushed harder for inland exploration and a greater understanding of the vast outback.

    First edition 1947, quarto, 697 pages, differing end paper maps and eight full page colour plates. Dust jacket a bit tired but scarce and has protected the boards well, flecking to page edges and some age near the ends, otherwise bright and clean internally. Previous ownership name and stamp at front. A pretty good copy priced accordingly. A heavy book which mat require a tad more postage dependent on buyer location.

    The author Malcolm Henry Ellis (1890-1969) … Queensland born journalist and historian. An avid ant-communist … he dislike Manning Clark and his historical work believing Clark inclined to leftist’s views in his writing and inclined to via away from historical fact when it suited his point of view.

    Lengthy but written in an easily read style, we can see why this has become the go to text on Macquarie. The format is set out as if five separate books covering distinctive periods in his life … the titles of which give little away as to content Needless to say we cover his early years as a dashing lieutenant, time in India, his loves, Egypt and to Australia and his early successes … a period that would stretch from 1810 to 1821. He pioneered the development of commerce, inland exploration and urban development. A patron of the arts and literature.

    Macquarie much more than a flash Bank

    $50.00

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  • Narrative of Some Passages in the History of Van Diemen’s Land, during the Last Three Years of Sir John Franklin’s Administration of its Government

    Narrative of Some Passages in the History of Van Diemen’s Land, during the Last Three Years of Sir John Franklin’s Administration of its Government

    A special facsimile of a very unusual book. The original only issued privately “Not Published” and each of those few issued were annotated by Franklin himself giving some further control we expect over their authenticity.

    A work essentially about the long and vigorous dispute Franklin had towards the end of his time in Tasmania with his Colonial Secretary, John Montagu.

    A young doctor named Coverdale had been dismissed for negligence (a man had died) … Montagu supported this action. Franklin found out further information that suggested Coverdale had been hard done by and re-instated him. Monatagu was not happy, and the way he expressed his feelings verbally and in writing and his later in-actions made his relationship with Franklin unworkable. Lady Jane Franklin was dragged into it … not something that happened lightly in those days.

    Montagu was dismissed back to England. However, in England Montagu pleaded his case very well and gained the support of Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for the Colonies, who essentially reprimanded Franklin who was soon to see his tenure in Tasmania over.

    This personal compilation of evidence by Franklin was completed just as he was off on his Arctic expedition from which he never returned.

    There is a movie in this episode alone.

    This facsimile produced from the copy given by Sir John Franklin to R.I. Murchison. Presumably Roderick Impey Murchison author of Siluria and then President of the Royal Geographical Society. Franklin would have been very close to Murchison at the time due to the Arctic plans.

    Published by Platypus Publications, Hobart in 1967. Octavo, 157 pages, original cloth covered boards (there was no dust jacket). Limited to 750 copies this one numbered 489. A very good copy.

    Sir John Franklin puts his case re Montagu.

    $30.00

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  • Map of Van Diemen’s Land or Tasmania – A.K. Johnston FRGS – 1844

    Map of Van Diemen’s Land or Tasmania – A.K. Johnston FRGS – 1844

    A large scale quality map engraved by W & A.K. Johnston and published in Edinburgh in 1844.

    The cartographer was Alexander Keith Johnston (1804-1871) and it was published in the National Atlas of Historical, Commercial and Political Geography both by the cartographer and his bother William in Edinburgh and by Robert Weir and James Lumsden in Glasgow. Alexander Johnston had been apprenticed to James Kirwood and the great William Home Lizars. His brother, later knighted, became the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

    Large scale with central fold the printed area 57cm by 47cm. Thick paper and very good condition with strong pastel colouring. The whole of map image is difficult to photograph due to its size so we have scanned various sections on our A3 machine so you can see the extent of the detail and the quality of the map.

    An interesting historical map. The odd historical note is added such as the discovery of Adventure Bay by Furneaux in 1773 and Cook’s anchorage there in 1777; Baudin’s discovery of Oyster Bay in 1802 etc.

    A summary note states “Van Diemen’s Land was discovered by Tasman in 1642 & is hence sometimes called Tasmania, it received its present name in honour of Anthony Vandiemen, Gov General of the Dutch E. indies. It was visited by Cook & Furneaux 1773-7 & was found to be an island by the discovery of the Bass’ Strait, 1798, in 1804 it was formally taken possession of in the name of Britain; and the site HOBART TOWN fixed on for the Capital. Emigration from England began in 1821, when the V.D. Land Bank was established, in 1825 it was declared independant (sic) of N.S. Wales & the chief authority vested in a Lieut. Governor & Council.”

    Tooley reference 780 and Tooley maps of Tasmania 315, National Collection 22985553

    Price $390.00 unframed.

    One of the best maps of the 1840’s a full of interesting detail. Very good condition and would frame to make a significant statement.

    $390.00

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  • Whalers of the Midnight Sun  – Alan Villiers [A Fiction Based on His Experiences] – 1964

    Whalers of the Midnight Sun – Alan Villiers [A Fiction Based on His Experiences] – 1964

    Maritime hero Alan Villiers brings his undoubted experience to this adventure book aimed at young boys.

    A new edition and first of its type, Angus and Robertson 1964. Octavo, 248 pages with ten full pages illustration from woodcuts by Charles Pont. A little aging to page edges and gift inscription back of half title, nice bright jacket, all up a pretty good copy.

    Endpaper maps of the voyage from Hobart, Tasmania down to Macquarie Island; the Balleny Islands; the Ross Sea; Grahams Island before heading north to Montevideo.

    A Norwegian expedition picks up some extra crew at Hobart, a motely band of youths and a stow away, little Alfie, who appears at Macquarie Island. Adventure ensues.

    Alan Villiers, a yarn about Whaling, from personal experience.

    $35.00

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  • King Island and the Sealing Trade 1802 – Helen Micco

    King Island and the Sealing Trade 1802 – Helen Micco

    An important work regrading Tasmania’s King Island and the sealing trade at the very beginning of the 19th century.

    Put together by Helen Micco and published by Roebuck as part of their historical series. A first printing of 1971. Small quarto, 51 pages after preliminaries, 7 full page plates not included in the pagination. A particularly good copy. Carries the nicely style bookplate ex libris Gisborne Park, carefully affixed only at the top so as not to actually intrude on the endpaper map.

    Based around extracts from Francois Peron’s account of the Baudin voyage in Le Geographe and Le Naturaliste from 1800-1804 during which they visited King Island.

    After a description of the original documentation an outline of the voyage we have a translation of Peron’s work … “King Island: The Hunter Islands: The northwest part of Van Diemen’s Land. From 18th November to 27th December” 1802. And .. “History of the Sea Elephant or Trunked Seal: English fisheries in Southern Lands … the advantages that the English derive from the Seals of the Southern Lands.

    There follows a tribute to Peron and a series of Appendices including to and from Baudin and Governor King. Finishing with a useful note by Isobel Bennett of the Department of Zoology, Sydney University regarding the Australian wildlife mention in the voyage with reference to the illustration by Lesueur of which Voyager often has examples.

    King Island a magnificent place and an important part of its history.

    $40.00

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