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  • The Russians in Hobart 1823 – Glynn Barratt

    The Russians in Hobart 1823 – Glynn Barratt

    Published by the University of Tasmania in 22004, Glynn Barratt being an exert and author on Russian activity in and around Australia and the Pacific in the 19th Century.

    Soft cover, perfect bound, 161 pages, illustrated. A fine copy.

    Unusual, an most interesting, having a book focusing on Russian activity in isolation.

    May 1823 two Russian ships the Kreise and Ladonga came up the Derwent and stayed for three weeks. Even then there was a curiosity about Russia and the Russians. They were well received, maybe more because of the money they could put into the economy than anything else. The officers mixed with the well heeled and dances and parties ensued. Both ships carried natural history scientists. The content here is based on reports of the voyage and later publications of a midshipman Dmitrii Zavalishin later on.

    Whilst the book focuses on this expedition [the date is in the title], there is a fair amount of the previous voyage of Bellingshausen in the Vostok [the one where he had returned from the Antarctic]. After sighting Van Diemen’s Land he sailed on the Sydney. His second vessel Mirnyi was much slower and took more careful note of Tasmania …

    Russian interest in Tasmania in the early 19th Century.


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  • William Buelow Gould – Convict Artist of Van Diemen’s Land – Garry Darby

    William Buelow Gould – Convict Artist of Van Diemen’s Land – Garry Darby

    Published in 1980 by Copperfield as part of the Art Library.

    Large quarto, 136 pages, illustrated not only the plates of artwork, which are magnificent but also in the lengthy introduction about the artist and his work. A fine copy.

    William Gould (1803-1853) arrived in Hobart in 1827. Whilst he is known to have been at time a drunken and rebellious convict his work in totality describes a complex individual who undoubtedly had a love for nature.

    This is the first effective catalogue of the known works of Gould. Unusual for the period and Australia principally a still life artist (how can you not admire the cat with the fish that grace the jacket) but also luminous landscapes and characterful portraits of Aboriginal people. The biographical details comprise the first eighty pages.

    William Gould now a much admired and more understood convict artist.


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  • The Whitehead Letters – Tasmanian Society and Politics 1871-1882

    The Whitehead Letters – Tasmanian Society and Politics 1871-1882

    A nice production by the Tasmanian Historical Research Association published under their banner in 1991. Limited to 1,000 copies.

    Compiled by Launceston historian Francisca Vernon and edited by Michael Sprod of Blubber Press.

    Octavo, 270 pages, illustrated with map, facsimile letter, portraits including from an early photograph of Whitehead. A fine copy.

    John Whitehead operated out of a fine country property “Winburn” on the South Esk River near Lymington south-east of Launceston. He was a touch and involved with all the goings on of the period. And, an avid letter writer, many to his English friend Edwin Bowring who had worked on properties in Tasmania and therefore “’knew the ropes”. As was practice with gentry of the period Whitehead kept a copy letter book which made the whole exercise of compilation less tiresome.

    One for those with an interest in the history of Tasmania filling in an important and turbulent period in its development.

    The Whitehead Letters and important brick in the wall that is the history of Tasmania


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  • Tasmania to the Letter – Mike Jenkinson

    Tasmania to the Letter – Mike Jenkinson

    An unusual alphabetically arranged potpourri of all things about and relating to Tasmania [Over 700 items]. Starts with abalone and ends with Zinc and is much more interesting in between. The paragraph on irascible talented and sadly gone artist Geoff Dyer and his Archibald winning portrait of Richard Flanigan is a good example of its honed quality.

    Softcover, perfect bound 317 pages, heavily illustrated throughout. An educational entertainment – a great way into Tasmania for the occasional visitor.

    Published in 2006 by J.C.P.L. effectively self published.

    A special edition from a unique work of historical significance – an Australian National Treasure.


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  • Coins and Tokens of Tasmania – 1803-1910 – Roger McNiece

    Coins and Tokens of Tasmania – 1803-1910 – Roger McNiece

    The definitive work. We really admire people like McNiece who through their passion for their interest put the hard yards in, the effort, to produce such a useful work. Tooley, Spence, King etc all come to mind.

    Published by Platypus Publication, Hobart in 1969, a first edition. Rather rare. Printed on the Mercury Presses bound by Walch .. how more Tasmanian can you get.

    Octavo, 112 pages, numerous illustrations to help one along. A very good copy in an excellent dust jacket bar a small closed tear to rear.

    Roger McNiece was a founding member of the Tasmanian Numismatics Society.

    And, more than coins and tokens. We start with Specie .. the currency of NSW and the consequences of the Settlement of Van Diemen’s Land. Sorrell and Brisbane’s reforms. Arthur and the Sterling Money Act. The allowance for South American Dollars, Sicca Rupees [we had to encourage gentlemen in service in India to retire in VDL], Mexican Dollars ..

    Then Paper Currency and Police Fund Notes and Treasury Bills. A lengthy chapter on Private Promissory Notes and numerous individual issuers. A chapter on Barter and the use of Rum Therein. Special Bank Issues and then the last third of the book taken up with Trade Tokens – so collectable.

    More than Coins and Tokens – the McNiece Standard


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  • Life in Old Van Diemens Land  – Joan Goodrick

    Life in Old Van Diemens Land – Joan Goodrick

    A lively account of the first fifty years of VDL. From the early Governors to butchers, bakers and candlestick makers (literally). The health hazards of the town creek might put public safety in perspective.

    Published by Rigby in 1977, octavo, 220 pages, illustrated throughout. A very good copy

    Succinct readable Tasmanian history


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