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  • Joseph Conrad and the Barque Otago – Sir William Crowther – 1975

    Joseph Conrad and the Barque Otago – Sir William Crowther – 1975

    Bound notes by Sir William Crowther for the handing over of the restored companionway superstructure to the officers’ cuddy from the Otago [Joseph Conrad’s ship].

    Very few would have been produced so a scarce as it is brief. Quarto in size, bound nicely in blue cloth covered boards with gilt titles. Original photograph of the glorious companionway affixed to front paste down. Title, Preface and five pages typescript one side only. Dated 21st March 1975, fine condition. Our image of the blue covers looks a little drab … that’s just our scanner …

    The work represents a brief summary of association of the great writer Joseph Conrad, then Captain Conrad with the barque Otago. The State Library had acquired the structure recovered by Crowther, a great bibliophile and collector, a number of years earlier at Risden, Hobart when the boat was finally broken up. It lay in Crowther’s back garden for many years before being restored by Philip Fowler.

    Whilst brief the article gives a nice potted history of Conrad’s early days and how he came to be in charge of the Otago. His novel The Shadow Line, from which Crowther quotes was written about his voyage to Singapore to pick up the Otago.

    Sir William Crowther should not be confused with his Grandfather of the same name who committed some rather nasty acts regarding the bodies of aboriginal people. This Crowther whilst still perhaps confused by the right and wrong at least gave up the family collection of indigenous relics to the Museum and these have since been given some final respect.

    Regarding this item .. well a unique work in the Conrad genre.


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  • Vanished Fleets [Tasmania] – Alan Villiers

    Vanished Fleets [Tasmania] – Alan Villiers

    Published by the Cat & Fiddle Press, Hobart a new edition 1974 … first published 1931.

    A special maritime history of Van Diemen’s Land by the knowledgeable Alan Villiers. Superbly illustrated.

    Villiers himself crewed with the whale-ship Sir James Clark Ross into the Ross Sea in 1923-24.

    Covers Captain Kelly (see Voyager book on Kelly); The voyage of the “Woodman”; the loss of the “George III”; the adventure of the whaler “Essex” and Captain Tregurtha’s Log; Hobart Clippers and “Graveyard Island”.

    The illustrations include – The “Royal William”; the “James Craig”; the “Hobart Regatta”; the “Fram” (Amundsen) in the Derwent; the “velocity” and the “Tasmanian Cape Horn Trader in Hard Weather”.

    A smorgasbord of Tasmanian Sail


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  • Tasmanian Tiger – Original Thylacine Engraving – by Varin – 1830’s

    Tasmanian Tiger – Original Thylacine Engraving – by Varin – 1830’s

    Scarce hand coloured engraving of the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine). A delightful depiction by Pierre Amedee Varin (1818-1883).

    Paired with a botanical Thunbergie … as the engravings appeared in la Dictionnaire Pittoresque d’Histoire Naturelle et de Phenomenes de la Nature published in Paris in the 1830’s

    28cm by 18cm in dimensions and in very good condition. Stipple engraved probably in steel … you can see the technique reflected in the hairs of the thylacine especially in the enlarged iamge … super technique.

    Thylacine lovers often frame their favourite part omitting the botanical. We always leave those decisions to the buyer.

    Pierre Varin came from a family of engravers and illustrators who came from Chalons- sur-Marne, now named Chalons-en-Champagne … a really beautiful part of France.

    Scarce Thylacine engraving … well they are



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  • [Tasmanian Legal Stoush] – Montagu & Stephen Van Diemen’s Land 1836 – James Dally Publication No 5 of 99 Only

    [Tasmanian Legal Stoush] – Montagu & Stephen Van Diemen’s Land 1836 – James Dally Publication No 5 of 99 Only

    Algernon Montagu & Alfred Stephen in Supreme Court Proceedings against T.W. Rowlands; with a comment by Robert Lanthrop Murray; with Geo. Arthur’s Despatch.

    An interesting and at times amusing record of goings on in the Hobart legal fraternity in 1836. Mrs Rowlands had been drunk seemingly according to Mr Moore which had led Mrs Rowlings to strike him on the shoulder with a whip in public, calling him a slanderer and liar … she challenged him to a duel … feisty stuff.

    A court cased resulted at the Supreme Court Hobart presided over by Judge Montagu. The animosity the was on open display between Montagu and Attorney General Stephen was something special. The cocky young Stephen was late, ill prepared, unsuitably dressed and caught eating and drinking at the Bench … worse he questioned the authority of the Judge … the outcome we will leave that for your reading.

    Published in Adelaide by James Dally dated 2007. Quarto, 166 pages bound in red cloth covered boards with matching slipcase. Only 99 copies were produced … this numbered and initialed number 5 … so extremely scarce.

    James Dally a highly respected antiquarian bookseller in Hobart and Adelaide published a number of works under the imprint Sullivan’s Cove. The editor of this work Eustace FitzSymonds was a pseudonym of James Dally. Dated after James Dally’s death which records show was 2005.

    Unique Tasmanian Legal History in a fine production and James Dally’s last work


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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1897

    Contains an important and contentious paper regarding the measurement of Tasmanian [aboriginal] crania contained in the Tasmanian Museum and less contentious and quite lengthy [31 pages] … Notes on the Aborigines of Tasmania extracted from the Manuscript Journals of George Washington Walker with an introduction by James B Walker… and a further paper by J.B. Walker on the “Tribal Divisions of the Aborigines of Australia.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers quite chipped xxxiv, 92 pages, illustrations including images of crania … warning one shown here.

    Contents further include … Mount Dundas narrow gauge rail; Land routes for the exploration of the Western country; The Great Lake and its water power; Iron Deposits of Tasmania … various geological and natural history

    Important and contentious content regarding Tasmanian Aborigines.


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  • Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Royal Society of Tasmania – Papers & Proceedings – 1926 [the Dutch in Tasmania and Crowther]

    Contains an important historical paper by Clive Lord on the planting of the Dutch Flag in Tasmania.

    Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy … Ingleton Catalogue stamp no 14258 on rear cover.

    Perfect bound in original paper covers, 196 pages with 11 plates and 22 figures within the text.

    Contents further include inter alia … Isostatic Background of Tasmanian Physiography; the Constitutional Separation of Tasmania from New South Wales 1825; Oil Shales of Tasmania; Tasmanian Spiders; Tasmanian Cetacea; New and Little Known Tasmanian Lepidoptera; Notes on the Tasmanian Race (Crowther) etc etc. As well as the formalities … Annual Report etc.

    The Dutch plant their flag and Crowther on the Tasmanian Aborigines


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