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  • Australian Fairywrens –  Sir William Jardine – 1826

    Australian Fairywrens – Sir William Jardine – 1826

    An original hand-coloured engraving of three species of Australian Fairywrens published in Edinburgh 1826 by Scotland’s greatest naturalist Sir William Jardine (1800-1874).

    The engraving was published as part of Jardine’s first great work “Illustrations in Ornithology” a now scarce and valuable collection of bird engravings.

    Printed on strong paper with a good plate mark, albeit a little tight on the left (32cm by 22cm). Very good condition.

    Drawn by William Jardine himself and signed in the plate. This engraving and colouring have a somewhat naive nature which we think gives them a special artistic appeal.

    We have the male Red Breasted Fairywren (Malarus Brownii); Variegated Fairywren (Malarus Lamberli) and the Superb Fairywren (Malarus Cyaneus). The Red Breasted is prevalent from the very North of Australia around the Kimberleys down to the Hunter Valley; the Variegated is found along the East Coast as is the Superb Fairywren although this beautiful creature is more common in the South and Tasmania

    Jardine was the 7th Baronet of Applegirth, Dumfriesshire and founder of the Ray Society. He was a superb artist in his own right but utilised the great illustrators of the day to complete his works including, Edward Lear, Selby, Stewart, Thompson and William Holmes-Lizars

    Price $180.00 Unframed

    Australian Fairywrens – Three of Them


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  • Hobart Botanical Gardens -1840 Jardin Botanique D’Hobart-Town – Original Lithograph from the Voyage of Dumont d”Urville

    Hobart Botanical Gardens -1840 Jardin Botanique D’Hobart-Town – Original Lithograph from the Voyage of Dumont d”Urville

    An original lithograph from a drawing by Louis Le Breton (1818-1866) published as part of the great “Atlas Pittoresque” to accompany “Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l’Oceanie sur les corvettes l’Astrolabe et la Zelee … sous commandement de M.J. Dumont d’Urville”.

    A detailed view of the botanical gardens looking back to the river Derwent with the French vessel at anchor sails furled. Teo typical Derwent river yachts of the era in sail.

    Lithographed by P Blanchard on sturdy paper – 25 x 22cm to the edge of the image with very wide margin. Some handling and age marks in the wide margin, none on the lithograph itself – overall good condition. A scarce Hobart image.

    Price $240.00 unframed – rare

    Well executed image from the voyage of Dumont d’Urville.


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  • The Antiquity of the Aborigines of Australia and Tasmania – The Discovery of Gold – Magnetism etc – Georgina King FRASA  – Sydney 1924

    The Antiquity of the Aborigines of Australia and Tasmania – The Discovery of Gold – Magnetism etc – Georgina King FRASA – Sydney 1924

    A self-published pamphlet by Georgina King of work previously published in the “Sunday Times”. Printed by William Brooks, Sydney and issued in 1924.

    Octavo, 23 pages, soft wrappers as issued, three illustrations in the text regarding aboriginals. Some age from use still a very good copy.

    The articles are as per the title … The Antiquity of the Aborigines of Australia and Tasmania – Two Stone Ages in Australia; The Discovery of Gold and How it was Found in Payable Quantities; Magnetism – terrestrial and Universal; Diamond and Their Origin.

    A most usual body of work. Georgina King (1845-1932) was an amateur geologist and anthropologist. As a woman she was excluded from the “professional” category e.g. she was not allowed to read her own paper at the Royal society of NSW. Her ideas were rather whacky though and make for interesting reading … they did not stop her becoming a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society. The daughter of Rev George King she was advised by him and naturalist Bennett not to marry if she wanted to get on in her chosen filed. She corresponded with Robert Logan Jack regarding geology and Huxley on natural sciences. In her eccentricity she blamed other for stealing her ideas, including Edgeworth David on her radical concepts of the earth’s formation and Einstein on the theory of relativity. She believed diamonds were fossilised marine organisms … quoting from the paper contained here …

    “Diamonds existed as marine organisms. They are composed of pure carbon, containing only a little hydrogen, and the most minute particles are often found in what were small cavities, perhaps their breathing apparatus; some were like feathers. The cleavages of the diamond were the gills of those marine organisms …”

    Her article of the aborigines is a lot more grounded. She was a friend of Daisy bates and provided financial support to Bates for her work among aboriginal people.

    Georgina King isolated Australian Scientist with some wild ideas and some interesting ones.


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  • The Sarah Island Conspiracies – R. I. Davey

    The Sarah Island Conspiracies – R. I. Davey

    A super Tasmanian book by Richard Innes Davey. This is the hardback edition, most available are the earlier soft cover.

    Published by The Round Earth Company, Tasmania. This the Second Revised Edition 2007.

    Small quarto, 210 pages nicely illustrated and in fine condition with a fine dust jacket.

    Sarah Island behind the Gates of Hell in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast of Tasmania was home to the harshest penal establishment imaginable.

    This well crafted book is based on the account of twelve Voyages made by a one G.K. (his name is not known) the Sarah Island between 1822-1833. G. K. was a clerk a minor bureaucrat and supposedly as shadowy figure. He observes the men banished to this desolate place and is gradually drawn into their world.

    True life, mystery and intrigue at Sarah’s Island

    A word about the author … Richard Innes Davey (1938-2013) what a character … he spent seven years as a Dominican monk before exploding a laboratory in Adelaide, met his wife Kathleen while recuperating. Much travel overseas and strange and artistic goings on followed. back in Australia (Perth) he expanded his artistic bent … sculpting, theatre directing and playwright, outback storytelling, remote communities etc. Moving to Tasmania with his own Round Earth Company he became the man of knowledge regarding Sarah Island. If you have been to Strahan you will be aware of his play “The Ship that Never Was”, our longest running play (Australia’s Mousetrap).


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  • An Account of the Discoveries Made in the South Pacific Ocean – Alexander Dalrymple

    An Account of the Discoveries Made in the South Pacific Ocean – Alexander Dalrymple

    A quality production, Number 3 in the Australian Maritime Series published by Hordern House, Sydney.

    A Limited edition of 950 copies hand bound in midnight blue Scottish calf with marbled papered boards. Designed by Margo Snape.

    Octavo, 103 pages plus portrait frontispiece, six folding plates and folding map at rear. All in very good condition.

    First published in 1767 one of the rarest accounts. First time reissued faithfully reproduced.

    The original account used as a reference on the Endeavour and mentioned by Banks and Cook.

    Dalrymple lead Cook to Australia


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  • The Jubilee History of Tasmania –  Two Volumes – First Editions1887

    The Jubilee History of Tasmania – Two Volumes – First Editions1887

    Complied by Thaddeus Leavitt with a significant contribution from then Hobart historian, James Fenton.

    Covers more as title continues … illustrated, with which is incorporated, the Early History of Victoria, Biographical Sketches, as well as incorporating some of the author’s earlier volume the Australian Representative Men.

    Two volumes, large heavy set of near 1000 pages in original publishers half morocco with gilt page edges and designs (a superior binding), a little rubbed but really and excellent set. Very clean and crisp internally.

    Full of historical information, with many illustrations and hundreds of biographies. Topics include Aborigines, Businesses, Churches, Dutch East India Co, Education, Exploration, Famine, Institutions, Land Grants, Newspapers, Supreme Court, Wool and much more.

    The engravings of commercial building of the day of very interesting both in Tasmania and Victoria … seem to be quite a few pubs among them … and some coffee houses!

    Very good Tasmanian and Victorian History – Scarce and nicely bound


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