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  • Lost at Sea [The Loss of the Americus and Altair] – Patrick Dillon

    Lost at Sea [The Loss of the Americus and Altair] – Patrick Dillon

    Published by Touchstone in 2000. Softcover 264 pages, plus some addenda including a useful reading guide.

    The true story of the loss of the crabbing vessels Americus and Altair in the Bearing Sea in 1983. The Americus was found all crew lost the Altair never to be found. All up fourteen men lost the worst disaster in US commercial history. Well researched and sympathetically written.

    Described as a better read than a Perfect Storm … it really happened.

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    $20.00

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  • Adams of the Bounty – Erle Wilson – First Edition 1958

    Adams of the Bounty – Erle Wilson – First Edition 1958

    A first edition published by Angus and Robertson, 1958. Octavo, 245 pages. Very good condition albeit top edge slightly aged, super clean dust jacket.

    A historical novel based on more fact than is usual in the genre … John Adams of Bounty fame. The author carried at meticulous research at the Mitchel etc. John Adams a name many are familiar does not appear on the navy lists …. He had gone by the name Alexander Smith an alias that he only discarded when his first son was born on Pitcairn. Much here about the whole of the Bounty “situation” and as often searching for the true character of both Bligh and Christian.

    A useful Author’s Note at the beginning and Epilogue at the end puts everything in its proper place.

    A good one for those with an interest in Bounty / Pitcairn

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    $30.00

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  • Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, and the Shipwreck of the Princess of Wales Cutter, with an Account of Two Years Residence on an Uninhabited Island – C.M. Goodridge

    Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, and the Shipwreck of the Princess of Wales Cutter, with an Account of Two Years Residence on an Uninhabited Island – C.M. Goodridge

    A new edition published by W.C. Featherstone in 1851 … with “Alterations and Improvements”.

    Whilst on a sealing expedition in 1821, the author was shipwrecked for two years, among a party of a dozen or so, on the sub-Antarctic Crozet Islands, surviving on seals, penguins and other wildlife.

    Octavo, 210 pages after xxxvii preliminaries and, with four engraved plates, professionally re-cased. Includes a super frontispiece of the author resplendent as a Robinson Crusoe character in a sealskin outfit with a brace of birds over his shoulder, king penguins and a giant mountain behind. The other plates with elephant seals, penguins and a depiction of the shipwreck.

    Finally rescued by an American ship and taken to St Paul Island where because of an altercation with the Captain the majority of the group are left ashore to go through the survival process again. Finally they are taken from there to Tasmania where Goodridge was to write “A Statistical View of Van Diemen’s Land” .. a guide to emigrants.

    Pages 140 onwards relate to Tasmania [Van Diemen’s Land] and there is much interesting content … they are taken into harbour by none other than Captain Kelly [Voyager Hero] … much about the Derwent ferries … Goodridge actually operating Austin’s Ferry for some time. Goodridge returns to England to look after elderly parents and suffers badly in business … eventually his only source of income was the sale of this book and his VDL View.

    Two years on the Crozet Islands … then St Paul – cannot be tougher than that.

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    $290.00

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  • Voyages of the Dutch Brig of War Dourga, Through the Southern and Little-Known Parts of the Moluccan Archipelago, and along the previously unknown southern coast of New Guinea, Performed during the Years 1825 & 1826. – Lieutenant D.H. Kolff – Translated by G.W. Earl.

    Voyages of the Dutch Brig of War Dourga, Through the Southern and Little-Known Parts of the Moluccan Archipelago, and along the previously unknown southern coast of New Guinea, Performed during the Years 1825 & 1826. – Lieutenant D.H. Kolff – Translated by G.W. Earl.

    A first English edition published by James Madden & Co, London 1840.

    A quite unusual copy of an unusual voyage account. Octavo, 365 pages after preliminaries, including authors introduction and translator’s preface. Ex Dundee Free Library with their occasional stamp. Rebound in an extravagant relevant style with batik covered boards, black cloth spine with separate gilt titled red leather label.

    Carries the two important maps, one as frontispiece and one double page (attributed to G.W. Earl) after the preface. The maps of of special interest … an early map of detail concerning the northern coastline of Australia and a view of New Guinea with a remarkably constricted mid-region quite contrary to reality.

    Dirk Hendrik Koff (1800-1843) was a high achieving and decorated Dutch naval officer. Joining the navy at 14 first in the West and then the East Indies. At 17 he was fighting pirates in and around Java and soon given the command of a gunboat. By the age of 22 he was promoted to onshore bureaucracy. Soon tired of that he was given the command of the Douraga in which he would make this exploratory voyage. Hailed a success (the Dutch would annex what is now Irian Jaya two years later). He published his account of the voyage and received the gold medal of King William II in the Netherlands.

    The translator George Windsor Earl (1813-1865) was active in the region and in particular northern parts of Australia. His rare book on the establishment at Melville Island is a worthy read. He is attributed with coining the term “Indu-nesian”

    In 1824 small British settlements were formed at Melville Island (see above) and Raffles Bay the idea being to open up trade with the Arru Islands. The Dutch concerned about the growing interest of the British decided to investigate the region and this voyage resulted. Kolff made explorations in the Molucca and Java Seas to Timor, Serawatti Islands, Lakor Island, Arru, Tanimbar and New Guinea. They got a pretty tough reception in New Guinea … his descriptions are vivid, interesting and in the moment.

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    $280.00

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  • Second Expedition in Search of Franklin.  Arctic Explorations in the Years 1853,’54,’55. – Elisha Kent Kane. 2 Volume First Editions 1856

    Second Expedition in Search of Franklin. Arctic Explorations in the Years 1853,’54,’55. – Elisha Kent Kane. 2 Volume First Editions 1856

    First edition of Elisha Kane’s account of the second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin’s expedition lost in the Arctic.

    Published by Childs & Peterson, Philadelphia in 1856. Two fine volumes, 464 pages and 467 pages after preliminaries, engraved frontispiece to both and 18 other engraved plates, 2 maps one of which is folding, folding isothermal chart and numerous woodcuts in the text. Bound very nicely in half calf over marble papered boards, marbled endpapers, raised bands to spine gilt titling and embellishments. Carries the bookplate of bibliophile EH Hildreth of Massachusetts. Super copies.

    Elisha Kent Kane (1820-1857) naval surgeon and in command on this second expedition. Ice-locked for two winters, lacking adequate supplies and with a crew inflicted with scurvy … snow blindness and madness. He pressed on and went further north than ever before, setting a standard for Arctic exploration. He wisely sought friendly relations with Eskimo along the way.

    Fundamental Arctic Exploration – Kane in search of Sir John Franklin

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    $490.00

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  • “Aviation” by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Complete set of Cigarette Cards – 1910

    “Aviation” by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Complete set of Cigarette Cards – 1910

    Maybe our favourite set of cigarette cards. A complete set of 50 cards of the first “Aviation” set issued by W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol and London in January 1910.

    Very good condition, now protected in standard card wallets.

    The timing of the cards makes them a remarkable historical piece. The first 25 cards are described as “Airships – Lighter than Air” and cards 26-50 “Aeroplanes – Heavier than Air).

    In balloons and dirigibles we start with the middle ages concept of Francesco de Lana and then the first serious balloon ascent by Mongolfier in 1783. A year later the first English balloon took off designed by an Italian. The English Channel was crossed the following year (1785) by Blanchard and Jeffries. Then after the first parachutes the era of the dirigibles from 1852 … rounding the Eiffel Tower, the adaption for war purposes through many amazing designs to the enormous German Zeppelin.

    In aeroplanes from early concepts through to Henson’s ideas, the Lillenthal Glider, concepts by Maxim (of machine gun fame) and eventually “off the ground” with Wilbur and Orville Wright … from rails not wheels. The fascinating designs took off at pace with numerous mono and biplane designs and the unique Helicopter by Rickman.

    The last card honours the first lady aviator … Madame the Baronesse Delaroche.

    Complete set of Wills first Aviation cards – 1910

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    $120.00

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