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  • There Was a Ship [The Story of Her Years at Sea] – Patsy Adam-Smith AO OBE

    There Was a Ship [The Story of Her Years at Sea] – Patsy Adam-Smith AO OBE

    A new edition softcover published by Penguins in 1995, 284 pages, Illustrations from period photographs. paper showing a little age otherwise a very good copy.

    Born in Victoria and spending some of her mature years in Tasmania patsy Adam-Smith had a pretty full life. This is her second autobiographical work focusing on her time at sea. During WWI she had been a nurse on a Hospital ship. This book is about her time in the Bass Strait and in and around the coastal waters of Australia. It features the tough life of those that live and work on the Bass Strait’s Island and particularly the Cape Barren Islands and the mutton bird trade.

    A special Australian sailor … and the mutton birds.


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  • The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    The “Widow’s Cap” of the Australian Aborigines – R. Etheridge 1899

    Separately published paper from the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1899. By Robert Etheridge Junior who was then Curator of the Australian Museum. Son of the superb engraver of geological specimens and exceptional geologist in his own right.

    Side stitched in the original light blue wrappers, a little aged, internally very clean … a very nice copy of a little understood custom.

    Mitchell was the first to notice the widow’s caps which he observed during his second expedition into the interior. Worn by widows in mourning and then later left at the graves of the deceased. The caps were formed from clay and the widow wore a net over her hair which left the unusual impression that can be seen in one of the images provided.

    13 pages on narrative and six plates, printed on heavier stock from photographs of examples.

    An authoritative paper on an important aboriginal custom


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  • Penal and Prison Discipline in Victoria [Three Parts Complete] 1870 – 1872

    Penal and Prison Discipline in Victoria [Three Parts Complete] 1870 – 1872

    Three reports published consecutively from a Royal Commission into the penal system in the colony of Victoria .. presented to Both Houses of Parliament by His Excellency’s Command. The first with the additional title “Pentridge Penal Establishment”; the second “Penal and Prison Discipline” and the third “Industrial and Reformatory Schools.

    In original form, foolscap, sewn … Part 1 xix, 26 with Plan of Proposed Workshop and Folding Plan of Pentridge [too big for our scanner] .. Part II xxx, 29.. Part III xxxvi, 23.

    An interesting and full report on the state of play and difficulties associated with the penal system in Victoria at the time. One benefit of being on “hard labour” was that you got fed more …. Hard to find any other benefits though.

    Pentridge and the Prison System in 1870 – interesting history.


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  • WWI Maritime and Travel Original Annotated Photograph Album – Over 180 Images

    WWI Maritime and Travel Original Annotated Photograph Album – Over 180 Images

    A most interesting collection spanning the years of WWI and shortly afterwards. Taken and compiled by a marine officer, over 180 original photographs, taken with some expertise, nicely presented in its original Morocco bound photograph album. The photographer has presented each photograph framing it within white borders and added very neatly in white a useful description.

    The condition of the photographs is good overall, a few are faded or marked in some way from the passage of time, others are crisp and clean. A few have been removed or fallen out and few are loose inside …we have not studied where they could go … the album is robust and showing minor age wear, the whole package is very presentable and more or less complete. We wish we knew the photographer … he was clearly officer material on the Orontes and had a wife and child … we have included his image as the “thumbnail” … does anyone know who he was …?

    The album can be split into two distinct periods. The first, before January 1919 being mainly onboard the HMT Orontes a vessel that plied the England – Australia route for the Orient line. With the outbreak of WWI, it became a troop carrier. The photographer appears to have also served on SS Derbyshire in a similar capacity. During this phase he took images of a number of famous vessels used in the war effort and numerous images of views, landmarks, architecture, and the people at various ports of call.

    The second element post January 1919 is devoted to a circumnavigation on SS Cufic which head across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia, down to the Panama Canal and across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia, Durban, Cape Town, and Home.

    Photographs of vessels include … RMS Mauretania; Kaiseren Auguste Victoria [surrendered in 1919 and used to bring American troops home]; HMS Renown [in New York Harbour with the Prince of Wales on board]; HMS Carpathia [of Titanic rescue fame and later torpedoed and sunk]; RMS Pannonia; SS Explorer; SS Demosthenes [used to carry Australian troops]; HMS Sydney [in Colombo Harbour just after the sinking of the German Cruiser Emden]; SS Derbyshire [Colombo – Rangoon Line]; HMT Osterley; SS Cufic and HMT Orontes.

    Examples of the touring images include …

    The Flatiron (previously Fuller) skyscraper – New York
    Washington Arch – New York
    Statue of Liberty – New York
    Top of Woolworth Tower – New York
    5th Avenue – New York
    A Glimpse of Wall Street – New York
    Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge – New York
    Boston views
    The Citadel Quebec
    Main Street Gibraltar
    A “Blimp” convoying
    A Glimpse of the US army
    Panama Canal scenes
    On route to Calcutta
    Homeward bound in the Bay of Biscay
    Cinnamon Gardens Colombo
    Cape St Vincent – Portugal [Incorrectly described Spanish]
    Hindu Temple South India
    Colombo Harbour
    Ox waggon Rangoon Burma
    On the Temple steps – India
    Native of South India
    Children of North India
    Hindu dockworker
    The Pagoda Calcutta
    Burmese Shrine to the God Dagan
    The Schegadon Pagodas Rangoon
    The lake Rangoon
    A Burmese girl off to the well
    Anzac Day 1918 some fancy costumes
    Sierra Leone West Africa
    Leaving Table Bay HMS Britannia escorting
    South African troops on board – the first bugle call – “Cookhouse!”
    Scene in Native Quarter Durban
    Australian sheep Hamilton Victoria
    Sydney Zoo
    Wellington New Zealand
    Tahiti South Sea Islands
    Main Street Papeete
    Tahitian Friends
    Papeete from Crows Nest
    A Harbour view Tahiti
    A big dam Panama Canal
    Electric Mule Panama Canal
    Leaving Liverpool Jan 18, 1919 – “Bon Voyage” [a self portrait]
    The first port Louisbourg – Cape Breton Island [Nova Scotia]
    Snow scene St John Nova Scotia
    Lock gates and numerous others – Panama Canal
    “Star of Holland” mid -Pacific [a US Tall Ship]
    New Zealand including memorial to Robert Scott
    Melbourne – picking up the Pilot
    Quarantine procedures in Melbourne
    A number in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane … and the way home via South Africa

    Superb, interesting unique photographic record. Now over 100 years old.


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  • The Birds of Australia in 3 Volumes [the S.A. White Facsimile] -Gregory Mathews

    A numbered limited facsimile edition of the complete work in three volumes, reproduced faithfully without alteration or correction. Published in South Australia by State Publishing. The original published in 1910-1927 by Witherby & Co, London. Regarded as the last great bird plate book relating to Australia with the consequential accuracy in form and description.

    Folio on quality paper so rather heavy. Printed by offset lithography and bound in half grey polished leather. Published in 1989 based on a set held in the S.A. White Collection. Fine condition.

    Unpaginated but 182 pages each. A total of 105 full-page colour plates. 500 sets were produced. Getting hard to find and here sold at an attractive price.

    Mathews and his Birds of Australia.


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  • George Bass 1771-1803: His Discoveries, Romantic Life and Tragic Disappearance – Keith Bowden – First Edition 1952

    George Bass 1771-1803: His Discoveries, Romantic Life and Tragic Disappearance – Keith Bowden – First Edition 1952

    A very good first edition of this well researched and written book on Bass.

    Published by the Oxford University Press Melbourne in 1952. Octavo, 171 pages with illustrations and a fine dust jacket.

    The author Keith Macrae Bowden was the author of the official Australian Dictionary of Biography re Bass and therefore holds a certain authority on the subject explorer.

    After various introduction we have a family history and the first naval activity on HMS Shark and HMS Reliance. Off to Australia and the exploratory adventures on the Tom Thumb before a trip to South Africa. Time in Port Jackson and the discovery of coal before the “Discovery of the Bass Strait” and the final whale boat voyage. Plans for a fortune and his Pacific voyages and on to South America and his disputable fate.

    Nice appendices on the Tom Thumb; Source of Information and a succinct listing of the subjects achievements.

    George Bass a fairly full life


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