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Western Australia

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  • The Voyage of HMS Galatea – Visit to Australia – Prince Alfred – 1867

    The Voyage of HMS Galatea – Visit to Australia – Prince Alfred – 1867

    Medal commemorating the Australian visit of the then Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, to Australia.

    Created and cast by Thomas Stokes of Melbourne. There are two slightly different forms, with differing decorative borders.

    On the obverse the Duke’s bust in naval dress uniform with Ribbon and Star of the Garter. Legend HRH Duke of Edinburgh. Surrounded by an ornamental border. Reverse with a starboard broadside view of the “Galatea” under steam and sail, the top gallant sails in the act of being taken in. Legend … to Commemorate the Visit of HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh KG to Australia – HMS Galatea 1867.

    See the Greenwich National Maritime museum for an example – reference MEC1362.

    47mm in diameter, 40 gm white metal. Holed for a loop as usual, a couple of scratches, negligible edge bumps, a pretty good example.

    HMS Galatea circumnavigated the World and spent six months in Australia. During his stay the Prince was subject to an assassination attempt by an Irishman – he was shot but the bullet actually glanced off his ribs and he survived.

    Historical Maritime Medal – HMS Galatea in Australia 1867.


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  • A Convict Story – The Lost Lives of Lyra and William Sykes – “These few lines” – Graham Seal

    Published by ABC Books, Sydney in 2006. This book took twenty year of research in England and Australia a narrative based around fragments of the separated lives of Lyra and William Sykes.

    Living in northern England, William Sykes was a poacher and during such an escapade he got into an altercation and killed the gamekeeper. His penalty was transportation to the Swan River in Western Australia.

    Octavo, 234 pages, nicely illustrated with images of letters exchanges, journals and places relevant to both Myra and William. Fine condition.

    Interesting convict story well researched, written and presented.


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  • Shipwreck Archaeology in Australia – Michael Nash

    Shipwreck Archaeology in Australia – Michael Nash

    A fine copy of Michael Nash’s all embracing Australian shipwreck book.

    Published by the University of Western Australia Press in 2007. Squarish large octavo, 244 pages, very nicely illustrated throughout, end paper illustration of the dreadful goings on at the Batavia camp.

    Pulled together by Nash with contributions from a number of other experts in the field, or the water really.

    The fifteen wrecks dealt with in detail are presented chronologically starting with the Batavia (1629) .. then a leap to Hunter’s Sirius (1790) .. the Pandora (1791) all the way to the Tasman (1883). We say fifteen but the last is a place for wrecks Garden Island (1906-1945). Notes, glossary etc finish what is a really good reference or stand alone work.

    The other dimension with this book is the back history of many of wrecks – First Fleet; Bounty Related; Slavers; Walers etc and for some another aspect such as Experimental Reconstruction (Zanoni 1867); Timber Shipbuilding techniques (Water Witch 1842).

    Australian Wrecks – the way in to the subject – no better presentation.


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  • Smugglers and Sailors – The Customs History of Australia 1788-1901 – David Day

    Smugglers and Sailors – The Customs History of Australia 1788-1901 – David Day

    A super fine copy of this substantial book that looks at the development of Australia through the Customs Service.

    The author David Day born in Queensland and went to Melbourne University an later awarded a research Fellowship at Clare College Cambridge. At Clare he write three widely acclaimed works .. Menzies and Churchill at War; The Great Betrayal and Reluctant Nation … books that changed more than just the perspective. So who better to be appointed to write this work sponsored by the Government.

    A quality production, Quarto, 528 pages, illustrated nicely throughout. Published in 1992.

    Covers going on in NSW, Van Diemen’s Land, Port Phillip, Moreton Bay, WA, South Australia .. plenty of smuggling, fancy uniforms, temptation of vice, standard to be challenged and broken .. society in the day.

    Customs a lot more interesting than you might first think!


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  • Batavia – The first and last voyage – Phillipe Godard.

    Batavia – The first and last voyage – Phillipe Godard.

    Published by Abrolhos, Perth in 1993. Large quarto, 332 pages, a high quality production. Heavy will require a postage supplement if going overseas. Fine condition.

    Well researched and stunningly illustrated our favourite Batavia book. All about the V.O.C., Francisco Pelsaert, the voyage and the Houtman Abrolhos and the wreck, Cornelisz’ Webb of treachery, Cat’s Island … and then much later the discovery of the wreck the treasures and the building of the replica and rebirth.

    Become a true Batavia Expert – a photographic delight


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  • Batavia’s Graveyard – The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History’s Bloodiest Mutiny – Dash

    Batavia’s Graveyard – The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History’s Bloodiest Mutiny – Dash

    First edition of Mike Dash’s book on the bloody Batavia story. Published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London 2002.

    Thick octavo, 398 pages including extensive bibliography. A very good. Illustrated with maps and charts.

    The Dutch East India vessel Batavia struck an uncharted reef off the West Coast of Australia on her maiden voyage in 1629. A total of 332 men, women and children were on board. A few headed off in a life boat to seek help. The remainder ended up on a small coral island less than a kilometre long. A band of mutineers began a cold – blooded killing spree … only eight remained alive when help arrived three months later. The ringleader Jeronimus Cornelisz a failed apothecary and heretic.

    Gruesome true story of the strangest atrocities following a shipwreck off Australia in 1629.


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