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Papua New Guinea

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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.

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

    A quite unusual copy of an unusual voyages book. Octavo, 365 pages after preliminaries, including author’s introduction and translator’s preface. Ex Dundee Free Library (long defunct) 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. A little spotting to maps and title, generally very clean inside. A very good copy accepting those limitations.

    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. Sonne 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 Iryan Jaya two years later) he received the gold medal by 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”


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  • Queen Emma – R.W. Robson – Scarce New Guinea

    Queen Emma – R.W. Robson – Scarce New Guinea

    Few New Guinea expatriates have not heard of Queen Emma (Emma Coe) a Samoan-American who built a trading Empire and lived with great style a Ralum near Rabaul in New Britain. An extraordinary account.

    A really rather scarce book.

    A first edition published by Pacific Publications, Sydney in 1965. Octavo, 239 pages including an Appendix summarising the de Rays Swindle of 1877-1884 of which there is an Emma connection [A story in itself]. Another Appendix summarising Attacks by Natives on European 1876-1904 … they were busy! … and a useful index. End paper maps and illustrated from period photographs. The dust jacket has quite a large piece missing from the back but holds up rather well in Brodart. Internally very clean.

    A Queen Emma amongst Cannibals


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  • Nova Guinea et In Salomons – 1612 – Published by Henry Laurentz for Bertius engraved by Peter Van den Keere.

    Nova Guinea et In Salomons – 1612 – Published by Henry Laurentz for Bertius engraved by Peter Van den Keere.

    One of the earliest maps of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. First published in 1598 by Cornelis Claesz in the Langes … Caert-Thresoor and is then issued in the Bertius Tabularum Geographicarum around 1600. This example, with the latinised name of the engraver as Petrus Kaeris clearly seen in the decorative cartouche, published in “Petri Bertii geographischer eyn oder zusammengeezonger tabeln” by Henry Laurentz in Frankfurt in 1612. Refer expert Geoffrey King page 82.

    Finely engraved, very good condition, measuring 13cm by 9 cm. Only the northern coastline of New Guinea is shown, but in some detail … the south waiting nearly a further three centuries to be properly charted. Interesting to compare the Solomon Islands with that depicted by Mallet some seventy years later.

    The Latin text in the body of the map is of interest. New Guinea being the “sailors” name for the land … also know as the Land of the Bird-of Paradise (“Terra de Piccinacoli”). Similarities with Africa and a land likely of continental proportions. Interestingly, a further development and re-engraving of this map in 1616 included a hint of Australia in the southern regions.

    Price $290.00 unframed

    A key maps for New Guinea and Solomon Islands collectors.


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  • The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    A very scarce account of the Japanese occupation of New Britain in WWII.

    Polish born Leo Scharmach was a hero and undoubtedly saved many lives I New Britain and the civilian prisoner of war camp later established at Ramale. He held his own against the invading Japanese using humour, irony and strength of character … convincing the Japanese the local mission was still a German Mission and at one time that he was a envoy of Adolf Hitler. He did fight for the Germans during WWI, receiving an Iron Cross which he displayed to Japanese officers to good effect.

    This octavo book was published by The Catholic Press, Sydney in 1960. 296 pages, illustrated from photographs and drawings. A bit marked in the ends mainly from old tape residue holding the now chipped and torn dust jacket … but a jacket of real rarity.

    Very readable and informative

    WWII and the Japanese in New Britain … the account of forgotten hero Bishop Leo Scharmach.


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  • Queensland Geographical Journal – Diamond Jubilee Issue 1885-1945. Also has important Papua New Guinea content.

    The journal as published by the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (Queensland). Octavo, soft wrappers, 113 pages after preliminaries. A very good copy bar the obvious marks to the covers … pretty clean and bright inside.

    After various historic introductions articles re “Queensland Pastures – Their Development and Improvement; Across Papua’s Mighty Delta by A.L. Ethell; Irrigation (Queensland); The Interior of Eastern Papua by Captain Vernon.

    Nicely illustrated and with a fold out sketch map from Bootless Bay (near Port Moresby) to Buna showing a vertical cross section of the Kokoda track … the article stimulated by the incredible conflict that had just come to an end in the region.

    A special issue of the RGSA (Qld) Journal with particular interest to New Guinea collectors and readers.


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  • Magnificent Bird of Paradise and the Superb Bird of Paradise [From Papua New Guinea] – Lemaire – 1836

    Magnificent Bird of Paradise and the Superb Bird of Paradise [From Papua New Guinea] – Lemaire – 1836

    The most beautiful hand coloured engraving of the Magnificent and the Superb Bird of Paradise. Executed by Pauquet for Lemaire’s supreme work “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques” published in Paris in 1836.

    The plate is 23cm by 14cm rich creamy paper and in fine condition. The colours are so vivid the engraving so fine they surprise the eye.

    Both birds inhabit the Papua New Guinea mountain forests and can also be found in Indonesia. Whilst shy birds they exist in substantial number and are thankfully not considered endangered.

    Price unframed $240.00 …. price framed in gilt $340.00

    No birds more beautiful than the Birds of Paradise


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