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  • Direct Vision “Rainband” Cased Brass Spectroscope – Late Victorian

    Direct Vision “Rainband” Cased Brass Spectroscope – Late Victorian

    A good example of a hand held direct vision spectroscope made by or to a design by John Browning of London.

    Late Victorian in manufacture and in its original case. Works nicely and produces sublime spectra. Contains a train of alternating crown and flint glass prisms in order to correct for chromatic aberration. Brass body left unpolished as is preferred by collectors of fine scientific instruments. Original plush lined case is in very good condition and the clasp still hold firm.

    This design is also known as the “Rainband” spectroscope and was used by gentlemen scientist to detect the spectral bands that appear as water vapour builds in the atmosphere prior to a shower of rain. This is the more sophisticated version with a knurled device for altering the slit width and a draw tube for fine focus.

    Very good condition working spectroscope


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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

    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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  • Lightning Ridge – Ion Idriess – Signed Annotated First Edition.

    Lightning Ridge – Ion Idriess – Signed Annotated First Edition.

    Scarce as a first edition and a unique, personally signed, copy … a gift to close friend Mrs Francis Can Cleef of Chicago … annotated “With a cheerio from Australia; Ion L Idriess Oct 1940”

    Apart from a couple of nicks to the dust jacket and the odd spot internally a very good if not better copy of a sought after Idriess account

    Published by Angus and Robertson, a true first edition in October 1940, octavo 251 pages with illustrations. Not price clipped 6/-.

    Based on his opal prospecting exploits at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales.

    Signed Idriess First Edition.


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  • The White Spider – The History of the Eiger’s North Face – Harrer – trans Merrick – First English edition

    The White Spider – The History of the Eiger’s North Face – Harrer – trans Merrick – First English edition

    First English edition translated by Hugh Merrick from the German of Heinrich Harrer. Published by Rupert Hart-David, London in 1959.

    Large octavo, 240 pages, numerous illustrations many from photographs. A good dust jacket, a little spotting here and there internally, still a very good copy.

    A very good copy of a scarce and desirable work. The six thousand feet of near vertical rock face defied climber for years. Austrian born Heinrich Harrer made the first successful climb along with Andreas Heckmair, Ludwig Vorg and Fritz Patrick in 1938.

    This White Spider describes the event and the before and after attempts from the first attempts to the disastrous 1957 expedition. The “White Spider” is a large basin of ice 1,500 feet from the summit that is the source of numerous deadly avalanches. The book is written with care and detail .. at the rear is a “step by step” guide on how to approach the climb with a super fold out photograph of the face in climbing detail.

    The North Face of the Eiger Not Impossible



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  • A Complete Treatise of Mines Etc – Henry Manningham – First Edition 1756

    An extremely rare works from a period when mining expertise was as much a military endeavour as for the extraction of resources.

    Lengthy title continues … extracted from the Memoires d’Artilliere. To which is prefixed, by way of Introduction, Professor Belidor’s Dissertation on the Force and Physical Effects of Gunpowder. Illustrated by a Variety of Copper Plates.

    A first edition of this work translated and compiled by mining engineer Henry Manningham. The original French by P Surirey de Saint Remy (1660-1716). Benard Forest de Belidor (1698-1761) was a hydraulics and ballistics expert. Born into a military family he later became Professor of Artillery at Aisne. He became an early expert on the calculus and its use in solving technical problems.

    Published by Millar, the Strand, London 1756. Octavo, xxix,168 pages with 21 folding copper engraved plates, elaborate engraved vignette on Dedication. Ex John Crerar Library with the odd stamp, later half leather binding somewhat worn, top edge gilt. Lightly toned, still a very worthy copy of a very scarce item.

    Early Mining Explained and the Use of Gunpowder Carefully Explained.


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  • The Long Way –  Bernard Moitessier – First English Edition 1974

    The Long Way – Bernard Moitessier – First English Edition 1974

    First English edition published by Adlard Coles in 1974, after the French edition of 1971. Translated by William Radamor.

    Octavo, 252 pages, illustrated from photographs, sketches of riggings etc, numerous charts of tracks. Super condition very good dust jacket.

    Sought after account of the enigmatic Moitessier … has anyone sailed further ..we do not think so ..

    Moitessier’s story all began as a participant in the single-handed round the world yacht race, the Golden Globe race, of 1968. Almost done and technically in the lead, whilst in the South Atlantic for a second time, instead of returning to Plymouth he sailed on along his original course returning to the Pacific. He then made his way to Tahiti .. Little was known as to his motivation until this book …

    Bernard Moitessier – A special man and a special sailing adventure unlikely to be repeated.


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