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Travel & Voyages

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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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  • 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 Strange Career – The Life and Adventures of J. G. Jebb – 1895

    A Strange Career – The Life and Adventures of J. G. Jebb – 1895

    John Gladwyn Jebb led as an adventurous life as could be possible. This book was compiled by his widow and carries the introduction of none other than possibly the greatest adventure writer H Rider Haggard.

    English born Jebb’s adventures began as a military man in India. Soon he was conducting privately funded explorations into Central and Southern America. Involved in numerous business dealings… helped to start White Line … was in involved in armaments. He moved to the US and the Wild West … bear hunting, gold mining and a few conflicts with local bandits and Indians. Off to Mexico to make his fortune gold mining (made it and lost it) and much of the later part of the books is about his times in Mexico padded a bit with history of the region.

    Published by Blackwood, Edinburgh in 1895 octavo, 271 pages, frontispiece of the great man, illustrated in a Victorian way by John Wallce. Pictorial boards nice but rubbed especially at the tips. Overall, still a particularly good copy of a book rather hard to find so.

    Inspiration for Rider Haggard – John Jebb Adventurer


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  • The Ascent on Everest – John Hunt

    The Ascent on Everest – John Hunt

    Leader, John Hunt’s classic account of the conquest with of Everest Alfred Gregory’s photographs.

    This is the delightful Readers Book Club edition of 1955. Octavo, 320 pages nicely illustrated.

    A very nice copy, very clean inside. Super dust jacket showing Tenzing on the summit, a little creased but still very nice.

    All the way to the very top


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