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HYMAN, William A. Magna Carta of Space. Amherst Press, Wisconsin 1966. Largish octavo publisher's cloth; 422pp, numerous photo and line illustrations. Au$50

Copy no. 95 of the 'Original Edition First Printing Limited Edition' of who knows how many copies, warmly inscribed and signed by Hyman to a fellow lawyer in February 1966. The culmination of a decade of passionate and voluble campaigning for legal peace in space. Hyman describes this as an "humanitarian bill of rights for the world" and offers folding facsimiles (in English and Spanish) of the Magna Carta as adopted by the Inter-American Bar Association in 1961 and, with an additional article, again in 1965.
The book itself is a pretty unrestrained polemic that oscilates between cold war terror and Flash Gordon futurism enlivened by some unassuming but effective illustrations. While such things as space 'traffic cops' and traffic lights are mentioned I couldn't find any discussion of rubbish removal.


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SMITH, Barbara Leigh. [later Bodichon]. Women and Work. London, Bosworth & Harrison 1857. Octavo, disbound, without wrapper; 56pp. Rather good. Au$475

Quite rare and something of a feminist landmark. Smith launched into troublemaking from the legal end with a summary of law concerning women in 1854 and agitation for rights of married women that resulted in the Married Women's Property Bill of 1857. In this tract she tackles work and professions with a vigorous cocktail of spiritual certitude and practical advice about decent waterproof cloaks and boots. She prints a long letter from Jessie Meriton White giving an account of her attempts to study medicine and appends letters from St George's Hospital, the Royal College of Surgeons, St Bartholomews and the University of London. They all say that admitting women doesn't suit them.

 


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Glynn Gilling. THOMPSON, E. Lindsay [ed]. Domestic Architecture in New South Wales, illustrating the work of F. Glynn Gilling. Sydney, Shakespeare Head Press [1951]. Quarto publisher's cloth (browned around the edges); 128pp (pp112-28 are adverts), numerous photo illustrations and plans. Au$750

Quite rare. Though never stated as such, this is a privately produced retrospective of Glynn Gilling's work at career's end. It had a small print run and very few copies made it out of the circle of friends and clients. Smart Double Bay real estate agents used to hound me, fruitlessly, for this book in the days when I was in Double Bay. It illustrates some of the most expensive real estate in Sydney's eastern suburbs and north shore and agents wanted it as a sort of complimentary welcome basket to accompany the sale of a Glynn Gilling house. It struck me then as indicative of its scarcity that so many houses didn't already have their own copy.
Leslie Wilkinson contributed a short preface so strikingly tepid that I wonder why it was printed - but I guess any praise from Wilkinson for someone whose work could sometimes be mistaken for his own is a prize.


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CHERNIKHOV [Tschernikhow, Tchernikhov, Tchernykhov, &c], Jakov. Архитектурные фантазии - Architektonische Fantasien - Fantaisies Architecturales - Architectural Fictions ... [with] 建築ファンタジア - 原書への邦訳附錄 [Kenchiku Fantajia - Gensho Eno Hoyaku Furoku]. Leningrad, Meshdunarodnaja Kniga 1933/ Tokyo, Naukasha 1933. Quarto 31x23cm publisher's cloth titled in blind (cloth blotchy and a little worn at the spine top); 102pp including four title pages - Russian, German, French and English - 12 full page and 103 small b/w illustrations, 101 colour plates. An owner's seal on the first title has been partly erased; some browning of the text pages; a pretty good copy.
The Japanese translation is octavo publisher's wrapper (spine chipped); 44pp and 23 leaves printed on one side. A bit used. Au$6500

Once the Japanese started looking at the outside world they didn't miss much and the embrace of Chernikhov is a perfect example. Maybe a few select folk in western Europe and America managed to get their hands on a copy of this but not the Japanese. The left wing journalist, translator and head of Naukusha - publishers and agents for soviet books - Otake Hirokichi provided this translation and clearly imported a lot of copies of Chernikhov's masterpiece. You don't print a translation for a handful of copies.
Just at the time that the Soviet authorities became fed up with the avant-garde so Japanese authorities became fed up with communists and the avant-garde - often the same people. Naukusha's publishing schedule seems to have been blank between 1936 and 1946.
I find no copies of the translation outside Japan.


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Itagaki Takao & Horiguchi Sutemi [editors]. 建築様式論叢 [Kenchiku Yoshiki Ronso]. Tokyo, Rokumonkan 1932 (Showa 7). 20x18cm publisher's cloth, printed card slipcase (this worn and a bit chipped); 711pp, photo plates, illustrations plans and diagrams through the text. The weight of the book has cracked the inner hinges; small owner seals on the title have been whited out; else minor signs of use and quite a good copy. Au$750

First edition of this near massive collection of writings on style in architecture put together by the indefatigable champion of modernity, Itagaki, and pioneer of modern Japanese architecture, Horiguchi. The book might be titled 'style' but there's a lot of serious thought in here by the heavyweights of the new movement in Japanese architecture. Apart from Horiguchi contributors include Ichiura Ken, Yamada Mamoru and Taniguchi Yoshiro. Kawakita Renshichiro, who placed pretty well in the 1930 international competition for the Ukraine state theatre, details the structure of the designs. Saito Torao contributes what appears to be a ferociously technical study of the airport in modern cities. Itagaki writes on the Roman dome and Horiguchi on the philosophy and composition of the tea room - in its way the apotheosis of modernism.
Worldcat finds one copy outside Japan.


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COINTERAUX, [Francois]. Ecole d'Architecture Rurale, Premier Cahier, ... a batir solidement les maisons de plusieurs etages avec la terre seule ... Seconde edition. [with] Nouvelle Maniere d'Eteindre les Incendies. [with] Ecole d'Architecture Rurale. Second Cahier. [with] Traite sur la Construction de Maisons de Campagne. [with] Ecole d'Architecture Rurale, Quatrieme Cahier, dans lequel on traite du Nouveau Pise invente par l'auteur ... Troisieme Edition. Paris, the author 1791 - 1806. Five parts together, uncut in original mottled wrapper; 32pp, two frontispieces and ten plates; 20pp; 76pp, two frontispieces and two plates; 20pp, folding plate, pp77-106, folding plate; two frontispieces, [2],66pp, two folding plates. Some old tissue repairs to the spine now separated; natural paper browning of a couple of sections; a very good, fresh and original copy.
Mounted inside the front cover is a long contemporary note about sections in these books and in Rondelet's Traite Theorique et Pratique (1802 &c) that included a section on bilding in pise. Au$1250

The make up of this is a bit confusing perhaps but this is Cointeraux's compilation - all but the first book were sold only by him - of his works on building in pise, pretty much the starting point for all modern pise literature. Book four was obviously the best seller of the bunch, needing a third edition by 1806 while he still had 1791 printings of the others. There is no book three proper, he advertised that it would cover vaults, pillars and so on, but the odd pairing of the 'Traite sur la Construction' with a continuation of the second Cahier took its place.
Apparently the most implacable enemies of the self designated "only architect of the popular classes" were tradesmen and merchants who saw no future in buildings that could be thrown up with free dirt by any barely trained peasant. But outside France his books were translated and put to work in Germany, Italy, Russia, and Denmark. Henry Holland made a digest of the first two books in English in 1797 which was adapted through magazines and papers in America and Australia for decades after. The first located and, according to Cellauro and Richaud, the most extensive c19th appearance in Australia was in successive issues of the Hobart Town Gazette in May 1823 with an account of the construction of James Gordon's house using Cointeraux's method. The Sydney Gazette quickly followed up the news from Hobart, printing just about all of Holland's instructions in June 1823.


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KOCH, Alex. [ed]. British Competitions in Architecture. Vol. 1 Part 1 -12. [and Vol 2 Part 13 - 24]. London, Academy Architecture 1905 -1909. Two volumes quarto (publisher's?) cloth; with title and contents leaves for each volume; each part separately paginated; hundreds of plans, elevations, renderings, measured drawings. Some minor signs of use. Au$350

This is half the complete run it seems - the RIBA Library holds volumes 1 to 4 (to 1914), which is the only place I can find more than these first two volumes; few libraries have any volumes at all.
This a serious review of competitions, open and by invitation, and offers a comprehensive view of British public and institutional architecture of the period. One exception is the international competition for the Peace Palace at the Hague. Here Koch has covered the British competitors, including himself.
The competitors' entries are well illustrated, the competition conditions, instructions and reports are given and on occasion Koch has felt obliged to add his own comments on the organisation of particular competitions (such as the Peace Palace). Given the subject and approach it is hard to imagine an audience extending much beyond a few public institutions and the handful of architects equipped to enter such competitions. The scarcity of this periodical is easily explained, what remains a mystery is how it lasted as long as it did.


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上野公園清水堂西郷南州銅像之図 [Uenokoen Shimizu Do Saigo Nanshu Dozo no Zu] Tokyo, Tsunashima Kamekichi 1908 (Meiji 41). Colour woodcut 27x39cm. Rather good. Au$125

An almost sombre day in Ueno Park in comparison with the psychedelic colouring of cheap lithograph views of the time. Still, you can be sure that the photographer at work turned out less exciting views than this. The statue is of Saigo Takamori. Least said about him by me the better.


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日比谷公園鶴の噴水光景 [Hibiyakoen Tsuru no Funsui Kokei]. Tokyo 1918 (Taisho 7) Colour lithograph 39x55cm. Folded, a nice copy. Au$200

There is some warp in time operating around the Hibaya Park fountain where men and women from their grandparents' generation promenade with present day residents and pioneer aviators from the previous decade appear overhead. Only a couple of children seem to notice.


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Walt Disney's Dumbo of the Circus. Sydney, John Sands [c1941]. Quarto colour illustrated wrapper; [32]pp, colour and b/w illustrations throughout. A bit used, a pretty good copy. Au$60

A couple of Australian Disney books appeared early on and the market, once spotted, was immediately taken over by British publishers under the droit du seigneur granted them. Come the war a local industry re-emerged.


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Asano Kaoru. 新東京名所巡り競争双六 [Shin Tokyo Meisho Meguri Kyoso Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Kodansha 1925 (Taisho 14). Colour broadside 54x79cm. A couple of repairs to folds, some doodling on the outer panels on the back; pretty good. Complete with the playing pieces in the margin. Au$200

This fun tour around Tokyo was the new year gift from the brand new Kingu magazine. It begins at the railway station and ends not far away at the imperial palace but there is plenty to see on the way. Following the north east route will take you past the Women's University and - more important - Kingu's headquarters.


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GOTHEIN, Marie Luise. A History of Garden Art edited by Walter P. Wright. London, Dent 1928. Two volumes quarto publisher's elaborate gilt cloth; hundreds of illustrations, plans &c. A rather good set. Au$150

Original and better printing of the English edition, which also has some additions: Wright on England and Frank A. Waugh on American landscape design.
Gothein's was the first great history of gardens and landscape design, ranging from ancient to modern and encompassing Islam, China and Japan. Like many pioneer historians her intentions are inspirational as much as educational: if "practical artists revert to the formal style, some knowledge and understanding of the chances and changes of thousands of years should be helpful in their work. My wish is that they find not so much a storehouse ... as an abundant harvest for their own creations in the present day".


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BOOTH, Arthur John. The Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions. London, Longman &c 1902. Octavo publisher's cloth; xviii,459pp and publisher's list; frontispiece plan. Quite a good copy. Au$100

"The decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions of Western Asia is worthy of being included among the great achievements of the nineteenth century" (introduction). An excellent history of the discoveries and of the disputes among a group that was a disparate mix of hothouse scholars and romantic adventurers.


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Department of Printing, Melbourne Technical College. Our Work for 1937. Melbourne [1937?]. Quarto publisher's printed card wrapper; 70 leaves being examples of various processes on various identified papers and light cards. A couple of glossy pages have spots of adhesion damage, still a damn good copy. Au$175

These year books of students' work appeared from about 1911 until 1945; in earlier years it was called the Working Men's College. I don't think anyone has ever seen a complete set. No-one living. RMIT - the heir to the Technical College - has the best run I can find and it has gaps.


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Department of Printing, Melbourne Technical College. Our Work for 1938. Melbourne [1938?]. Quarto publisher's printed card wrapper; 68 leaves being examples of various processes on various identified papers and light cards. An outstanding copy. Au$225


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Hikifuda. 火臺仕入 ... 山路来吉 [Kasai Nonyu ... Yamaji Raikichi]. Osaka 1890 (Meiji 23). Colour wood engraving, 27x39cm. A nice copy. Au$200

A bustling hikifuda - small poster or handbill - with some festival going on. This is a wood engraving - a western technique popular towards the end of the Meiji before lithography took over.


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Hikifuda. 橘屋久右衛門 [Tachibanaya Kyuuemon]. Osaka 1905 (Meiji 38). Colour woodcut 26x37cm. A few spots, still a nice copy. Au$150

A particularly well printed and vivid hikifuda - small poster or handbill - with the lucky gods gone to war against Russia. It worked. A calendar for 1906 is provided.


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de ZOETE, Beryl & Walter SPIES. Dance and Drama in Bali. London, Faber 1938. Quarto publisher's cloth; numerous photo illustrations. An unusually good copy of a book that doesn't wear well. Au$75

First edition.


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Ishiwatari Kenpachiro? 狐狗狸怪談 - 西洋奇術 - 原名スピリチュアリズム Spiritualism [Kokkuri Kaidan - Seiyo Kijutsu - Genmei Supirichuarizumu]. Tokyo, Iguru Shobo Shosetsubu 1887 (Meiji 20) 18x12cm publisher's cloth backed printed boards; [4],48,[4 advert]pp, one double page and two full page illustrations. A used copy with ink writing on the covers, endpapers and two leaves before the text begins. Not bad paper but a slap-happy binding that seems to have been put together with optimism rather than paste and has come adrift here and there. Au$600

Enlarged edition, first published two months earlier and a rare book no matter how many editions there were. Seiyo Kijutsu translates as western magic and Japan is introduced to the seance - the popular pastime of hailing passing spirits to bring news from the beyond. Kokkuri - a pun involving fox, badger, both magical creatures, and to bob up and down - or table turning was definitely not a western import welcomed by authorities but it became all the rage through the 1890s.
Worldcat finds no copies of this. NDL finds and illustrates the first edition of [4],42 pages and this edition.


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EDWARDS, Ralph & Margaret JOURDAIN. Georgian Cabinet-Makers. London, Country Life 1946. Quarto publisher's cloth and dustwrapper; xiv,192pp, 174 illustrations. A few spots around the edges, a very good copy. Au$65

Revised edition.


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John Ramage. The Torture Book. n.p. [c1880?]. Oblong folio, 28x39cm, morocco album decorated and titled in gilt (a bit worn at the base of the spine, sometime recased); 29 heavy card leaves, with a handpainted title page; printed forms of which 21 pages have been filled in with ink, pencil and watercolour. Minor signs of use, smudges and browning.
Loosely inserted a two page note by Mrs D. Ibbetson written in 1962 explaining that album was made by her grandfather - London bookbinder John Ramage - and filled in by members of the family. Au$1250

An elaborate hunk of Victorian whimsy that was embraced with enthusiasm and diligence by all that tackled it. I suspect that - even given that every educated gentleman and lady of Britain was handy with a pen and pencil - one didn't touch this album without confidence and plenty of spare time. Mrs Ibbetson wrote that her father could never be persuaded to make an entry.
Each double page opening is ruled out so that contributors could write or draw their favourite motto, quality, hero, writers, food - actually it says 'dish' which is why Ramage drew a plate ... their least favourite quality and persons in history.
Ramage was a binder to the gentry, among the handful of high class London binders of the second half of the 19th century. Talking about the difficulties of book collectors - "no harder people to please" - in The British Bookmaker, Ramage said that if he was asked to trim a book he saved and labelled the shavings so that disputes about over-trimming would not get out of hand. Ramage did the title page and the entry with the blue willow plate.


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JEPSON, Edgar & Maurice LEBLANC. Arsene Lupin. From the play by Maurice Leblanc and Francis de Croisset. London, Mills & Boon 1909. Octavo, very good in publisher's cloth with onlaid illustration (a small flaw to the front edge of the back cover). Au$185

First edition. An early entry into what became the Lupin industry. Leblanc's first tales of the gentleman thief appeared in Paris in 1906 (and in book form in 1907), in 1908 he had his first movie and the first production of the play from which this is adapted.


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A gathering of five Italian pamphlets on Cholera dating from 1849 to 1884: Intorno al Colera-Morbus Prima Istruzione Popolare ... [and] Regolamento Sovranamenve Approvato per Guarentire le Provincie del Regno dalla Diffusione del Colera Asiatico qualore vi penetrasse ... [and] Pratiche per l'Espurgo dei Luoghi e Degli Oggetti che Hanno Servito a Colerosi [and] Nota ed Avertenze Pratiche del Consiglio Superiore di Sanita ... sulla Colera [and] Istruzioni Pratiche del Consiglio Superiore di Sanita sul Colera. Avellino 1849; Avellino 1854; Firenze 1865; Firenze 1865; Rome 1884. Five items octavo and large octavo original plain or printed wrappers. Rather good copies of all. Au$400

Instructions for dealing with cholera through four outbreaks in Italy that each killed by the tens or hundreds of thousands. These should record remarkable developments in the handling and treatment of cholera as the century moved on. In 1854 Italian scientist Filippo Pacini announced his discovery of the cholera bug and was soundly and roundly ignored by everyone. Snow's 1854 discovery of the transmission of cholera though contaminated water should have been noted by the Italian authorities by 1865 and by 1884 Koch's rediscovery of the bug was known and it's infectious nature was known.
The authorities went with the miasma reactionaries of earlier generations. What they did learn was hugely important for governments everywhere: come the 1911 outbreak the whole thing was covered up.


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CAMPBELL, Norman Robert. Physics, the Elements. Cambridge Univ Press 1920. Large octavo, very good in publisher's cloth; 565pp. Au$200

First edition. Despite the title this is not a text book (Campbell himself spells this out in the first sentence of his preface) and has nothing to do with the periodic table. It was later reprinted with a new title: 'Foundations of Science; the philosophy of theory and experiment' which may make the intent of the book more clear.
A long time in the planning and delayed for many reasons, including the war, Campbell finished it without any recourse to his references. He deals with this flaw with equanimity though - complete references would have doubled the size of the book and made it unreadable. The only source that he does acknowledge by name is 'The King's English'; there cannot be too many philosphers or scientists who make such an acknowledgment. Likewise he was pleased not to have written part III at the time that Einstein's theory of relativity was attracting the most condemnation: "doubtless ... I should have made the blunders or worse blunders myself".


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Schools. Regulations and Directions to Be Attended to in Making Application to the Commissioners of National Education for Aid Towards the Building of School Houses, or for the Support of Schools. Sydney, for the National Education Board 1849. Octavo original plain blue wrapper; 18pp. An excellent copy. Au$125

The board was established in 1848 and this is the beginning of public education in any formalised way - another board co-existed in a confusing and conflicting system for several years. At the end is a priced list of books provided by the board with the stricture that no Master or Mistress was to profit from them.


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Boycott these

Sada Kaiseki. 冨国歩ミ初メ [Fukoku Ayumi Hajime]. Tokyo, Sada 1880 (Meiji 13). Woodcut broadside 36x52cm, stencil coloured? Expert repairs to the folds at each side and in the centre, some stains. Folded as issued with the outer wrapper woodcut mounted on old paper. Au$1750

This captivating woodcut which looks like an advertisement for imported treasures is instead a strident protest and attack on these gewgaws.
Sada was a troublesome priest but no reactionary flat-earther. He developed complex theories of science, culture and economics and saw the opening of Japan to this slew of imports as the cause of inflation and hardship for the lower classes. This woodcut was produced to promote the boycott of foreign goods and lists specific targets. Sada spent the last years of his life organising boycott societies and died - in 1882 - on a lecture tour. The presence of a wrapper with this print suggests to me this was not given away, it was sold.
Worldcat finds no copy. Waseda University illustrates two copies, one in better shape but carelessly coloured compared to this. The other is fairly worm eaten. They do have a wrapper, which, according to the provenance, belongs to their better copy but it is separately catalogued without any mention of Sada.


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Specimen Hikifuda. 萬領乾物砂糖石油? [Yorozu to Kanbutsu Sato Sekiyu ...] n.p. [c1900?]. Colour woodcut 26x38cm. Rumpled with a couple of small repairs to the edges; quite decent. Stab holes in the right margin showing it was once in an album. Au$200

A bustling handsome print produced for merchants of imported goods. Exactly the opposite of the print above.
These hikifuda - small posters or handbills - were usually produced by publisher's with the text panel blank. The customer had their own details over printed. In some cases, like this, samples were were produced with generic text to show the finished product.


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Blackbirding. Further Correspondence Respecting the Deportation of South Sea Islanders. London, House of Commons 1871. Foolscap, modern quarter calf; vi,212pp. Au$375

A compendium of outrage, murder, slavery and kidnapping according to the index. Bully Hayes is arrested for kidnapping on page 141 and escaped by p.143.


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Office Buildings [cover title]. A compilation of plates from the American Architect & Building News and some from the Architectural Review. n.p. [Boston 1885-1901]. Folio (34x24cm) contemporary half morocco (scuffed, front hinge cracking but solid enough); 146 plates mounted on stubs, some double page, a couple colour. Au$2250

A marvellous collection of high class plates from high class journals of new and planned buildings at the time America was busy inventing the modern city. The first plate is an 1899 elevation of the Boston Woman's Club designed by pioneer woman architect Josephine Wright Chapman in collaboration with her former boss, Charles Blackall. This was never built but the Worcester Woman's Club designed a couple of years later by Chapman is a truncated, refined version.
I'm near convinced this is a publisher's or bookseller's compilation, particularly since these are Boston plates in a Boston binding by Holzer. These plates were never disinterred from some pile of magazines. Plates could be bought singly or by subject from good journals, and publishers and proper booksellers offered compilations to order. What is special here is the office. I've never seen another like this and a run through the illustration lists of the journals through this period show that office buildings - despite transforming cities - were under represented compared with things like churches and country houses.


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Town Planning. Sydney. Planning Scheme for the County of Cumberland New South Wales. The Report ... Cumberland County Council, Sydney 1948. Small folio original cloth, front titled in gilt (a bit used, somewhat loose in the boards - which is usual, the hinges were flimsy); xxii,226,[6]pp, photo illustrations, diagrams and colour maps, two maps* in pocket. Part IV (pp199-223) stamped "Superseded" and the new section is in the back pocket.
*Without the map of proposed roads and railways.
Signed by nine of the ten council members on the half title. This was Sidney Luker's copy - the Chief County Planner - a reliable pencil note states this. Au$300

This is the only great scheme for Sydney that was ever implemented to any extent and so is essential to any understanding of the place but it is probably the least known of such documents. To all but the keenest students the Cumberland Plan is known by Winston's explanatory book published a decade after this.
It was a self confessed 'Limited Edition' and this copy is numbered 190 by hand on the front fly. I don't know how many copies were produced; I suspect 190 is getting close to the end. Other copies seen had the number stamped. This the third variant I've seen. Copy number 30 was in morocco and signed by the council members at the end; Part IV was untouched. Copy number 50 was in printed boards, unsigned; Part IV was stamped 'Superseded' but no new version supplied. Other copies seen have been in printed boards. These usually fell apart quick.


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Photo album of life on a station somewhere in northern South Australia. n.p. c1930? Commercial Australian Kodak photo album 19x31cm; 12 leaves each with four windows 5x10cm, 48 silver gelatine prints. Covers a bit dishevelled but solid. Au$600

From where I sit, a forbidding, gaunt rendering of outback life that makes your harshest Drysdale painting seem lush.
Unidentified but, from the landscape and the stone buildings, somewhere in upper South Australia where the sheep outnumber the grass and people outnumber the trees.
At the end are photos of what looks like a holiday jaunt down to the Murray River.


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Hattori Yoshio. 新案飛行雙六 [Shin'an Hiko Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Jiji Shinposha 1912 (Meiji 45). Colour broadside 55x40cm. A bit browned, minor signs of use. Au$600

A captivating aviation game with a touch of violence and disaster, what could be better?


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Kobayashi Eijiro. 大正少年双六 [Taisho Shonen Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1915 (Taisho 4). Colour broadside 54x79cm. A touch browned and minor signs of use; pretty good. Au$250

A gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai and, as always with boys' sugoroku, packed with excitement and adventure. Girls sometimes get to watch in awe.


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Hayashi Taidichi. 少年未来双六 [Shonen Mirai Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1927 (Taisho 16). Colour broadside 54x79cm. Minor signs of use, pretty good. Au$450

This is a future to look forward to. Mostly. The gas warfare is not so inviting but at least the horses get protective suits. This was the new year gift from the magazine Nihon Shonen - Japanese Boy.
Hayashi redesigned Tokyo after the earthquake and fire - in 1924's new year sugoroku - to be a wonderful utopia for boys of all ages.
Mostly there is no Taisho 16 but this was produced the year before, before the change in emperors.


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Kobayashi Eijiro. 滑稽乗物競争双六 [Kokkei Norimono Sugoroku] Tokyo, Shonen - Shojo Tankai 1925 (Taisho 14). Colour broadside 54x78cm. Small holes in a couple of folds. Au$300

A vivid fun race through all the kinds of transport there are, from monkey's tail or airship to chauffeur driven motorcar. This seems to have been a bilateral new year gift to the readers of the boys' and the girls' Tankai - magazines that ran for decades from 1920 with a name change to Science and Defence during the war years.


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NEWCOMB, Josiah Turner. A Fight for a Throne. NY, Tennyson Neely [1898]. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in white and black (spine a bit darkened and rubbed). Inscribed and signed by Newcomb in December 1898. Au$400

Only edition of this scarce Pacific thriller; part lost race and part Ruritanian romance in which the exiled king and his glorious daughter must be restored to their south seas kingdom and our hero must atone for his father's crime. We won't question how the hero came across the heroine by chance on a remote Long Island beach just before his father drops dead leaving his confession of the crime that killed the queen and sent the king and baby daughter into exile in New York. Like the actual result of the self-immolating - presumably sardonic - remark of Holmes, once we have eliminated the impossible there is nothing left.
Newcomb was a New York newspaper editor at the time he wrote this, later he turned lawyer and politician; this seems to be his only book.


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JUNOR, Charles. Richard Brice, Adventurer. London, Everett 1902. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth blocked in gilt and maroon. Small, very small, hole in the spine; a bit of foxing; quite good. Au$1450

First edition of Junor's other book and rare; missed by Miller and Macartney and by Loder. Not the first appearance, a version was serialised with the title 'A Ruby from the Sea' in The Murrurundi Times and Liverpool Plains Gazette from March to November 1901. Junor's first book was, of course, 'Dead Mens' Tales' of 1898 and as he fell off a Sydney ferry and drowned while this was in the press there were no more.
Junor has aimed at an international market while keeping one foot in the home camp. The hero and narrator is Australian born but brought up in Argentina. Finding himself on the run after a misjudged coup d'etat he decides to head for London and then on to Australia. Manila is as close as he gets and long before he gets that far he has been through a multitude of perilous scrapes, subterfuges and double crosses. There is a possibility that some autobiography went into this. Maybe not the bloodshed and Spanish American war in the Philippines but many of the locations, from Argentina onwards.
Information on Junor is scant, here's what I've gleaned. According to the inquest report Junor was a South American born 37 year old journalist of North Sydney, and married - his "young and pretty" widow Minnie remarried in 1904. When he came to Australia is still mirky but his name begins to appear in Melbourne newspapers around 1890. Two pamphlets published in London in 1885 by the freethinking, and sometimes blasphemous, Progressive Publishing Co were authored by a Charles Junor. He would have been very young then but it is possible that this is our Junor; particularly since both pamphlets are in the SLNSW while only one can be traced in OCLC or Copac.
Junor was a Melbourne scribbler for newspapers until the late 1890s when he migrated to Sydney. He had occasional 'Comments of a Melbournian' published in provincial Victorian papers and stories that went into his 'Dead Mens' Tales' appeared in papers scattered all over the place. His most successful writing, in terms of exposure, were two testimonials he wrote for Clements Tonic. He had two other jobs: assistant to a politician in Melbourne and assistant secretary to the AAAS at Sydney University.
I suspect that reports of the inquest into his death are purposely close mouthed and coded - maybe loyalty to a fellow journalist but no mortal brain can ever comprehend why and what journalists choose to report or omit. Given he was on a late Saturday night ferry to Milsons Point, was woken on arrival by a friend, stepped over the ferry rail and went into the water I'd guess he was drunk. Or given that his employer testified he was noticeably absent minded perhaps we could say he was absent minded as a newt.
A search of all the likely catalogues finds copies in the four English deposit libraries, one belonging to the Mormons in Utah, and one recently added to the NLA.


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FRITH, Walter. The Sack of Monte Carlo. An adventure of today. Bristol, Arrowsmith; London, Simpkin Marshall 1897. Octavo publisher's maroon cloth blocked in gilt and red. The spine appears to have been retouched but still a rather good copy. Arrowsmith's 3/6 Series, no. XXIX. Au$285

First edition. Is this the first caper novel? The modern caper novel - parent to the caper film - I mean, forget Robin Hood and suchlike. Our young English gentleman narrator tells us how he, stymied in love for the while and unhappy and restless, comes up with the idea of looting the casino at Monte Carlo and sets out to enlist some chums - first among his sister's friends for some inexplicable reason, then among his own old school friends and members of his club - and rustle up a fast steam yacht for their getaway. His sister does sign up for the job.
Gentleman, and lady, burglars were thick on the ground within a few years, they must have been elbowing each other in Mayfair salons, country house ballrooms and the gaming rooms of Monte Carlo but I can't think of an earlier book having such fun with the planning, execution and scrapes of the big score.


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[DE MILLE, James]. A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder. NY, Harper 1888. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in gilt, silver and brown; 19 full page illustrations by Gilbert Gaul. Some slight signs of use; a rather good copy. Au$450

First edition, English and Canadian editions appeared in the same year. One of the must-have Antarctic lost race thrillers, it has excited recent critical attention - something that it did not do on publication - largely due to De Mille's unique status as a Canadian author of such a fantastic novel at that time. Published well after his death in 1880, there is evidence that he wrote it in the 1860s. This excuses him from accusations of plagiarism of recent books . But there is little point in ransacking the sensational fiction of the 19th century for likenesses; the forms were well set out in the imaginary voyages of a century or two earlier.
De Mille's Antarctic society is a dystopia, an inversion of 19th century Christian society, but the book is a true thriller, with wondrous creatures, beauteous women and gruesome death. You can swap those adjectives around to suit yourself.
De Mille himself was a respectable academic who scribbled potboiling trash by the ton - all but this novel pretty well forgotten. It is suggested that he had to pay off the debt accrued through a youthful plunge into bookselling.


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BOUVE, Edward T. Centuries Apart. Boston, Little Brown 1894. Octavo publisher's gilt decorated blue cloth; x,347pp, two maps and six plates. Minor signs of use but quite a good copy. Au$175

First edition. An Antarctic lost race, this time of comparatively recent origin - Tudor England. Toward the end of the 19th century Antarctica was one of the busiest spots on earth, what with lost races tucked in every crevice and lost mariners crawling all over the place. They must have bumped into each other but - like real explorers in central Asia studiously ignoring each other's pack train quartered down the other end of whatever remote village, pretending they each were the only white men for thousands of miles - discretion was the better part of a thrilling narrative and silence was the tacit rule.


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COLVILLE, W.J. [William Juvenal]. The Throne of Eden. A psychical romance. Boston, Banner of Light 1902. Octavo publisher's cloth. A very good copy. Au$165

First edition, it was reprinted or re-issued the next year and an extract called Miss Catte's Impressions of Australia appeared separately in 1903. Colville, American spiritualist, wrote most of this in Sydney in 1901. He describes Australasia as "veritable hot-bed of Spiritualism and Occultism" and the book opens in Sydney with our introduction to Miss Cynthia Catte and Miss Julia Panther.
After a preface peppered with Psycho-Therapeutics, Spirit Communion, Etiopathy, heirophants, hypnotism, magnetism, Initiates and Anastasian Occults, I was tired and left Miss Panther on the Watsons Bay ferry on page six.


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電車ト乗物. Densha to Norimono. Osaka, Fujiya 1930 (Showa 5). 19x26cm colour illustrated wrapper; 12pp including wrapper; full page colour illustrations on each. The last page has cartoon gags. Minor signs of use, an almost splendid copy. Au$300

Once inside the hero of this book is the tram - or streetcar if you prefer. There is a page of ships, a train, lots of cars, barges in the river, but trams throng the streets.


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China. A photograph album of scenes and people in the area around Liangxi. n.p. [c1920?]. Cloth back album 23x15cm; eight card leaves each with four windows, 7.5x10cm; 30 loosely inserted photos, most identified in pencil on the mount. Four photos quite faded. Au$275

Possibly someone associated with a hospital in Liangxi district - west of Shanghai. Allowing for changes in orthography, this seems to be where our photographer was and a couple of photos are portraits of patients. Some photos are "near Soochow" - now Suzhou.

 


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Prisons - Tasmania. Correspondence on the Subject of Convict Discipline and Transportation ... presented to both houses of Parliament ... May 1848. London, William Cowes 1848. Foolscap publisher's printed wrapper (spine chipped); 144pp and seven folding plans (six with added colouring). A very good copy. Au$450

Much of this is, naturally, concerned with the concerted push by the colonies to end transportation which, in concert with a fair amount of practical detail about the state of the system and planned reforms and reductions, is not without interest. Added are items like the specifications for a new female penitentiary.
The real appeal here, though, is the detailed report on the Prisoners' Barracks at Hobart and plans for improvements by its superintendent James Boyd. Described and illustrated in plan and section are the present, and the proposed and improved cells and 'dormitories'; the appalling cells underneath the chapel; and the tread-wheel. The tread-wheel, punishment for refractory prisoners, was some 50 feet long in a room 68 feet long. Up to 150 prisoners at a time were in this room, "totally inadequate" as Boyd said. Of greater concern was that there was no separation of prisoners either on or off the wheel ("distressing evils") and Boyd proposes (illustrated in three of the plans) dividing the whole - the wheel and the room - into series of stalls and boxes, isolating the prisoners on and off the wheel.
This is less stable-like than you may think, the meanest stable is airy and commodious in comparison. The wheel seems to have been introduced into British prisons in the 1820s and lasted well into the 20th century despite the agitations of reformers throughout that whole time. Photographs of prison wheels at the end of the century show prisoners in stalls so, while I can't claim that Boyd originated the idea, there is no doubt that such plans were put into being throughout the prison system.


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Hikifuda. 信州松本東町上丁 [Shinshu Matsumoto Higashimachi Uetei]. n.p. [c1900?]. Woodcut broadside 28x24cm. A nice copy. Au$100

An intriguing and to me mysterious handbill from Matsumoto - a city in the Nagano prefecture in central Honshu. It seems clear it offers - in some rustic, or perhaps reverse way - what the well dressed man needs but I'm stumped by all those series of numbers. They don't make sense as measurements to me.


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Atom Bomb. Australian Army Journal Atomic Digest No.1. [cover title]. Military Board, Melbourne 1955. Octavo printed wrapper (a little grubby); 108pp, photos, illustrations, diagrams. Au$100

Australian Army Journal number 78, November 1955, not be communicated to the press or any other unauthorised person. A special issue containing Brogan on Tactics and Atomics, Mark Oliphant on Properties of Nuclear Explosions, Blunden on the Physical Effects of Atomic Weapons, Caplehorn on their effects on military operations, Blunden again on Simple Calculations for Tacticians in Nuclear War and Sloman and Baird on Medical Effects of Radiological Warfare.
Appended are some references and instructions for a Simulated Atomic Bomb: "Although there is no real substitute for an atomic explosion," we can make do with a 44 gallon drum of diesoleum and napalm.
Trove finds one copy - in a military collection - though doubtless there are other copies buried in runs of the journal.


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PIGGOTT, Sir Francis. Studies in the Decorative Art of Japan. London, Batsford 1910 [printed by the Box of Curios, Yokahama]. Quarto patterned cloth; 130pp & 32 plates (numbered to 33 but plate 16 does not exist; some colour), illustrations through the text. Au$100

A delightful and fairly esoteric enthusiast's study - like most of the best books - by the Chief Justice of Hong Kong; with chapters on the decoration of temples, of flat surfaces, wave and cloud forms, lattice work, the circular form, and a "special chapter" on the evolution of the key border in the east.


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