These books haven't necessarily been uploaded to antiqbook yet. So, if you order through antiqbook and get a message claiming the book has been sold, email in case that isn't true.


WALCOTT, Earle Ashley. The Open Door. A romance of mystery, time, 1905. NY, Dodd Mead 1910. Octavo, very good in publisher's illustrated grey-green cloth blocked in yellow and black (a touch rubbed); four plates. Au$125

First edition. A complicated murder mystery set in pre-quake San Francisco. It hadn't occurred to me before, the problems of San Francisco writers just after the quake with so much famous local colour and so many landmarks gone.
We have a near hysterical Italian painter who has learnt to speak English with a bad French accent last seen with the city's most eligible young murdered cad who is estranged from his snide, downright malevolent, millionaire father and staying in the house of his just-returned-after-years-to-San-Francisco now imperilled cousin whose beauty ensnares and inflames the self described lawyer idler who often has to throw away his half-smoked cigar.
We have a few too many accents in this for me. It's not so much that Walcott is bad with accents; it's more like he has cast all his character roles with poor actors whose accents stray all over the map. The Greek tavern keeper sounds passably Italian; the beautiful French maid has strayed into Mexico; even the Irish cops wander off into the Balkans or somewhere. It's a sad day when a brogue can't be nailed down tight, shorr t'is.


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Charles Spurgeon. The Wordless Book. n.p. n.d. [Britain before 1875?]. 72x53mm, publisher's gilt decorated cloth; 3 leaves of glazed paper: black, red and white. Au$850

The distilled essence of the preacher's calling: to spin pedagogy from the flimsiest concept. It was apparently invented by the London evangelist Charles Spurgeon in 1866. The three colours, black, red and white are the launching pad for lessons in sin, the blood of Christ and righteousness. By 1875 gold had been added - not as the symbol of man's inability to leave anything simple alone - but to represent heaven. Green has been cobbled on in more recent times.
Charming, slight, near insignificant in itself but apparently not so in effect, the wordless book, in however many forms it's taken, has been used by missionaries throughout the world, particularly Asia, and is still alive and well. For all that is written about it I found nothing much in the way of publishing history and I can't find a record of a copy that predates the introduction of the gold page.


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THORNE, Ross. Theatre Buildings in Australia to 1905. From the time of the First Settlement to the arrival of cinema. Architectural Research Foundation. Sydney University 1971. Two volumes quarto publisher's cloth; 227; 143pp, numerous photo illustrations, plans &c. Au$100

500 copies were produced.


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Kashi - Japanese confectionery. [title unread]. A catalogue or pattern book of kashi or wagashi - Japanese confectionery. Kyoto [191-?]. 18x25cm publisher's colour illustrated wrapper, thread tied; colour lithograph illustrations on 16 sheets, 4 pages of adverts. A bit used, some spots or browning; a pretty good copy. Au$165

New year is the theme for this offering. Books of kashi designs like this are known to date back to the late 17th century, there may have been earlier ones. They were produced by high class confectioners as catalogues for their high class customers. Kashi albums blossomed in the late Meiji through to the early Showa - after 1900 to about 1930 - and I'm not sure why. I wonder if it was a fad inspired by someone like the crown princess having a passion for these elaborate sweets.


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A Sydney flag maker's pattern book

Drawings of the Flags in Use at the Present Time by Various Nations. Admiralty. London, HMSO 1916. Stout quarto later half morocco; 40pp, extra colour litho title, two unnumbered and 201 of 203(?) colour litho plates numbered to 200 with three bis. Two of the original plates have been removed but this has been extended with the insertion of another 145 colour litho plates of varying sizes and one handpainted plate. Signs of use of course but the flaws are negligible really. Au$1650

A splendid copy of a book scarce enough in any form - it was produced for the public service - this copy has been scrupulously kept up to date for a decade with the insertion of the additional plates as they were issued and numerous notes in manuscript, duplicated typescript and print recording official errata and updates. These date from 1916 to 1925.
A note preserved at the front records that this belonged to L.E. Forsyth of E.H. Brett & Sons of Balmain East (in Sydney), "flag manufacturer - specializes in printing (in lieu of painting) of colonial & foreign badges on flags". Brett & Sons began as sailmakers and expanded into various canvas and textile related fields as the century went on.


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Elijah Coleman Bridgman. Mitsukuri Genpo. 聨邦志畧 [Renpo Shiryaku]. Tokyo, Rokyukan 1864 (Genji 1). Two volumes 26x18cm publisher's embossed yellow wrappers with printed labels (front cover of the first volume marked or dusty, the label incomplete); 56 & 48 leaves (ie 208pp in all); five full page maps with colour and a fair quantity of small maps, some with colours; woodcut illustrations. A rather good copy, quite fresh inside. Au$1750

First edition of the adaptation by Mitsukuri Genpo of the American missionary Bridgman's Da Mei lian bang zhi lue published in Shanghai in 1861 or 62; this was reprinted in 1871. The Shanghai version has been wrongly claimed as the first account of the United States in Chinese - but it's sort of true as it is a revision of Meilige heshengguo zhilue published by Bridgman in Singapore in 1838. For the Japanese this is their first thorough and ostensibly trustworthy account, written as it is by an actual American.
I should make it clear that this is an account of the United States, not of the Americas. The first volume is general, covering history, government, education, culture ... and the second volume zooms in on individual states illustrated by a number of small local maps. It is the first account of American democratic government for the Japanese.
I can't tell you how Mitsukuri dealt with Bridgman's reformist proselytising but anything produced by Mitsukuri carried a lot of weight. A physician by early training he was a scholar of the west and pioneered the introduction of western science, medicine and technology (like the first description of a steam engine) into Japan, usually via the Dutch or Chinese - pretty much the only means of transmission - and served as translator for the Perry mission in 1853.


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Catalogue - bicycles. Leonard Gundle Motor Co. Carrier Cycles [cover title]. Birmingham [c1936]. 15x23cm publisher's printed wrapper with split pins; 29 illustrated sheets printed on one side, numbered to 25 with a couple of gaps and some bis and clearly complete. Rather good in a ragged but complete printed envelope postmarked February 1936 and addressed to a Birmingham recipient. Au$100

Working bikes for the most part - milk floats and ice cream carts are the most elaborate - with carriers and fittings for all trades needing to shift things with pedal power.


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LANGLEY, Samuel Pierpont and Charles M. MANLY. Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight. Washington, The Smithsonian 1911. Solid quarto publisher's cloth; xii,320pp and 101 plates, illustrations and diagrams through the text. A fairly splendid copy. Au$600

Langley's experiments in flight from 1887 to 1903; those up until 1896 written by him, those subsequent written by his assistant Manly.


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Art Training Institute Pty Ltd. The New Era in Commercial Art. Melbourne, the company [193-?]. Folio (35x25cm) publisher's string tied printed wrapper; 52pp illustrated throughout, much in colour, and 13 translucent leaves, several printed. A rather good copy. Au$185

The fairly deluxe prospectus for the commercial art school. Throughout are examples of the work - posters, advertisements etc - of successful students, the staff, and distinguished contributors, including James Northfield, Ted Scoresby and Ida Outhwaite.
There are a few versions of this book with slightly different titles and contents. This one does not match any of the three noted by Trove. Neither does it quite match a copy that came through here a few years ago with some correspondence dated 1937.


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Hikifuda. Benkyo Shoten? 和洋雑貨毛織物類 [Wayo Zakka Keorimono-rui]. Hikifuda - or handbill - for a sale of Japanese and western wool textiles. n.p. [190-?]. Colour lithograph broadside 38x26cm. A touch browned round the edges. Au$100

An exuberant yet elegant thoroughly up to the minute snapshot of a stylish woman - with her painfully exquisite daughter - graciously acknowledging the attention of the shop boy at a busy warehouse sale of fabrics.


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BURGOYNE, Geo. Aug. The Wool Marks Directory of Australia ... an alphabetical classification of wool marks, with the name of owner, station, postal address, and pastoral district in Australia and Tasmania. Sydney, Burgoyne (slip pasted over the original John Sands imprint) [1889?]. Quarto publisher's morocco (scuffed and worn, front cover near detached); ii,248pp. Certainly used but rightly so and most acceptable. With the stamp of Melbourne wool buyers Hick, Kettlewell & Co. Au$850

This compilation clearly took murderously assiduous patience and care and the result is a prosaic working book that would have attracted few rave reviews. But it is in its way a catalogue of the wealth of the country, identifying as it does near everything that came off the sheep's back, where it came from and who grew it. And presumably essential for buyers of Australian wool. At the end are marks Burgoyne could not trace to a property and he warns that some of these may be suspect: "dealers' mixed lots, speculative lots, and scoured lots of unknown origin."
Hicks Kettlewell & Co was one of a few incarnations of the firm that started as W. & B. Hicks around 1850. Trove finds copies of this at the National Library and the Mitchell and Worldcat adds the University of California.


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BLIGH, W.G. Notes on Instruments Best Suited for Engineering Field-Work in India and the Colonies. London, Spon 1899. Octavo publisher's cloth (marked and a bit worn at the tips); [8],218pp, illustrations and diagrams through the text. Au$100

An uncommon book; this introduces "new instruments and methods of work". Bligh had been the executive engineer for the Public Works Department in India and introduces some of his own instruments.


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Muneaki Mihara. 自在教育法図解 [Jizai Kyoikuho Kuzai]. The Teaching by Pictures the Way of Impraving Freely am Easely the Natural Constitution of Man [sic]. Ritsuma Akiko, 1888 (Meiji 21). Broadside 70x53cm, woodblock printed, folding into publisher's limp cloth covers 17x13cm with printed label. A nice copy. Au$900

An enchanting and self evident exposition on the value of pictures in learning. Seemingly as simple as a phrenology chart but judging by the amount of text worked into all those different parts of the brain perhaps a lot more complex. From the little, as an illiterate, I can glean on brain function as outlined here this might sit somewhere between phrenology and neurophysics. The open area at the very centre of the brain is labelled 未詳 - unknown.


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RUTHERFORD, E. Radio-Activity. Cambridge Univ Press 1905. Octavo publisher's cloth. An excellent copy. Au$400

Second edition with Rutherford's apologies for "bringing out at such an early date a new edition which includes so much new material, and in which the rearrangement is so extensive as to constitute almost a new work".


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Atom Bomb. The Effects of the Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Report of the British Mission to Japan. London, HMSO 1946. Octavo printed wrapper (wrapper spotted); vi,22pp & 24 photo illustrations on 12 plates, a diagram at the end. Au$75

The commission spent November in Japan, its object to "point to general conclusions on the effects to be expected from similar atomic bombs, should they fall outside Japan, and in particular in Great Britain." The conclusions were sombre: "Not all the remaining 200,000 would constitute a rehousing problem: because about 50,000 of them would be dead or would die within eight weeks".


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HUSKISSON, W. [William]. Shipping Interest. Speech of the Right Hon. W. Huskisson in the House of Commons ... London, Hatchards 1827. Octavo, disbound; 93pp. Au$150

"Perusal of this pamphlet must infallibly produce upon the brain of any but a madman ... the overthrow [of] ... the very ignorant, or very little scrupulous, complaints brought against him ... The Speech ought, indeed, to be made the manual of everybody ... who desires a sample of the danger which might befall this country, were implicit credit given by Parliament to the assertions of interested men." (The Times as quoted in 'The Speeches of the Right Honourable William Huskisson').
Huskisson is of course best known now to be the first person to be run over by a train - Stevenson's Rocket no less. Here he answers the attacks and petitions from digruntled parties all over the place against his legislation relaxing shipping laws and moving toward free trade. This was important stuff as Britain moved from being ruler of the sea to being the largest stakeholder in a web of trading nations and empires.
Huskisson's record on slavery and a minimum wage for the working poor is best left unexamined right now. Huskisson wasn't on his feet talking the whole 93 pages. A fair slab is appendices with facts and figures.


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COMTE, Auguste. A General View of Positivism. Translated ... by J.H. Bridges. London, Trubner 1865. Octavo publisher's green cloth; xii,426,[2]pp. A bright, fresh copy with the signature of South Australian vigneron and manufacturer Joseph Crompton; an apposite association given that Crompton was a staunch Unitarian. Au$200

First edition in English - from the second French edition of 1851.


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GOOLD, Joseph, Charles E. BENHAM, Richard KERR & L.R. WILBERFORCE. Harmonic Vibrations and Vibration Figures. London, Newton & Co. [1909]. Octavo publisher's green cloth; [8],216,[1]pp and two page price list of instruments mentioned in the book; 28 monochrome plates printed in a variety of colours (one plate is on two transparent leaves of tissue), 62 illustrations through the text. A nice, bright copy. Au$600

The best kind of science book - one with no immediate practical use. "Although a use may be found for [these results] some day ... the investigations have added something to the sum total of the world's knowledge, and the results of that no man can foresee" (from the publisher's preface).
Herbert Newton, the publisher, seems to have displayed some courage in taking on this book. Two of London's "most famous scientific publishing firms" declined the book as unprofitable. Newton, a scientific instrument maker, perhaps saw the advantage, or felt the obligation, of teaming this book with instruments made by his company (the harmonographs and other instruments described in the book range from about three guineas to £25) but he ends his preface hoping that the "inevitable loss" forecast by his publishing friends might be of "reasonable dimensions".
Myself, I'm not sure whether there is yet any practical purpose for harmonographs, or vibration figures, but it is evident that the work of Goold has nourished generations of scientists, artists and lunatics. Harmonographs, at their simplest, use pendulums to create a visual record of movement and Goold experimented in a number of ways to graphically record movement. While he admits that most of what he called "natural vibration figures" - from "rain-drops on a water pool" to the movement of the earth - fall outside his investigations, Goold insists that "the fact must be grasped that the forms of vibration-figures have nothing whatever to do either with any absolute rate of motion ... or with any absolute scale of dimensions." Thus, "whether or not we are able to interpret them, there can be no doubt that pendulum figures ... are most intimately related to the common facts of nature, and especially to music."
So from the playthings of pattern obsessive nerds to the mathematics of music; for the study of wave phenomena, quantum fractals, the study of crop circles (is there still such thing?), computer programming, Goold's work is an essential step.


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JOEST, Wilhelm. Tatowiren. Narbenzeichnen und Korperbemalen. Ein beittrag zur vergleichenden ethnologie. Berlin, Asher 1887. Folio publisher's cloth backed printed boards (recased and rebacked preserving the original spine, edges somewhat rubbed and scraped); [2],viii,128pp, one plain and 11 coloured lithograph plates, illustrations through the text. Some browning and spotting but a very presentable copy. Au$4000

There are no common tattoo books of any age or consequence and this ranks high among the most desirable and hard to find. Born a rich kid, Joest was a fieldworker - a traveller, collector and ethnologist of enormous range - and quite properly he died of some fever in the New Hebrides at the age of 45. His collections form the core of the Rautenstrauch Joest Museum in Cologne.
His thesis, that despite whatever religious rituals surround tattooing the wellspring is vanity and sexual preening, was discounted by later researchers (who reached absurd levels of Freudian gobbledygook by the nineteen sixties), but his research - historical, from other travellers and ethnologists, and first hand - remains impecable. New Zealand, Melanesia and New Guinea, south-east Asia and Japan are particularly well covered.


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Kawabata Ryushi 二十四時家庭双六 [Nijuyon Toki Katei]. Tokyo, Fujin Sekai 1912 (Meiji 45). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used, a few small holes in folds. Au$400

The new year gift from the magazine Fujin Sekai - Woman's World - charting the day in the busy but calm and most decorative life of the successful woman - wife and mother.
Kawabata's career took a curious turn during a 1913 stay in America to study western painting. Apparently he was so impressed with the Japanese art he saw in Boston he switched to being a Nihonga painter. Still, he remained being an illustrator for magazines for quite some time. As did most of the early to mid 20th century artists now revered.


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PEARSON, W.W. For India. Tokyo, Asiatic Association of Japan 1917. Octavo printed wrapper (marked); x,59pp. A bit used but a good enough copy. Au$100

Home rule for India propounded to the Japanese by Tagore's sometime secretary and a principal in the movement for the abolition of indentured Indian labour throughout the empire. Here he takes particular issue with the proposition that Japan would be asked to assist England in the event of a revolution in India, arguing that Japan's natural sympathies should lie with India.


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Chinese in Australia. Chinese Immigration to Western Australia. (Representation to Imperial Government by Members of Intercolonial Conference in Reference to.) [with] Remonstrance ... against the introduction of Chinese by the Government of Western Australia at the public expense ... Sydney, Govt Printer 1881. Foolscap disbound 4pp, last blank; 4pp, last with unrelated text. This second paper is from an appendix of a larger government report. Au$90

The gathered colonies including New Zealand at the conference aimed at producing unified legislation to keep out the Chinese are horrified to learn that Chinese immgrants are coming into Western Australia "at public expense".


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Chinese in Australia. Chinese Immigration. (Further Correspondence.) Sydney, Govt Printer 1881. Foolscap disbound; 6pp, last page blank. Au$125

The Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong reassures his New South Wales counterpart - with supporting documents - that Hong Kong is not deporting criminals to Australia and that any that were bundled aboard ships before 1877 - there probably weren't many - were sent without official knowledge. The rest entails Victoria and New South Wales agreeing that it's time to get all the colonies together to hammer out new Chinese Immigration restriction bills. New South Wales' unsuccessful 1879 restriction act is included.


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Chinese in Australia. Report from the Select Committee ... on the Chinese Immigration Bill. Sydney, Govt Printer 1858. Foolscap, modern wrapper; 10,24pp. Au$500

The colony's first foray into what later became The Chinese Question. In comparison to parliamentarians of the following decades this bunch seems remarkably humane. Of couse "filthy and dirty habits"are never far away along with contagious disease.
Most of this is the minutes of evidence - the testimony of ten witnesses including two Chinese residents: 'Henry Leau Appu' and 'Chin Ateak', shopkeeper and merchant respectively. The Assembly passed the restriction bill but the Council rejected it. Not, it appears, with any sympathy other than for landowners wanting cheap labour.


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CALLAHAN, George W. Secrets of Ventriloquism and Vocal Illusions. [cover title: Art of Ventriloqism ...] n.p. n.d. [190-?]. Narrow octavo publisher's illustrated textured wrapper; [16]pp. Au$35

Callahan's ventriloquism was peddled in varied forms for decades but I can't find a record of this particular version in OCLC. Presumably Callahan can teach you a now lost art: the ventriloquist's equivalent of black-face.


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LANG, John. Botany Bay. London, William Tegg 1859. Octavo publisher's orange cloth printed in black (rather grubby and faded, spine shabby but solid). Definitely second hand and still most acceptable. With John Lane Mullins' gift bookplate to St Sophia's Library. The cover is dated 1860 as is Mitchell's copy. Au$850

First edition of Lang's maybe most reprinted and best regarded book. "Thinly veiled" is the usual description for fiction that might be an insult to some readers so Lang's preface begs the pardon of his Australian audience for words unrelated to this book that saw him unpopular before his departure and assures us that he does not intend to be "sarcastic or insulting" in this book.
An old clipping claims that the same folk who bought up every copy they could of Mudie's Felonry of New South Wales and destroyed unacceptable pages did the same with this, making complete copies rare. As the first story isn't really true there's no reason to believe the second. I can't find any record of mutilated copies of this but I can't find many copies at all. Trove finds four locations and Worldcat adds the four standard libraries of Britain.


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SELBORNE, John. The Thousand Secrets. London, Everett 1911. Octavo publisher's cloth with mounted colour illustration. A bit used, a bit browned; a pretty decent copy. Au$475

First edition of this thriller which surely must be the first emoji mystery. At the scenes of the crimes the villain leaves a cryptic typed smiling face. Did he or she kill only owners of typewriters or carry spares? You might be sure the killer is a he from the cover but I'd say our cover artist never tried to make such a face with a typewriter. Truth in advertising or book covers has never been desirable.
"As is often the case in such tales, the criminals show far more intelligence than their pursuers," (The Adelaide Register).


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BRADDON, M.E. [Mary Elizabeth]. Lady Audley's Secret. Leipzig, Tauchnitz 1862. Two volumes small octavo half gilt calf. A handsome pair. Au$225

I've hunted for evidence that the Tauchnitz edition - as sometimes happened - actually beat the official first edition into print with no luck. In any case this issue advertises many later Mrs Braddon novels.


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Imaginary Voyage. The History of Bullanabee and Clinkataboo, Two Recently Discovered Islands in the Pacific. London: printed for Longman &c 1828. Duodecimo in sixes, publisher's cloth backed boards, printed paper spine label; 216pp. Endpapers spotted but an outstanding, fresh copy. Au$2000

Quite a rare utopia. The Islands of Bullanabee and Clinkataboo, though close to Hawaii, remain unknown to European navigators but have been trading for centuries with Japan, whose religion the islanders had embraced. As Japan was even more a mystery than Hawaii and other Pacific cultures this all allows a curious mix of supposition drawn from Asia and elsewhere, and imagination.
This imaginary Japanese religion bears a remarkable likeness to Catholicism with its idol worship, the priesthood's love of gold and the supremacy of the head of the church, the sole link of communication to the Goddess Verginee. From the tyranny of this religion comes strife and civil war of course, until sense prevailed and the priests of Verginee were expelled.
The cunning and cupidity of the priesthood was relentess though and trouble returns. Again, at last, sense prevails and though devotees of Verginee may persist in their worship they are wisely barred from holding any office of power. And yet again the Verginees wormed their way inside the defences of the too tolerant islanders, this during the author's two year stay, and "in consequence of these sudden and dangerous changes in the affairs of the islands I took the opportunity of leaving them and of leaving them clandestinely for; as all liberality of sentiment was gone and the introduction of a new sort of punishment was in contemplation ... I deemed it prudent to make my escape".


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[Exhibition - Melbourne 1888-9]. SMITH, R. Burdett. Report by ... Executive Commissioner for the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1889; with appendices and views of the New South Wales Court. Sydney, Govt Printer 1890. Largish octavo gilt decorated blue morocco (edges rubbed); viii,165pp, frontis & 22 photo plates, folding plan. A pretty good copy. Au$650

A very useful account of the New South Wales contribution to the exhibition, particularly for the photos. This is the more luxurious presentation binding.


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KINGSFORD SMITH, Charles. The Old Bus. Melbourne, Herald Press 1932. Octavo illustrated blue cloth printed in white; photo plates. Not a book that wore well, this is quite a good copy and is uncommon as such. Au$100

The Old Bus is of course Kingsford Smith's aircraft the Southern Cross.


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Kawaraban. Perry and the black ships. 北亜墨利加合衆国帝王ヨリ献上貢物品々 [with] アメリカヨリ大日本ヘ献上貢物品々 [Kitaamerika Gasshukoku Teio Yori Kenjo Mitsugimono Shinajina] with [Amerika Yori Dainihon e Kenjo Mitsugimono Shinajina]. [np 1854] (Kaei 7). Two woodcuts joined 62x24cm. Rather good. Au$1500

These illicit illustrated news sheets - kawaraban - for the streets were produced by the million for a couple of hundred years so of course few survive. They were produced for anything more interesting than the drop of a hat and the arrival of the Black Ships, the American squadron commanded by Perry, in 1853 and 54 eclipsed any and all tiresome earthquakes, fires, plagues, famines, murders and scandals. For most Japanese this was the same as a squadron of alien space ships arriving on earth now. These prints are the kurofune kawaraban.
This pair illustrates the gifts Perry presented to the emperor in March 1854. Like most (or all?) kawaraban it's obvious the artist was nowhere near their subjects and ran up drawings from reports, copies of copies and imagination. This is why these things are so much better than official renderings and photographs. I have found copies of the right hand print - the train - in a few Japanese collections but Waseda and the Kyoiku Library in Yokohama are the only ones I've found with both.


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Sydney Harbour Bridge. Bridge to the North Shore. (Correspondence relating to the construction of.) [with] ... (Further correspondence ...) [with] (Further correspondence ...). Sydney, Govt Printer January, March, April, 1883. Three papers, foolscap, disbound in modern plain wrappers; 9pp; 7pp; 2pp, one plate and folding elevation and plan. Au$300

These three papers begin with an 1878 memo by William Bennett, Commissioner for Roads and Bridges, in which he sets out the case for a high span bridge or opening bridge and gives both the thumbs down. He prefers a punt system running night and day to a "costly and inevitably unsightly monster bridge." The rest of this paper holds the wrangling between the government and J.E. Garbett, representing a company that proposed to build a bridge provided that the government guaranteed three and a half percent return on the cost. Parkes' ministry approved the deal.
The second paper covers the agitation of north shore residents for a bridge and the excitement of British engineers upon hearing that the government intends to build a bridge.
The third paper covers the plan submitted by the engineer William Dempsey, with a view and folding elevation. It isn't inspiring but that isn't why it was rejected. The government changed in January 1883.


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空の乗物 : 飛行機や飛行船 [Sora no Norimono : Hikoki ya Hikosen]. Tokyo, Kano Hakko 1930 (Showa 5). 19x27cm colour illustrated wrapper; 12pp including wrapper all in colour. Definitely used with some chipping; the covers are flimsier paper than the inside light card leaves for some reason and have some creases and short tears. Au$200

Second printing maybe and not a great copy but worth it just for the centre spread - the sky full of wondrous machines. Now that monster airliner and three of the smaller aircraft appear over a very similar city in another transport picture book published in Osaka in 1930*. As our book was first published in 1928 I charge the Osaka publisher with plagiarism. Of course it could be the same artist and, having invented such splendid aircraft, why wouldn't you use them again?
Notice how the back cover has been titled in English so a western kid could just start at the other end. I can't find another copy of this anywhere.

*See Norimono Taikai: From Dutch Studies to Beach Bunnies p5.


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Palace of Peace. International Competition of the Carnegie Foundation. The Palace of Peace at The Hague. The 6 premiated and 40 other designs chosen by the society of architecture ... London, Jack 1907. Folio (49x38cm); eight parts loose as issued in publisher's printed wrappers and cloth portfolio (the portfolio a bit marked and bumped); 76 plates (eight colour) - elevations and plans. An excellent set. Au$600

A luxurious production. According to the report judging took several days, votes were close and there was some argument before Cordonnier's baroque wedding cake was given first prize, largely, the report suggests, due to its sympathy with surrounding buildings.
Of the now revered competitors, Otto Wagner got fourth prize and Berlage and Saarinen were further down the lists. Despite stylish aspects of their designs and the idiosyncratic splendour of Debat's Indo-Mayan stupa - which looks to me like it could have inspired Burley Griffin's parliament house for Canberra - it does seem, from this distance, that the judges got it right. I'm sure they'll all sleep easier in their graves knowing that.
Cordonnier's building has a joyous optimism that matches the crusading zeal for world peace of patron Carnegie and any number of seemingly sensible exponents of world unity at the time. Wagner's building is an opulent museum or theatre, Saarinen's ideal for a mausoleum, Berlage's a Byzantine basilica, and most of the others studied lumps of classical monumentalism. Cordonnier's building did suffer paring down to meet budget and lost some of its airy charm but still ended up closer to the original design than many winners of other competitions.


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JONES, Owen. The Grammar of Ornament ... illustrated by examples ... London, Quaritch 1910 [reprinted 1928]. Small folio publisher's gilt decorated cloth; 112 colour plates including the extra title, illustrations through the text. Inner front hinge cracked but firm; cracking is common with this heavy book. A rather good copy. Au$500

The last proper edition, it can still stand comparison with the 1865 edition.


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Bawden. HEATH, Ambrose. Good Food Without Meat. London, Faber 1940. Octavo publisher's illustrated boards and dustwrapper (piece torn from the top of the blurb of the dustwrapper) and most of the extra wrap-around; cover and title page by Edward Bawden. Au$60


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Blackbirding. James Patrick Murray. Brig "Carl" - James Patrick Murray. (correspondence, &c, as to admission of Murray as an approver.) Sydney, Govt Printer 1873. Foolscap, disbound in a modern plain wrapper; 16pp. Au$200

Atrocity, massacre, mass murder - you choose. Seventy or more kidnapped men from the Solomons and Bougainville trying to break out of the hold of the Carl were shot from the deck and thrown, dead or alive, into the sea. Murray, owner of the Carl, when evidence of kidnapping during the second voyage began to surface, discovered religion and turned Queen's Evidence.
The captain and members of the crew were tried in Sydney. Two were sentenced to death but of course not hung. Murray's father wrote to the Melbourne Herald that if anyone went to the gallows, his son should be the first. Murray disappeared from Sydney before the trial was finished and not much more is known about him.
Collected here are sworn statements given by Murray and others to the Consul in Levuka and proceedings of a Naval Court held in Levuka before sending the prisoners to Sydney. Reading Murray's account I wonder that he wasn't strung up on the spot, for mealy-mouthed hypocrisy as well as murder. He must have had some persuasive skill not conveyed in the words themselves.


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HUME, Fergus. The Jew's House. London, Ward Lock 1911. Octavo publisher's black cloth blocked in gilt, red and blind; colour frontispiece. A bit of browning of the edges and at the ends, minor signs of use; quite a good copy. Au$185

First edition. How is that so many unpleasant millionaires had delectable daughters? It certainly isn't true today. The delectable girl here is not an unpleasant millionaire's daughter but that doesn't save him from being murdered at the end of chapter one. She is a quaker farm girl - or is she? A convoluted plot with plenty of spectacular admissions and secrets unveiled. The Jew of the House - Ben-Ezra of Tanbuck Hall - is a millionaire but not the murdered one, rather one falsely accused of murder. He is really the hero of the story and still ends up badly.


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PRATT, Ambrose. Vigorous Daunt: Billionaire. London, Ward Lock 1905. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in gilt, black red and white (some marks and smudges); frontispiece and 12 plates by Stanley L. Wood. Signs of use, a pretty decent copy. Au$225

First edition. An English gentleman on his scuppers in Berlin becomes a German spy in France, meets and is foiled by Vigorous Daunt, the Australian "mad billionaire". Daunt then, naturally, saves him from certain death on Devil's Island, recruits him as assistant and the adventures begin.


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Shop windows. 店舗陳列照明競技会 : 入賞写真集 [Tenpo Chinretsu Shomei Kyogikai : Nyushu Shashin Shu]. Sendai City Electricity 1937 (Showa 12). 18x26cm publisher's stiff wrapper with cord ties; 14 leaves, being a title, a page of portraits and 12 plates of shop windows, most two a page. These are original photographic prints on glossy or textured card. Scuff on the front cover. Au$165

This appears to be the fifth Sendai city shop window competition sponsored by the power and water authority. That's pretty much all I can tell you. I can't find a mention of anything about the competition anywhere.


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Ship's newspaper. The Sorata Scorcher Vol. 1 No. 2. October 10(?) 1883. Printed on the ship Sorata, 1883. Six sheets foolscap with ten pages printed by duplication from manuscript, fastened with a split pin. Some separation along the fold and insect nibbling; the first page very faded, others vary from faintish to dark. Au$95

The Sorata plied the London Sydney route through the seventies and eighties and presuming other passengers were as enthusiastic as this lot there must have been a lot of Sorata newspapers at the time but I can't find any mention of any of them. This was a London to Sydney voyage - arriving on November 4 - and this was issued just before calling at Capetown. It has the expected amount of whimsy and one correspondent has contributed a lost child in the Queensland bush tale.


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SLADEN, Douglas. Fair Inez. A romance of Australia. London, Hutchinson [1918]. Octavo publisher's cloth; 16 page publisher's list for spring 1918 at the end. Minor signs of use and some spotting or browning, a pretty good copy. Inscribed affectionately and signed by Sladen in June 1935 to "Dorothy ... another English soul who married an Australian." A small pencil note on the front paste down suggests that Sladen paid 2/6 for this copy in April 1935. If so, he's not the only author to buy their own books to give away. Au$400

First edition of this futuristic fantasy which opens in the year 2000 with the great airship Murrumbidgee from London coming into land at Melbourne. Returning home is Pat Lindsay Gordon, son of Adam Lindsay Gordon IV and great-grandson of Adam Lindsay Gordon II, in turn the grandson of a cousin of the revered poet. The Gordons obviously breed hard and fast. His sister Inez will doubtless be the femme fatale of the book. Read on yourself.


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Prison Administration in South Africa. Department of Foreign Affairs [1969]. Quarto, excellent in publisher's gilt stamped limp leatherette; [6],46pp and numerous photo illustrations (some colour). Au$150

The Prime Minister's copy, stamped "B.J. Vorster" on the front cover, of this model for beleaguered governments. Significant here is that it was only the South African Foreign Department, not those directly responsible for prisons, that felt the need to respond to growing international condemnation.
The United Nations resolution of 1968 condemned South Africa so this report was delivered to the United Nations with a defiant letter stating that the UN had no competence to criticise prison management (cf Horrell; Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1969).
One section addresses the "attempts to discredit the South African prison system" and implicit in the photographs of healthy young black African men being taught trades and cared for by older and wiser white men in clean modern facilities is that any complaint by them would be unforgivable ingratitude. They must be better off since leaving their slums and shanties.
Vorster had been the Minister for Justice and for Police and Prisons until his elevation to Prime Minister in 1966 so it must have been doubly satisfying to see his legacy blossoming under the care of his successor, Pelser.


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ASTOR, John Jacob. A Journey in Other Worlds. A romance of the future. London, Longman 1894. Octavo publisher's blue cloth elaborately blocked in silver and lettered in gilt; 10 illustrations, nine by Dan Beard; 24 page publisher's list dated September 1894 at the end. Edges a bit rubbed and the title page a bit browned. Quite a good copy. Au$125

First English edition, pretty much concurrent with the New York edition. William Waldorf Astor has been described as the richest novelist ever and without knowing the breakdown of the family fortunes I can't argue that, but John Jacob may well be the richest science fiction writer still. William's pair of novels were no great shakes and neither is this in literary terms. But it is a scientific and utopian romance involving a voyage to Jupiter and Saturn, no worse than most of the didactic science fiction of the period and does provide enough thrills and plenty of monsters.
It is set in the year 2000 and Astor's vision of world history over the intervening century can be, with equal or no profit, admired or derided. Astor was caned by the New York Times reviewer - affronted by his view that time wasted learning the classics would be better spent learning science - who remarked that Astor's description of a "weird scene might also serve in a description of a Dutch Christmas festival."


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Slavery. [Gilbert Francklyn?]. A Very New Pamphlet Indeed! Being the Truth addressed to the people at large. Containing some strictures on the English Jacobins ... respecting the Slave Trade. London, printed in the year 1792. Octavo, disbound; 16pp. Au$495

The very model of a modern refutation, our writer has used all the methods still used to condemn reformers; in this case the abolitionists. By the second sentence the witnesses brought forward by the abolitionists have been "committed to take their trial for perjury." Before the end of the first page the abolitionists - Wilberforce, Clarkson et al - are attached to radical fanatics and Jacobins set on destroying Britain - no small charge in 1792. By page two the secret society of "Old Jewry" - a Presbyterian meeting house - has been unearthed and we learn that the testimony offered by these radicals comes from "discarded servants, starving surgeons, sailors taken drunk from the stews, or parsons convicted of adultery."
There are several points of coincidence between this and the anti-abolitionist writings of slave trader Gilbert Francklyn - and "Mr Francklyn" gets one brief mention, for being magnificently humane - but it may be that our author simply mined Francklyn for material. Certainly Francklyn's known pamphlets were never so thoroughly anonymous as this. Whoever the author, this received a snappish note in the Monthly Magazine.
The Critical Review was also hostile and that hostility extended to a reply to this pamphlet, 'Old Truths & Established Facts' which has been ascribed to Thomas Paine. This second work, Paine or not, was condemned for its lack of originality; our pamphlet for its "scarcely defensible" stratagem of joining the abolitionist with latterday levellers.


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LAFITTE, J.P. [Jean Baptiste Pierre]. The Red Doctor. Translated from the French ... by Huon d'Aramis. Philadelphia, Lippincott 1866. Octavo publishers patterned cloth. Some natural browning and some splodges; a rather good copy. Au$275

First edition in English of this proper sensation novel. It begins with a "frantic and horrible" murder and impersonation in chapter one and picks up speed after that. It is a novel about Mesmer of course, what else could it be after that introduction. The best description is a contemporary review found by Robert Eldridge: "This singular farrago of mystery, murder, and mesmerism belongs to the sensation school of modern French fiction ... it contains an abundance of highly-wrought and exciting passages, which, in spite of their violation of truth, probability, or even possibility, absorb the reader's attention until, to his surprise, he finds himself at the very last page." (The Nation, Sept 20 1866).
Huon d'Aramis, translator of at least one other French book, must be a pseudonym but whose I don't know.


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解放 : 民主統一戰線のための戰鬪的大衆誌 [Kaiho : minshu toitsu sensen no tameno sentoteki taishushi]. Tokyo, Kaihosha, March 1946. Octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper; 96pp, b/w illustrations. A bit rumpled, less than expected browning of the cheap paper; quite a good copy. Au$350

No. 1 and all published of this troublemaking red magazine that carried the title in English: 'The Emancipaton (The Kaiho) The Combative Enlightening Magazine for Promoting the Victory of the Peoples Front.' [sic] After some tight and dangerous years Japan's communists - those not killed or disgraced by their apostasy from prison - could come out from under their beds but American occupied Japan was no welcome red resort.
This early and abrupt bit of red defiance appeared in time for the April 1946 general election in which the communist party won six seats and the socialists a healthy 96 seats. The socialists even formed government for a brief heady period. During the war and for a few minutes after, Japanese communists were seen as allies but this magazine is exactly the sort of thing that soured the friendship.
Officially there was no censorship in occupied Japan but likewise, officially all those plutocrat war criminals were purged from government and business. The Civil Censorship Detachment of the occupying forces censored everything they could find. Worldcat finds no copies of this and I find only the NDL copy.


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Kameda Yoshiro (or Kichirobei). 和洋建築新雛形 [Wayo Kenchiku Shin Hinagata]. Osaka, Seikado 1907 (Meiji 40). Six volumes 22x15cm, publisher's wrappers with title labels; illustrated throughout with plans, elevations, measured drawings etc. Wrappers with some surface rubbing or insect grazing; a pretty good set. Au$800

I'm not sure whether this should be described as Japanese principles applied to western design or the other way round. I think both, if it matters. An excellent builder's pattern book that was certainly put to wide use.
There is a 2008 learned paper by Yanigasawa and Mizoguchi that shows how Kameda introduced Japanese carpentry and the modular system into western design but all except the precis of their paper is in Japanese so I have no idea how they go about proving their point. They do tell us that Kameda was a master carpenter in Fukuoka.


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Henry Fielding. The Letter-Writers: or, a New Way to Keep a Wife at Home. A farce in three acts. As it is acted at the Theatre in the Hay-Market. Written by Scriblerus Secundus. London, printed and sold by J. Roberts 1731. Diminutive slender quarto later blind panelled calf by Riviere (wear to spine, front hinge cracked); 48pp. Trimmed a bit close along the top touching "The" on the title but above the headlines throughout; some natural browning but a good, quite fresh copy that marks the heady days of the Fielding craze of the late 19th and early twentieth centuries when every good copy that could be found was banged into smart bindings by Riviere or Sangorski and flogged to millionaires. Au$1250

First edition and hard to find. Rushed through the press and published the day the play opened - the 24th of March - to little purpose. Modern critics have described The Letter-Writers as the best of 18th century farces and as dismal but Fielding's contemporaries don't seem to have had any disagreements. It lasted three days and wasn't reprinted for a long time.


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Harbours. A Copy of the Report of the Harbour of Refuge Commission of 1846, on the several modes of construction ... copies of the papers connected therewith. London, House of Commons 1847. Foolscap modern wrapper; 52pp, one plate and some small illustrations through the text. Docket title on the last page. Au$90

A stormy commission; one that could well have used a harbour of refuge. While this, the third commission in a few years, finally saw work begun, two of the commissioners refused to sign the report and got truly cranky when the Commission refused to record their dissent. That takes up the first few pages here and the dissent of Sir Howard Douglas several more. Then we have reports and evidence given by the giants of civil engineering - John and George Rennie, Cubitt, Alan Stevenson - followed by reports from America on the Delaware breakwater and France on Cherbourg.


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PLEASONTON, Gen. A.J. The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky, in developing animal and vegetable life, in arresting disease, and in restoring health ... Philadelphia, Claxton, Remsen &c 1876. Octavo publisher's blue cloth blocked in gilt and blind; iv,38,185pp, frontispiece printed in blue and black and a couple of illustrations through the text (which is blue). An outstanding copy. Au$350

Pleasonton won his way from Captain to Brigadier-General during the Civil War but I gather from his multitude of unadmirers it was not due to heroism or competency in the field. Still he was not satisfied and resigned from the army in a huff. In the meantime he had decided to apply his scientific bent to agriculture and built a glass-house paned with blue glass panels to "test the chemical power of the solar ray" with wondrous results. He extended his experiments to husbandry and before long blue light was curing ailments and saving the lives of both animals and humans. The craze made it into song in 1877 with The Blue Glass Galop, The Blue Glass Scottische and maybe others.
He published his first lecture in 1871 and this 1876 book seems to be the definitive collection of lectures, letters and writings. His experiments are now not so easy to read - to alleviate the glare caused by black print on white paper under gaslight this is printed in blue on tinted paper. I have seen a couple of American books of the period printed in a similar manner and had presumed that it was just an unfortunate aesthetic choice - now I know it was progress at work.


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