Poisonous Women

Hanai Oume. Utagawa Kunimasa IV (signed as Baido Kunimasa). 花井お梅 [Hanai Oume]. Hasegawa Sonikichi 1888 (Meiji 21) Colour woodcut triptych, each sheet approx 37x25cm. Signs in the corners of removal from an album with a small bit of loss on a couple of corners. Quite fresh, with decent left and top margins. Au$450

I think this is the best of murder prints taken from the play 'Tsuki no Umekaoru Oboroyo' based on Oume's killing in the rain of her lover/employee in 1887. This made Oume one of the three greatest dokufu - or poisonous women - of the period. Yoshitoshi's small newspaper print of the murder has blood and a disturbing detachment between victim and killer and while Kunichika's triptych scene from the play is similar to this and makes more of the famous umbrella, this is more focused on murder and has the tension caused by the oblivious bystanders. Of course a serious dokufu collection needs them all but I'd be satisfied with this and Yoshitoshi.
Oume or O-ume - her professional name - was celebrity manifest. Her murder trial was public and though crowds unable to get in became irate, every moment was covered in the press; books were published within minutes, kabuki plays and novels performed and published, and the newspapers made rich.


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Risho. 花火秘伝集 [Hanabi Hiden-shu]. Osaka? [1817 or c1825?]. 15x9.5cm later but not so recent wrapper; 37 leaves (ie leaves 3 to 39 of 39); woodcut illustrations, some full page. Stained throughout; missing the title, first two leaves (preface and frontispiece) and colophon leaf. Au$1500

A horrible and incomplete copy admittedly but this, the first - and only, for a long time - Japanese book on fireworks, is so rare that even this copy was a delight to find after many years of looking. The text is complete.
It is often dated confidently to 1817 but CiNii and Waseda - the only place I can find copies - are not certain enough to assign a date. Philip's 'Bibliography of Firework Books' does list it but only from a translation of the Kokusho Somokuroku (the national bibliography of books before 1867) entry provided to him by the British Library. There it is dated c1825 and Philips notes that no more than six copies are extant in Japanese libraries. I can add that Waseda's copy is missing its title leaf but looks much nicer than this copy.
The title translates as firework secrets and, like many trades, the secrets were kept in the trade. Until this book and for at least another fifty years the secrets of fireworks were held in manuscripts. The attrition rate for a book like this with an audience of black-thumbed, fire-prone pyrotechnists must have guaranteed not too many secrets leaked out.

*Be assured that the black mark shown on one page is not mould. The damage to the book is long done and there is no sign that the paper is degrading.


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SWINBURNE, Alfred James. 通俗論理談 上 ... 中卷 [Tsuzoku Ronridan]. [Cover title: The Grave Made Gay]. Tokyo, Kochokaku 1887 (Meiji 20). Two volumes 19x13cm, publisher's illustrated wrappers; illustrations by Kobayashi Kiyochika. Some browning or spotting of the cheap paper; quite good. Au$300

Parts one and two - part three never appeared - of an an adaptation of Swinburne's 'Picture Logic or The Grave Made Gay; an attempt to popularise the science of reason ...' first published in 1875. The 'Grave Made Gay' seems to have been dropped from the title with the fourth edition of 1881.
The illustrations are mostly copies or adaptations of Swinburne's originals but Kiyochika has drawn a few new, specifically Japanese, illustrations.
Swinburne was wealthy, a school inspector by trade, and proper example of an eccentric (ie a pain to know) English gentleman; the sort that carried a revolver to visit schools in Irish catholic areas. I haven't read his self published memoir but you can find a charming precis of it online.
Worldcat finds copies at Berkeley and in the Diet library.


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Patent remedies. 諸薬功能書類綴 [cover title]. A gathering of 19th century handbills or descriptive and instructive leaflets or wrappers for various patent, herbal or quack medicines. v.p. c1880 to c1900? 26 individual pieces bound to fold into a handmade board and stiff paper wallet style string tied binding, 28x18cm, treated with persimmon, hand lettered title piece. Some are quite large, some are printed on both sides and a few are woodcut. Au$1500

The work of the sort of collector who deserves a small shrine. Here have been carefully preserved the most disposable, awkwardly shaped and ephemeral records of a recondite corner in modern history: when drugs and cures became an industry.
At least one of these brands is still available: Chujoto for "Female Complaints" still alleviates menstrual pain. There may be others and I'll bet many are the foundations of current industrial giants. The only date I've spotted is Meiji 13 - 1880; Chujoto was apparently invented in 1893 (or by princess Chujo of the Fujiwara clan in a Snow White like tale) and some may be a little earlier or later.


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Sino-Japanese War. Fushuken Tsuneshige? 帝国艦隊豊島ニ支那艦ヲ破ル [Teikoku Kantai Toshima ni Shina-kan o Yabu Ru]. Inoue Mohei 1894 (Meiji 27). Colour lithograph (or lithograph and woodcut?) triptych, each sheet approx 38x25.5cm. A good copy with decent top and left margins. Au$300

This is your run of the mill exploding ship Sino-Japanese woodcut senso-e triptych but for one thing: it is a lithograph. The are plenty of single sheet lithographs but they aren't the same thing. I'm yet to see another like this. A couple of other copies are reproduced online and even allowing for the vagaries of reproduction it's clear that colours were as experimental as the print itself.
All that I can find about Tsuneshige is that no-one agrees on how to read his name.


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戸締栓金具 文化クロロ [Tojimari Sen Kanagu : Bunka Kuroro]. [192-?]. Colour lithograph poster 76x35cm. Short tears around the edges; pretty good. Au$200

This shop poster is both an advertisement and a warning: these handsome door or window locks will not keep out mournful children.


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[Ouchi Shuichiro; ed?]. 近代住宅建築図集 [Gendai Jutaku Kenchiku Zushu]. n.p. n.d Daiichi Sogensha [1926?]. 28x20cm colour printed board portfolio with cloth spine, ribbon tie; 50 photo plates with captions in Japanese. sold

A mysterious collection of photo plates of modern Dutch housing that seems to be complete but has no title page or any information apart from the title and publisher on the cover. CiNii finds this but tells us that the information is taken from a 1928 edition by another publisher; suggesting that they had a collection of plates without even a cover. I found no record of a copy - or a reprint - anywhere else. Nor can I find anything else under the Daiichi Sogensha imprint.
The somewhat unusual size and heavy glossy paper makes me wonder whether an enthusiastic Ouchi bought a quantity of uncaptioned plates and had the captions overprinted. It wasn't unknown for this to happen with foreign works. I bet someone out there can identify the source of these plates.
Ouchi was a member of the Bunriha - the separatist, group (1920-28) of architects, many of whose early works mirror the influence of - apart from Mendelsohn - exactly the buildings in this collection. Horiguchi Sutemi's Koide house of 1925 and Shienso, 1926, could be dropped straight into this album without causing a raised eyebrow.
So, is this complete? Maybe.


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Aesculapius. The Magnetism of Sin. London, Greening 1901. Octavo publisher's illustrated orange cloth blocked in green and black (a bit smudged or rubbed). Cheap endpapers browned, quite a decent copy. This came from Otto Penzler's collection, he usually kept the best copy he could find and sold any lesser copies. sold

Only edition of this most uncommon thriller with murder, mysterious adulterous pasts, incipient incest, drug addiction, poisons, and so much more, that romps round the more louche circles of London society and winds up in the Botanic Gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour before a walk through Hyde Park to see our villain hanged, doubtless at Darlinghurst Gaol. A villain of unspeakable infamy, one who would introduce a small child to morphine on a vindictive whim.
Aesculapius so far eludes identification - the Brisbane Courier thought a pseudonym a wise move for such a repellent book. OCLC finds no copies outside the four deposit libraries of Britain and Monash in Melbourne.


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HILL, Headon. Unmasked at Last. NY, Fenno [1907?]. Octavo publisher's illustrated ochre cloth; frontispiece and two plates. A bright copy. Au$165

First American edition, soon after the English. An imprisoned counterfeiter's son is taken on as assistant gamekeeper by a thorough blackguard with a mysterious French master. But nothing is as it seems ... to start with, is the counterfeiter's son a counterfeit?


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HILL, Headon. A Rogue in Ambush. London, Ward Lock 1911. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth blocked in blind, red and gilt; colour frontispiece. Stitching loose, definitely read but a decent enough copy. This came from Otto Penzler's collection, he usually kept the best copy he could find and sold any lesser copies. sold

First edition. It may seem slow to not have a murdered corpse until the end of chapter three but I must plead that we have already had thwarted young love, a false accusation of jewel theft, and an apparent suicide.


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HILL, Headon. The Embassy Case. London, Ward Lock 1915. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth blocked in blind, red and gilt; frontispiece. A used but decent copy. This came from Otto Penzler's collection, he usually kept the best copy he could find and sold any lesser copies. Au$100

First edition. A common enough story: a young well bred woman slaving in demeaning circumstances to help her ne-er-do-well brother running up gambling debts in India is accosted by a sinister prince of Balkannia who hires her to impersonate an as yet unidentified lady from his country. That brings us to the end of a brief chapter one. My guess is the king's daughter. From here on it gets complicated.


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HILL, Headon. Millions of Mischief. The story of a great secret. Akron, Saalfield 1905. Octavo publishers decorated red cloth blocked in black and white (a bit blotched). Not bad. This came from Otto Penzler's collection, he usually kept the best copy he could find and sold any lesser copies. Au$100

First published American edition? Hubin lists Transatlantic (1904) but I wonder what form that takes. The only thing by Transatlantic I can trace is an eleven page proof of another British thriller, presumably produced for copyright purposes.
Hill's publisher proudly repeated this notice from The Stage in his other books: "Not even the late Guy Boothby imagined anything more magnificently preposterous than the motive of Mr. Headon Hill's 'Millions of Mischief'".


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McLEVY [or M'LEVY], James. Curiosities of Crime in Edinburgh during the last thirty years. [with] The Sliding Scale of Life; or, thirty years observations of falling men and women in Edinburgh. Edinburgh, William Kay 1861 & Nimmo 1861. Two volumes octavo contemporary half calf (scuffed); engraved portrait frontispiece in the first book. The first two signatures of the 'Curiosities' are sprung but firm. Definitely read but more than decent. sold

Forget all the James McLevy titles out there, here are the complete works.With the five titles of his adventures that appeared between 1860 and 1870, that I can trace, we have only two books: 'Romances of Crime' and 'Curiosities of Crime' are the same book and 'At War with Society', 'The Mysteries of the City' and 'The Sliding Scale of Life' are the same book.
Below I have made the guess that 'Romances' published in Glasgow by Cameron and Ferguson might have preceded the 'Curiosities' here but it is a guess. This 'Sliding Scale of Life' is likely the first appearance of the sequel but it may or may not have been pipped by Cameron and Fergusons' 'Mysteries of the City' (sometimes dated c1860 on no firm ground I can find).
The Edinburgh detective McLevy has been rediscovered in recent years - with reprints and new fictional cases - but the original editions remain obscure. Whether McLevy or a ghostwriter actually penned these, each adventure is short, pithy and carries a catchy title: The Conjuror; The Handcuffs; The Belfast Key; The Dead Child's Leg; The Blood-Stained Moleskin; ...in each the unfailing McLevy usually solves the case in less than a dozen pages.


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McLEVY [or M'LEVY], James. The Sliding Scale of Life; or, thirty years observations of falling men and women in Edinburgh. Edinburgh, Nimmo 1861. Octavo publisher's printed boards (faded, or darkened - depending on what the colours originally were; edges of the boards worn). A pretty good copy. The endpapers at each end print press opinions of 'The Curiosities of Crime' published by Kay. sold

First edition of the second and last of McLevy's books? At least five titles appeared between 1860 and 1870 but there are only two books: 'Romances of Crime' and 'Curiosities of Crime' are the same book and 'At War with Society', 'The Mysteries of the City' and 'The Sliding Scale of Life' are the same book.
Elsewhere I have made the guess that 'Romances' published in Glasgow by Cameron and Ferguson might have preceded the 'Curiosities' but it is a guess. This 'Sliding Scale of Life' is likely the first appearance of the sequel but it may or may not have been pipped by Cameron and Fergusons' 'Mysteries of the City' (sometimes dated 1860 on no firm ground I can find).
The Edinburgh detective McLevy has been rediscovered in recent years - with reprints and new fictional cases - but the original editions remain obscure. Whether McLevy or a ghostwriter actually penned these, each adventure is short, pithy and carries a catchy title: The White Coffin; the Cobbler's Knife; The Child-Strippers; The Monkey Jacket; ... in each the unfailing McLevy usually solves the case in less than a dozen pages.


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McLEVY [M'LEVY], James [and Alfred Crowquill]. Romances of Crime; or, The Disclosures of a Detective. Glasgow & London, Cameron and Ferguson [c1860?] Octavo; xvi,304pp. Bound after Alfred Crowquill's 'A Bundle of Crowquills' (London, Routledge 1854) in contemporary half morocco; illustrations in the Crowquill. The Crowquill is browned but the McLevy is quite good; both are bound without half titles. sold

Rare. The Edinburgh detective McLevy has been rediscovered in recent years - with reprints and new fictional cases - but the original editions remain obscure.
Our 'Romances' and the 'Curiosities' published by William Kay in Edinburgh in 1861 are printed from the same setting - presumably stereotypes - with some changes: the title page, contents leaf, first chapter heading and signatures, and choosing which came first is tricky. The 'Curiosities' is on home turf, is dated and has an engraved portrait; but, the 'Romances' is better printed on better paper and has a printer's colophon - while the other doesn't. The clincher for me is the heading of the first chapter. In 'Curiosities' it looks very much like the bold heading, 'Romances of Crime' above the chapter title, has been removed and left an awkward space that doesn't match the other headings.
Of course it's possible that they both appeared at the same time and the publishers shared the cost of stereos but that gap convinces me the original title was 'Romances of Crime'. However, the press opinions in the Nimmo edition of 'Sliding Scale' seem to refute that.
Whether McLevy or a ghostwriter actually penned these, each adventure is short, pithy and carries a catchy title: The Conjuror; The Handcuffs; The Belfast Key; The Dead Child's Leg; The Blood-Stained Moleskin; ... in each the unfailing McLevy usually solves the case in less than a dozen pages.


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Catalogue - gravestones. A pair of early 20th century French gravestone catalogues/pattern books: Monuments Funeraires [cover title]; and Martex. Brussels [190-?] and Paris [c1930?]. Two volumes, oblong quarto publisher's cloth; and quarto binder's half cloth with the owner's name gilt stamped on the front: "Ancienne Maison Bravaux ... Paul Pierrard fils successeur ... Sainte-Meinhould (Marne)"; hundreds of rendered and photo plates in the first (many in two colours and many with measurements) and photo plates in the second. The first, earlier, book here is thoroughly used, the stitching is loose and many pages have repaired and strengthened edges. At the end are two colour plates with samples of stone colours that have stuck together. The second book is in good shape. It also has two colour plates with examples. sold

Memorials of death for the petite bourgeoisie. These two solid books for monumental masons have - certainly in the case of the earlier book - been used as pattern books for customers. Martex - the subject of the second book - I take to be artificial stone.
I'm struck by how much these furnishings for the middle class graveyard have in common with furnishings for the middle class house at this time - the same clumsy attempt to imbue tradition and history through the ponderous application of ornament picked at random from some encyclopedia of styles. A graveyard filled with these would be near as oppressive as a living room chosen from a manufacturer's catalogue.
Earnest modernism is certainly at work in the second catalogue but something as frivolous as art nouveau barely makes an appearance in the first. And then only in the form of a family mausoleum for the haute bourgoisie. Death is never ethereal or ephemeral.


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ETHERIDGE, R. The Dendroglyphs, or "Carved Trees" of New South Wales. Sydney, Govt Printer 1918. Quarto publisher's cloth backed printed boards; viii,104pp, frontispiece & numerous illustrations & photos on 29 plates, the last a folding map. A corner a bit bumped, minor browning, rather good. Mem. Geol. Surv. NSW. Ethnological Series, No.3. Au$750

Still the essential work and now quite hard to find. Etheridge was convinced that "at no distant date dendroglyphs will have ceased to exist," as was E.S. Hartland in his review of this book: "In years to come it will remain as the only record of these efforts of native art, beyond the few specimens preserved in museums". (Folklore; v31p4). Indeed some of the specimens here were already in museums.
While it is true that further examples have been discovered much of what is recorded here has perished and, so I was told by a central west grazier a few years ago, the average property owner who found carved trees on their land would often destroy them as quickly as possible before word got out, the authorities moved in and they lost control of their land.


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Wada Sanzo. 配色総鑑 [Haishoku Sokan]. Tokyo, Hakubisha 1933-34 (Showa 8-9). Six volumes (19x13cm) of plates in publisher's cloth titled in gilt; a 40 page booklet in wrappers; and four colour sample plates on two folded cards; all together in publisher's folding case with title label. The plate volumes constitute a total of 348 accordian folding card leaves with mounted colour samples arranged in pairs in the first two volumes, trios in the next two and quartets in the last two. The colour samples are all mounted and captioned in Japanese and English. Some creeping dust around the edges. Extra complete with an extra card made to be cut up, publisher's added slips and all the loose tissue guards. The card has been cut into three as directed but has been saved. Rather good. sold

First edition of this fabulous grammar of colour - there is a recent pallid reprint - a sophisticated synthesis of western and Japanese theory and usage.
Wada's place in Japanese art has been assured since his 1907 prize winning painting Nanpu - which in western terms sits somewhere between Winslow Homer and
beefcake pinup, much as Winslow Homer did. But Wada got more interesting as he got older and a return to Japanese painting in the twenties along with his design work and colour research pushed along an increasingly assured generation of artists with a grasp of west and east and an intent of their own. Wada's name might have been unfamilar in the west until recent years but you don't have look far to see his ideas at work, spread by second and third hand borrowings.


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[VENABLES, Robert]. The Experienc'd Angler: or, Angling Improv'd. Being a general discourse ... third edition much enlarged. London, for Richard Marriot 1668. Small octavo sheep (rebacked and recornered); [16],96,[6]pp, extra engraved title and 10 engravings through the text. Some worming towards the end - of no great consequence. With the preliminary blank A1. Au$2000

One of the trio of Anglers; it was for a while, later in the century, included with Walton and Cotton but then slipped into relative obscurity. Venables' little fishing book seems to be about the only gentle, even warmhearted, product of an otherwise unhappy, troublesome and mean-spirited man. At least once here he preaches charity to the "sick and indigent" which he does not seem to have been able to extend to his own daughter and grandson.
The first edition appeared in 1662, the second edition seems to have vanished altogether and this third is quite changed from the first. At the end, in a contemporary hand, is a short recipe for bait.


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Itagaki Takao. 藝術界の基調と時潮 [Geijutsukai no Kicho to Jicho]. Tokyo, Rokubunkan 1932 (Showa 7). 22x16cm, publisher's cloth with onlaid colour illustration, mildly used printed card slipcase; 428pp including 36 pages of photo illustrations. A rather good copy. Au$650

First edition. Itagaki was seemingly indefatigable as a champion of modernity and modernism in the late twenties and early thirties. Between 1929 and 1933 he worried at the relationship of the machine to art, design, architecture, photography and film, propounding his concept of "machine realism" in a small bundle of books. Come the deadly government crackdown on Itagaki's natural disputants - the "proletarian realists" - he apparently retreated into conservative didactic writing on western art and film.


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CLEGG, Thomas Bailey. The Bishop's Scapegoat. London, John Lane 1908. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in gilt black and cream. Minor signs of use, a bit canted; quite good. Au$350

First, probably only, edition of Ballarat bred Clegg's thriller murder melodrama mostly set in New Caledonia. Clegg was a journalist, lawyer and magistrate who in the eighties had investigated the penal system in New Caledonia and the indentured labour industry in Queensland. The cane fields found their way into his 1907 novel 'The Wilderness' and New Caledonian prisoners into this.
It may be a spoiler but I'll tell you anyway: the men on the front cover are the Bishop of Capricornia who murdered his brother-in-law in Paris and the Frenchman sentenced for that murder. But rest easy, there is a twist.


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Kawabata Ryushi. 冒険小説双六 [Boken Shosetsu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Nihon Shonen 1913 (Taisho 2). Colour broadside 79x54cm. A few small holes in the folds; pretty good. Au$300

The new year gift from the boys' magazine Nihon Shonen is called an adventure novel and so it is: action packed and perilous from start to finish.
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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Hosokibara Seiki, Ikebe Hitoshi, Yamada Minoru & Shishido Sako. 家庭円満面白双六 [Katei Enman Omoshiro Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Kobunsha 1924 (Taisho 13). Colour broadsheet 55x79cm. A few pinholes in folds, pretty good. sold

A co-operative romp by four well known manga artists, or cartoonists if you like. This was the new year gift from the magazine Omoshiro Kurabu - the Interesting Club.


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Yanase Masamu & Fujimori Seikichi. 狼へ! (わが労働) [Okami e! (Waga Rodo)]. Tokyo, Shunjusha 1926 (Taisho 15). 20x14cm, excellent in publisher's illustrated boards and slipcase by Yanase. Spine browned, minor wear to the top of the slipcase; rather good.
Inscribed and signed by Fujimori in September 1926 to the novelist Wada Den (Wada Tsuto). Au$800

First edition of Fujimori's proletarian novel - the title translates as To the Wolf! (my labour) - but, alas, probably more wanted for Yanase's book design these days. As I can't read the book, there's no contest for me. Both were trouble makers and both ended up in trouble - jailed every now and again, in Yanase's case tortured as well.
Yanase, both prodigy and prodigious, was one of the founders of MAVO - now Japan's best known avant-garde group of the early twenties - after membership of futurist and constructivist associations and before moving onto self proclaimed proletarian movements. He abandoned painting in the late twenties - the fine arts were anti-proletarian - and worked only as a graphic artist until the war, which he did not survive.
Wada Den was prominent in the school of farmer or peasant literaure. They both wrote about the working class but Wada was, I've read, no friend to left wing troublemakers.


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JONES, Sir Robert. A bundle of 35 offprints and papers on orthopaedics dating from 1888 to 1931. vp 1888-1931. 35 pieces various sizes, all with original wrappers where issued. Several are inscribed 'With the author's compliments.' Au$400

Doubtless a cache of author's copies. The inscriptions are all in the same hand on publications from different publishers over a number of years. I will include - if wanted - 18 duplicates, all also in excellent shape and some inscribed in the same hand.
Jones is variously called the father of modern orthopaedic surgery or one of the fathers which makes me think that the mother of modern orthopaedic surgery was a magnetic but careless woman.
Most of what's here are offprints from journal publishers but some are privately printed. There should be a list of Jones' contributions to journals in the British edition of the 1957 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery but I can't get at it. However many papers he wrote, this is a pretty good start to a Robert Jones collection.


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Chinese in New Zealand. Interim Report (No.I.) of the Chinese Immigration Committee. [with] Interim Report (No.II.) ... [and] Final Report ... with Minutes of Proceedings. Wellington 1871. Three parts foolscap, disbound; 27;15 & 8pp. Au$375

Despite the evidence of expert witnesses like the Otago Commissioner for Crown Lands, J.T. Thomson (16 years in the Straits Settlements), John Maitland (three years in China), Captain Bishop (sailed out of Hong Kong and Whampoa), and James Hector M.D., who together defined the Chinese as morally debased scrofulous and leprous troublemaking polygamists, the counterbalance of contrary evidence and the apparent sense of the committee resulted in the most remarkably sane and humane conclusions I have yet seen in a colonial document on Chinese immigrants. The committee listed 11 points of unproven yellow peril concern and concluded "that there have been no sufficient grounds shown for the exclusion of the Chinese ... or for the imposition of special burdens upon them."
This enlightenment dimmed and went out over the next decade: the Chinese Immigrants Act of 1881 brought New Zealand into line with the less benign Australian colonies. Trove and Worldcat and Copac were unable to find any copy of these though of course a search of the NZ National Library brings them up.


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MOSER, Inspector Maurice ... late of Scotland Yard. The Modern Detective; or Shadows & Shadowland & the Crime Investigator. Vol. 1., No. 1. [all published?]. London, March 9, 1898. 31x25cm publisher's printed wrapper; 20pp; illustrations in half-tone and line. Minor signs of use; rather good. Au$300

All published it seems and rare.Worldcat finds one entry for this one issue and I can't add to that. I would have thought the 1890s was a fine time to start a detective magazine but I suspect a deeper purse than The Modern Detective displays was necessary. Even prizes for a new design of handcuffs and for the solution to the theft of Lady Lackington's jewels could not spur sales enough to justify a second number. Not even the appearance of The Misadventures of Sheerluck Gnomes by a T.P. Stafford.
Inspector Moser (late of Scotland Yard) published a book or two of ostensible real life stories from his time at the yard a few years earlier and an article on handcuffs in the Strand in 1894 but vanishes into the shadowland of literary hacks after this.


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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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