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GREENWELL, G.C. A Practical Treatise on Mine Engineering. Newcastle, Lambert; London, Spon 1870. Two volumes quarto modern half morocco preserving the original cloth sides & marbled endpapers (edges a little worn); [8],255pp, 64 colour litho plates (all but three double page). A few spots, occasional useful pencilling; a quite handsome set. Au$750

Second edition, much revised, rewritten and reconstructed to encompass progress since the first (1855) edition. Determinedly practical, Greenwell registers his gratification for works already laid out following his advice and reiterates that the instructions here can be 'safely followed with proper working results.' It is also a very pretty book, if a mining book may be called that. The plates, even those of strata, are appealing. Strata, fossils, machinery - all these work as graphic designs, as do particularly some plans of coal workings.


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CLARKE, Arthur C. Interplanetary Flight. An introduction to astronautics. London, Temple 1951 [1950]. Octavo dustwrapper (this a little used); 164pp, 16 plates, illustrations & diagrams in the text. Au$50

Second printing of Clarke's first book, with some corrections and 'more rigorous' treatment of transit velocities. The approach is astronomical rather than engineering, there being several excellent books on rocket technology, but none in English which develop the theory of astronautics in any detail.


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Nkrumah's Subversion in Africa. Documentary evidence of Nkrumah's interference in the affairs of other African states. n.p. [Accra 1966]. Quarto publisher's cloth; x91pp, photo illustrations. Au$100

Inscribed and signed by Joseph Ankra, chairman of the National Liberation Council which overthrew Nkrumah; and with the book label of empire decolonizer Malcolm MacDonald. This was published in wrappers under the Auspices of the Ministery of Information - presumably this is the more deluxe issue for presentation.


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MEDWIN, Thomas. Journal of the Conversations of Lord Byron. Noted during a residence with his lordship at Pisa .. 1821 and 1822. Paris, Galignani 1824. Two volumes octavo contemporary calf (edges scuffed); portrait and folding plate. Somewhat used with some spotting but not too bad a pair. Au$75

First published in London in the same year; cheerfully salacious this attracted a fair amount of attention naturally enough - and the animosity from Byron's friends that Medwin forecast in his preface.


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SPENCE, Catherine Helen. An Autobiography. Adelaide, Thomas 1910. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper (spine chipped); [2],101pp. Portrait frontispiece offset onto title; a rather good copy. Au$200

First edition and just posthumous, it was completed by Jeanne F. Young. A plainly written account with a mix of justifiable pride in her achievements in social reform and almost self effacing modesty. It can also be read as the intellectual and social education of the colony through the second half of the century, charting the ideas and influences from without, their digestion and development within.


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BINET, Rene. Esquisses Decoratives. Paris, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts [c1905]. Folio, loose as issued in four fascicules in illustrated wrappers, all in publisher's portfolio of cloth backed illustrated boards; [2],14pp and 60 plates, 13 pochoir and a few others with a second colour added, b/w illustrations through the text. A rather good copy. Au$2000

Binet, like many architects and designers, followed Haeckel into the microscopic world for grotesque and fantastic inspiration but married such modernity with historicism in a singular way. Durant (in 'Ornament') calls Binet 'in many respects the typical French Art Nouveau designer' which, apart from being too dismissive, is just not right.
Many of his designs, particularly the coloured graphics, are ultra modern high art nouveau but much of his work has an oddly arcane, recherche effect - in which something as modern as an electric light switch modelled on the forms of diatomes or radiolaria and treated with Beaux Arts tradition becomes a mysterious if not menacing almost gothic artifact.
Without claiming anything of the same stature, or even similar results, for Binet he could probably be more usefully likened to Gaudi. This is an exposition of ideas for every school of design that Binet could encompass - from architectural detail to pochoir graphics; shop fronts to tapestry; stained glass to gardens; jewellery to mosaics.


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[Pacificism]. The Peacemaker. An Australian venture in reconstruction. Vol.9 No.1 [to No.12]. Melbourne, January to December 1947. Thin folio, 12 issues together in contemporary boards carefully titled by hand in yellow; each issue is four pages. Au$125

The editor's own copy, inscribed "Personal copy of G. Anthony Bishop". A complete and not uninteresting year of this uncommon and quite brave paper. Being a declared pacifist through the war years must have taken great courage and it can't have been much easier just after. The first issue begins with an article on pacificism and tribal warfare among the aborigines, there is a fair bit on the proposed rocket range, on conditions in Germany and Japan, the bomb, the Defence Projects Protection Act.


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NETTO, C. & G. WAGENER. Japanischer Humor. Leipzig, Brockhaus 1901. Quarto colour illustrated boards (a bit browned); x,283pp and numerous illustrations (5 colour). The two folding plates lightly browned; a rather good copy. Au$75


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WOOD, C.F. A Yachting Cruise in the South Seas. London, Henry S. King 1875. Octavo half morocco (scuffed); 221pp, 6 autotype photo plates. Ex-parliamentary library copy with their gilt crest on front board and incorporated into the spine, no other markings. Scattered foxing but certainly a good enough copy. Au$200

First edition and the more desirable issue. Copies were issued with or without the photo plates and naturally enough those with are harder to find. Wood had a darkroom installed in his schooner and accompanied by photographer George Smith set off to record the 'primitive condition' of the Polynesians before their destruction by 'speculative, money-grasping Europeans'. His opinion of the natives is not high ('self satisfied, lotus eating Polynesians, whose character is as plastic as clay') but it's not as sour as his view of 'civilization', particularly the Wesleyan missionaries.


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[DILLON, John]. The Decision of the Three Judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, pronounced seriatim Monday, 11th of April, 1836, on the Applicability of the Marriage Act of England to this Colony; with a report of the case, and a review of the arguments. Sydney, printed by William Jones 1836. Octavo unbound as issued (an early if not original strip of paper down the spine); [2],40pp (last blank), [1] (blank). Title and last blank quite dusty.
Inscribed and signed by Dillon - then a solicitor to the Supreme Court - to John Gurner who arrived in Sydney in 1817 as Barron Field's clerk, became the chief clerk, and later a commissioner of the Supreme Court. Au$600

Rare and one of the earliest authoritive attacks on legal judgments published in the colony - and worthy of notice as the case hinged upon the concept of legal independence from Great Britain. Ferguson (2116) appends an uncommonly long note indicating that he at least found it of interest ("important case" are his words). A John Maloney was convicted of bigamy but made representation that as he had first married after, and not in accordance with, the passing of the Marriage Act then his first marriage was invalid. The Chief Justice (Forbes) and Justice Dowling determined the Marriage Act had no application in New South Wales and found him guilty; Justice Burton disagreed as does Dillon in this pamphlet. He has found himself unable to merely report the case without comment as this decision now left the colony with "no law prevailing here as to marriage".
Ferguson found three copies including his own and since then only one more copy seems to have found its way to an Australian library.


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Bewick. HUGO, Thomas. The Bewick Collector. A descriptive catalogue of the Works of Thomas and John Bewick; [with] A Supplement to a Descriptive Catalogue of the Works .. London, Reeve 1866-68. Two volumes octavo publisher's cloth (the first rebacked with the original spine preserved, somewhat rubbed and a bit flecked). Withdrawn university library stamps; outwardly a bit shabby but solid, inside in quite good order and in general a respectable enough pair. Au$200

Originally the printer's office copy, so inscribed on the front fly, and later a Melbourne collector's copy with neat pencil annotations - additions, an occasional argument with Hugo, and current prices from named dealers, dating from around 1905 to 1910 or so.


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PARTINGTON, J.R. A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder. Cambridge, Heffer 1960. Large octavo, very good in publisher's cloth & dustwrapper; xvi,381pp, 22 illustrations. Au$100


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PARSONS, J. Herbert. An Introduction to Colour Vision. Cambridge Univ Press 1915. Large octavo, very good in publisher's cloth; viii,308pp, Au$100

Finnish architect, critic, modernist and colour theorist Sigurd Frosterus' copy, with his 1915 inscription and a few neat pencil annotations. He published his book on colour in 1917.


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BEMBO, Pietro. Epistolarum Familiarium, Libri VI. Eiusdem, Leonis X. Pont. Max. Nomine Scriptarum, Lib. XVI. Venice, [Gualtiero Scoto] 1552. Plump octavo, two parts together in later (18th century?) half parchment (hinges cracking, label on spine mostly gone but still all quite firm); [16],398,[2];543,[1],[24]pp. A couple of small repairs to the corner and gutter of the title page; a stain along the top of the first dozen leaves; a little browning at the very end; otherwise quite a good, crisp copy. Au$450

First edition of the Epistolarum Familiarium; the papal letters were first published in 1535.


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ARAKAWA, Hirokazu. The Go Collection of Netsuke - Tokyo National Museum. Kodansha 1983. Quarto, excellent in publisher's cloth and slipcase (the slipcase with a small surface flaw to one edge); 260pp, 361 colour photo illustrations, numerous b/w photo illustrations and line drawings. Au$150


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FIELDING, Henry. An Enquiry Into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, &c. With some proposals for remedying this growing evil ... the second edition. London, Millar 1751. 12mo contemporary (or publisher's?) calf (rubbed and a bit crazed, small chip from the spine, hinges cracking but firm); xxii,203pp. A little browning at the very ends, a rather good, fresh copy. With the half title advertising the book at 3/- bound, 2/6 sewn; bookplate of diplomat and Pennsylvanian folklorist Henry W Shoemaker. Au$375

A timely best-seller. This second edition followed the first edition (which had an uncommonly large print run of 1500 copies; this second edition was even larger, with 2000 copies) by about six weeks, with minor revisions and corrections.
Fielding's social and magisterial conscience made him a strenuous pamphleteer and this was his most important and influential foray into social and legal reform. The gin craze and other pernicious 'luxuries' rampant among the lowest classes; the civic 'lethargy' of government; the incoherent and helpless systems of policing and prosecution all fall under Fielding's inspection.
Credit has been given, and is in some measure due, to this work for the Gin Law of 1751 and the inception of the modern police force. It is also a vivid picture of the degredation of London's poor or 'commonalty'. The three page notice 'To the Public' at the end advertises the establishment of a registry of servants in order to obviate the scourge of rudeness and insolence of servants hired without any good character.


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PETTIGREW, J. Bell. Animal Locomotion or, Walking, Swimming, and Flying, with a dissertation on aeronautics. NY, Appleton 1874. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in gilt and black (a little flecked); xvi,264pp and publisher's list, numerous wood engraved illustrations. Quite a good copy. International Scientific Series Au$100

First American edition, pretty close on the heels of the London edition.


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SHAW, Simeon. The Chemistry of the Several Natural and Artificial Heterogenous Compounds, Used in Manufacturing Porcelain, Glass, and Pottery. London, printed for the author 1837. Stout octavo later quarter calf (maybe mid 20th century); xliv, 685pp, addenda leaf, portrait; bound with blank leaves at the end of each section. Repairs in the gutter of the title and two leaves of subscribers; the portrait foxed, minor flaws and a perfectly decent copy. Au$1000

From a notice seen in another copy of this we know that 250 copies were printed; it's quite rare. Fundamental in the progress of ceramics from a secretive art to a scientific industry, the list of subscribers gives some indication of the expectation that the industry had for the results of Shaw's researches; it starts with Spode and Copeland and runs through an impressive roll of manufacturers, colourers, and merchants.


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The Illustrated Sydney News New South Wales Weather Almanac for 1875. Sydney, Gibbs, Shallard [1874]. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper (a bit worn and dogeared but pretty good); 66, 24 (illustrated adverts)pp, coloured plate of signals. Au$90


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BOMPIANI, Sofia. Italian Explorers in Africa. London, RTS 1891. Octavo publisher's ochre cloth blocked in red and black (a bit smudged); 202pp, wood engraved illustrations through the text. Quite a good copy. Au$75

An uncommon little book based on a series of sketches for the 'Leisure Hour'.


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MORESBY, John. Discoveries & Surveys in New Guinea and the d'Entrecasteaux Islands. A cruise in Polynesia and visits to the pearl-shelling stations in Torres Straits ... London, Murray 1876. Octavo modern (but not recent) blue crushed morocco; xviii,327pp and publisher's list, six plates, a folding map and a further map not called for in the list but necessary. A pleasing copy. Au$1250

In his appendix Moresby prints a long and detailed letter to the Athenaeum refuting many claims made in Lawson's fictional Wanderings in New Guinea.


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HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. The Blithedale Romance. [bound with] The Snow-Image, and Other Tales. London, Chapman & Hall 1854 and Bohn 1851. Octavo, the two together in contemporary half gilt morocco (a bit rubbed). Quite good and fresh. Au$100

Second English edition of the Blithedale Romance; first edition of The Snow-Image - though the American edition, dated the next year, was issued at much the same time as this London printing.


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MAUNSELL, R. Grammar of the New Zealand Language. Second edition. Auckland, W.C. Wilson 1862. 12mo publisher's flushcut cloth with printed paper label on the front; xvi,168pp. Rather a good copy and, much better, missionary and Pacific linguist George Brown's copy with his signature. Au$550

Maunsell has reworked his original (published in parts in 1842-43). George Brown began his missionary career in Samoa in 1860 but is better remembered for his work in New Britain in the 1870s. But he is probably best remembered (at least by modern secularists) for his ethnological and linguistic efforts.


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CRAIK, David. The Practical American Millwright and Miller: ... Philadelphia Baird 1874. Octavo publisher's cloth blocked in blind; x,17-432pp (but complete as issued) and publisher's list, wood engravings through the text and five folding plates. A couple of the plates rumpled or misfolded but a bright copy. Au$250

This seems to be the middle of three printings (1870 and 1877 are the others); all appear to be identical.


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HADDON, Alfred C. Evolution in Art: as illustrated in the life-histories of designs. London, Walter Scott 1895. Octavo publisher's cloth (spine a bit faded and rubbed); xx,364pp and publisher's list, eight plates, 130 illustrations through the text. A bit second hand but very decent. The Contemporary Science Series. Theologian and social critic Vigo Auguste Demant's copy. Au$175

Naturally much of this is drawn from Haddon's own work in British New Guinea and the Torres Straits.


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CALCOTT, Wellins. A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons; ... [Boston] London; Printed: Reprinted and sold by Brother William M'Alpine, Boston 1772. Octavo sheep (publisher's? - the endpapers seem to be on identical paper to the text stock; a little scuffed); [4],xiv,[2],256pp. Generally foxed but still a very good, quite crisp copy; absolutely original. An inscription erased from inside the front board but handsomely inscribed on the second blank: 'Stephen Meeds's Book 1774'. Au$1350

'A veritable gem for English Masonic collectors to look out for (it may be for years, it may be forever), as it is excessively rare'. (Sale catalogue of Charles W. Frederickson, sold in New York by Bangs in 1897). Maybe a little hyperbolic as I have found three copies sold in auction in the 20th century; the last one (1994, miscatalogued as London 1772) was cheap ($250) but seemed a pretty horrible copy.
Calcott's book was first published in London in 1769 and it both superseded the first authoritive text, Anderson's 'Constitutions' (1723 and revised in 1738), and did much to heal the schism between Ancient and Modern Freemasonry that lasted into the early 19th century.
Calcott himself remains obscure, he seems to have been something of a mendicant scholar, of whom Mackey said: 'It is a romantic fact ... that words written down in 1750 or 1760 by this only half-known, gentle, much wandering man, two or three times described in Lodge Minutes as 'in unfortunate circumstances,' should afterwards be on the tongues of millions of men who have never so much as heard his name!'
Mackey says that he was known to be in America twice, in the Carolinas, and it is possible that he visited New York and Boston. The Frederickson catalogue goes on to claim this as perhaps the first 'purely' American Masonic book of any importance. Now this is disingenuous; it doesn't seem likely that neither Frederickson nor Bangs' cataloguer didn't know of Benjamin Franklin's 1734 printing of Anderson's 'Constitutions'. So the claim then hinges on the American content of the two books. In between all I can find are Joseph Green's satirical squibs printed in Boston and a Masonic songbook briefly believed to be printed in Quebec in 1765 but actually printed in Scotland.
We have a list of 405 subscribers in the Provinces of Massachusetts, New York, and Nova Scotia, the Colony of Connecticut; as well as the details of the three Boston Lodges. And we have nine songs not included in the London edition. By the way, the American Antiquarian Society notes that the only oratorio libretto that they can find printed in America before 1815 is 'Solomon's Temple' printed here, just before the extra nine songs.
Stephen Meeds is listed as a private in the Westford company of minutemen who turned out for the first battle of the revolution on April 19th 1775 (Joseph Warren was, by the way again, a Grand Master and subscribed for six copies, and Paul Revere and fellow rider John Pulling are among the subscribers to this book). He reappears here and there among revolutionary documents: he signed the Association Test in Portsmouth in 1776 and he is listed as a Lieutenant of Marines on the Portsmouth privateer 'Raleigh' in 1777.


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Apollo 11. Apollo 11 Mission Commentary 7-20-69 CDT 12:59 [and] Apollo 11 Mission Commentary 7-20-69 CDT 20:34 .. [Issued by Mission Control, Houston, 20th, July 1969]. Two parts, each of 27 leaves quarto, stapled, printed on one side. Fine copies in cloth cases. Au$750

The first printed account of the first men on the moon - the transcripts of the conversations between astronauts and Mission Control through the landing (the first of the two sets of transcripts), and with Armstrong and Aldrin as they prepare for and take their first steps onto the surface.
Unassuming but evocative documents, these were prepared in a rush for distribution to the press. Legend says that they were ready within minutes, it may be true. Legend also says that copies in these cases come via Texas bookseller and murderee John Jenkins who filched as many copies as he could from the press table.


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Sydney. Rates assessment ledger for the ward of Bourke in Sydney 1863. n.p. 1863 Folio, quarter reversed calf and cloth (front board detached); 57 leaves of printed forms filled in manuscript. Some old damp staining round the bottom but nothing too serious. Au$1000

Some 1000 properties in the centre of Sydney assessed with quite a bit of useful detail. Properties are arranged by street and each entry includes the sreet number, person rated, owner or landlord, description of the building - house, warehouse, shop; brick, stone wood or iron; slated, shingled or otherwise; number of floors; number of rooms; value; and remarks - which contain a lot of useful remarks about the nature, history, attached structures and condition of the buildings. For instance, Francis O'Brien's row of seven houses in George Street, 29 to 35, were all in very bad condition, with their lower floors below the level of the yard, and mostly empty. The rates assessment ledger for 1863 in the Sydney Council archives is quite different in organisation and seems to have fewer remarks.


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[STIEBER, Wilhelm]. Die Prostitution in Berlin und ihre Opfer. Berlin, Hofmann 1846. Octavo contemporary (publisher's?) quarter cloth and boards (worn around the edges but solid and decent); [6],210pp. Extensive but gentle and neat pencilling, easily removed by anyone more patient than I am. Au$200

Second, unchanged edition, first published in the same year. A fairly remarkable book. Stieber is best known as police chief and spy (he claimed to have infiltrated Marx's house in London and filched the membership list) but this is an early work - and fairly revolutionary approach to prostitution, crime and their social effects.
Leaving aside the influence Stieber had on the subsequent theories and practice of social scientists, criminologists, police, psychologists, and government, this is an extensive and personal document. The women are named, by their nicknames at least and often by their real first name, and in many cases we get a description and some history. Thus we learn about Judenbertha, or Rebecca, one of few Jewish prostitutes; and Splinter auch Splitter; and Schweinekreuz; and Scottish Marie, and The Ships Captain, and Unfaithful Lette; and many more.


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JEVONS, W. Stanley. The Principles of Science: a treatise on logic and scientific method. London, Macmillan 1874. Two volumes octavo contemporary calf (rebacked) with the gilt stamp of Glasgow University on the front boards. Some foxing or browning but quite a good set. Au$1500

First edition and a pretty good association copy, I think. This was a university prize in ethics awarded in 1874 to 'Kentigernus W. McCallum' and signed by Edward Caird. This is, of course, Mungo W. MacCallum who studied with and revered Caird and carried his influence to Sydney, as did other pioneering educators at Sydney University. The influence of Jevons on MacCallum is much less apparent but Caird did decide that a gifted young disciple should read the new work of a contemporary whose views conflicted so much with his own.


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MARKHAM, Clements R. Peruvian Bark. A popular account of the introduction of Chinchona cultivation into British India. 1860-1880. London, Murray 1880. Plump octavo publisher's cloth; xxiv,550pp, 3 folding maps (these mounted on linen at the time of binding), 3 illustrations. Ex Bowdoin library with their inoffensive blindstamp, withdrawn label inside the front cover and paper shelf ticket on spine, an excellent, fresh, unused copy. Au$300

A popular account? A "complete history of the enterprise":, with Markham's account of his and his colleagues travels through South America collecting the plants and seeds, their introduction into India and progress of cultivation in the ensuing years. With this is an historical account, medical and botanical details, and appendices on the introduction and cultivation of India rubber, Peruvian cotton and maize.


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HITCHCOCK, Henry-Russell. German Renaissance Architecture. Princeton University Press 1981. Quarto, excellent in publisher's cloth and dustwrapper; 379pp and 457 illustrations. Au$65


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TUCKER, John Owen. The Mute; a Poem of Victoria. And other poems. Melbourne, Dwight 1870. Octavo publisher's gilt cloth. A pretty good copy. Au$75

First edition. The second and apparently last book of the bricklayer poet.


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TOWNE, Henry R. A Treatise on Cranes. Descriptive particularly of those designed and built by The Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co. ... also ... light hoisting machinery as built by the same makers. Stamford Conn. 1883. Octavo publisher's cloth blocked in gilt and black; xii,192,[4]pp, 83 illustrations, several full page. One leaf torn across without loss, still a rather good copy. Civil engineer T. Kennard Thomson's copy. Au$150

"The first publication descriptive of American practice, as distinctive from European practice", according to the author. A good book, part trade catalogue, more treatise.


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BLASIUS, William [Wilhelm]. Storms: Their Nature, Classification and Laws. With the means of predicting them by their embodiments the clouds. Philadelphia, Porter & Coates 1875. Octavo publisher's cloth; 342pp, 10 plates (the folding frontispiece and one other plate coloured); 23 illustrations through the text. A rather good copy. Au$150

A pioneering work in scientific meteorology. Some readers may have gone a bit overboard: "Blasius for storms! the supreme authority, the Aristotle of the clouds and air-currents" (George Ellwanger), but it is important and was an inspiration for tornado master John Finley: "My attention was called to a book by Prof. William Blasius, entitled, 'Storms, Their Nature, Classification and Laws,' ... I discussed the Blasius book and the Loomis list with Prof. Abbe on various occasions and he urged me to make a special study of Tornadoes."


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[Frances PERRY]. PERRY, Richard. Contributions to an Amateur Magazine in Prose and Verse. London, Booth 1857. Octavo publisher's blindstamped green cloth. A bright, fresh copy. Au$300

Most of this (the first 174 pages) consists of 'Australian Sketches' which are from the diaries and letters of Perry's sister-in-law Frances, wife of Charles Perry the Bishop of Melbourne. This covers the voyage out in 1847 and life in Melbourne and travels in Victoria - including a visit to the goldfields - until 1852.


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BASTIAT, Frederic. Harmonies of Political Economy, translated ... with a notice of the life and writings of the author, by Patrick James Stirling. London, Murray 1860. Octavo contemporary half calf (a little rubbed). A few pale and inoffensive small stamps of the Beechworth Library but quite a good copy. Au$350

First edition in English, it first appeared in 1850 - the year of Bastiat's death.


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RABY, F.J.E. A History of Christian-Latin Poetry from the Beginnings to the Close of the Middle Ages. Oxford Univ Press 1927. Octavo, very good in publisher's cloth. Au$75


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[MARRYAT, Captain Frederick]. Mr Midshipman Easy. London, Saunders & Otley 1836. Three volumes octavo, untrimmed in quarter roan and marbled boards (discreetly rebacked preserving the original spines). A rather good, attractive set; with half titles and publisher's adverts at the end of volumes two and three. In cloth chemises and slipcase labelled in gilt on a ship's wheel shaped label. Au$475

First edition of the quintessential boys' book for the next century and then some.


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SERVISS, Garrett P. A Columbus of Space. NY, Appleton 1911. Octavo publisher's apple green illustrated cloth blocked in white, dark green and black; four coloured illustrations by Howard Heath, three of which are terrific. A hint of fading of the spine but a remarkably bright, fresh copy, particularly for such a vulnerable cloth colour. Au$750

First edition. A fine radioactive fuelled romp through space to the planet Venus populated naturally by extraordinary beings and beasts.


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STEVENSON, Robert Louis. A Footnote to History, eight years of trouble in Samoa. London, Cassell 1892. Octavo very good in publisher's cloth; frontispiece map. Au$125

First edition. Stevenson threw himself into Samoan politics and was instrumental in the dismissal of the chief justice and president of the council. This is intended as a 'plain account' of local politics written in the hope of improving the treaty powers' policies.


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PROCTOR, Richard A. Chance and Luck: a discussion of the laws of luck, coincidences, wagers, lotteries, and the fallacies of gambling; with notes on poker and martingales. London, Longmans 1887. Octavo publisher's blue cloth lettered in gilt & blocked in black. Quite a good copy. Au$275

First edition. "Now the fact is that nobody except a gambler can write a satisfactory book on gambling ... all the same, I think Mr. Proctor's book is a very useful one; and I freely confess I have gambled more upon a principle, as it were, since I have read it." (Bernard Shaw's review for the Pall Mall Gazette).


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PHILIPS, F.C A Question of Color. NY, Stokes 1895. Narrow octavo publisher's cloth; [4],148pp, frontispiece. The first in Stokes' Bijou Series. Au$75

First American edition, contemporaneous with the London edition. This begins as an unremarkable light romance of the period, until the question of colour intrudes: the young woman throws over her impecunious fiance to marry a rich African prince, brought up in England and 'University' educated. Towards the end we seem to be heading into a crime thriller and we finish with satisfying tragedy.


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Travel. The 'Queen' Newspaper Book of Travel. A guide to home and foreign resorts. A resume of practical travel information which has appeared in The 'Queen' from 1894 to 1906. London, Horace Cox 1906. Octavo publisher's flexible cloth titled in black; viii,504pp, folding maps and photo plates, a few added colour adverts for hotels. Some signs of use and the occasional minor flaw but a very decent copy. Au$85

A comfortable holiday guide rather than an adventurous travel guide for the most part. I may have to revise that judgment: opening at random I find a warning about the baneful winds of Colchester. So, from the boarding houses of Eastbourne ("more select than Brighton") to the acerbic note on Banjermassin ("not exactly the spot one would choose as a place of residence") where we are warned that the Dutch women have taken to the sarong and kebaya - "the most unbecoming garment that was ever invented, and one in which no English lady could appear in public."
Most space is devoted to the Continent and there is an abundance of advertisements. This is the third of this annual series which ran well into the twenties, with a hiatus for the war.


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FOWLES, Joseph. Sydney in 1848: Illustrated by copper-plate engravings of the principal streets, public buildings, churches, chapels, etc., from drawings ... Sydney, printed by D. Wall ... published by J. Fowles [1848-49]. Quarto contemporary half straight grain calf and marbled sides (much of the spine missing but still solid); 40 plates. Browning and offsetting - the street elevations are most affected - and some minor signs of use but a very decent copy. One of the minor signs of use in this copy can be counted as a bonus: someone has neatly annotated several plates in pencil, identifying and updating the names and owners of various buildings. These annotations look to be about forty years later. Au$3000

First edition and bound from parts; this was issued in twenty fortnightly parts and as a book on completion. The last time I checked there was one known complete set in parts. This copy is without the advertisement leaf which, in the incomplete set of parts in the Mitchell Library, came with part four.
Fowles is celebrated for his pictorial record of a Sydney - a charming Georgian colonial town - not fictional but understandably positive; this is not social reform. But the book is also a surprisingly good read. He has an often breezy style and does not shy from expressing opinion. There is a laconic account of the burning of the old Royal Hotel and the providential arrival of officers straight from the governor's ball: "by levelling several tenements .. Lieut. Lugard, in all probability, saved the Victoria theatre". His description of Hughes' new Royal is equally amusing.
Everyone called this a rare and invaluable book, from Ferguson to Wantrup, who in 1987 noted this as 'a rare book [which] might, with patience, be obtained for about $4000' (Australian Rare Books). Even booksellers offering reprints without doing their homework call it rare and invaluable. If you've been patiently waiting since 1987 to prove Wantrup wrong now's your chance.


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EDDINGTON, Sir A.S. Fundamental Theory. Cambridge Univ Press 1946. Large 8vo publisher's cloth and incomplete dustwrapper; viii,292pp. Au$150

First edition. One of the great science books of the 20th century, if not for the usual reasons. Eddington's last book, tidied up by E.T. Whittaker for publication, was his attempt to unify and transcend relativity and quantum physics. He called it 'Bottom's dream'. It was rarely understood and barely tolerated by many who said they did understand it - E.A. Milne who pursued the same grail with his 'kinematic relativity' gave it a particularly cruel and clever review in 'Nature'. So, folly or maunderings, heroic failure, or an unfinished symphony?


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FREDERICKS, Arnold. [Frederic Arnold Kummer]. One Million Francs. NY, Watt 1912. Octavo publisher's black cloth, the front embossed and gilded all over to suggest a pile of coins; five plates by Will Grefe. A few minor signs of use but an uncommonly bright copy, the gilt on the front barely rubbed. Au$85

First edition. A Paris set thriller featuring the American detective Richard Duvall and a mysterious avenging angel.


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DAVISON, Ralph C. Concrete Pottery and Garden Furniture. NY, Munn 1910. Octavo, very good in publisher's decorated cloth; xiv,196p and publisher's list, 140 photo illustrations, diagrams and line drawings. Au$100

First edition. Exactly the sort of information which, in the wrong hands, leads to unspeakable evil. In general I'm in favour of knowledge for the masses and the unveiling of secrets held within cabalistic trades but this steps over the line. There isn't anything in here to take exception to, the examples are unremarkable, sometimes handsome, but I've seen too much of what happens when just anyone is given access to concrete and the means to knock up a mold.


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MATTHEWS, W.H. Mazes and Labyrinths. A general account of their history and developments. London, Longmans 1922. Octavo publisher's canvas backed boards; xvii,254pp, 151 illustrations - plans, photo illustrations, etc. A bit of spotting but quite a good copy, better than most I've seen. Au$250

Long (still?) the definitive work; a good book with a sweet origin: while making a maze on the beach his young child asked who made mazes first of all. Matthews' answer is that he doesn't know but here's what he found out along the way.


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CARLING, John R. The Viking's Skull. Boston, Little Brown 1904. Octavo publisher's illustrated green cloth printed in colours; four plates. An excellent, bright copy. Au$100

First edition. "An ingeniously constructed plot, which tells how Idris Marville, true Earl of Ormsby recovered a treasure hidden by one of his progenitors - a Viking of the Ninth Century - and how he cleared the memory of his father, who had been wrongfully convicted of murder" (publisher's advertisement). To this we need only add "Yet even amidst her fear it did not escape her notice that the hand which held the weapon was small, white, and decorated with a diamond ring" (p33). Sometimes a black silk vizard is just not disguise enough.


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TILTMAN, Ronald F. Television for the Home. The Wonders of "Seeing by Wireless". London, Hutchinson [1927]. Octavo publisher's reptile pattern boards and dustwrapper (price marked out and some spots on the spine and a few small chips from this); xix106pp, eight photo plates. A little browning, rather good. Au$500

First edition of maybe not the very first book on television but what must be the first television book in a crocodile skin cover. It came out within months of Baird successfully cracking the problem that a lot of scientists had been working on without result. Once that was out of the way the experts could get on with the important stuff: early in 1927 Professor D'Albe proposed a Ministry of Broadcasting to take "responsibility in matters of pronunciation, voice production, education, acoustics, music, drama, and illumination."
Tiltman became Baird's biographer but the portrait of them together is a study in lack of interest if not antipathy.


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New York World's Fair 1939. Pilgrimage to Tomorrow. [five copies]. NY, Gemloid Corp [1938]. Each octavo publisher's comb bound laminated plastic and card; 100pp, illustrations throughout. Small chip from a corner of one, minor signs of use. Au$600

I believe this to be the complete set of variant covers. I've been gathering these for about ten years and have not seen anything different for a few years now. Logically there should be an un-orange version of the one bottom left but I haven't seen it.
A spiffy little book designed to be an all round souvenir. It begins with a section of views (drawings and photos of models) and descriptions of the forthcoming fair followed by a section of black card leaves for your own photos; then come some diary pages, some views of New York city and finally a few pages for autographs and addresses. The front cover is a view of the trylon and perisphere and surrounds in textured plastic - early 3D.
One copy has been used as designed in part: the diary records in pencil the trip of, I think, a girl with her family to her aunt in Fairfield, Conn, and from there to the World's Fair. The family and friends divided into two parties - boys went to the fair one day, girls the next.


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Takizawa Kuniyuki. 染織図案 邦行作品選集 [Senshoku Zuan - Kuniyuki Sakuhin Senshu]. Tokyo, Takizawa Kuniyuki 1933 (Showa 8). Folio (47x32cm) publisher's folding case with printed label; three leaves of text mounted inside the front cover and on a hinged board; 50 heavy sheets, loose as issued, with 200 mounted designs. Each sheet with the artist's blindstamp and each with a glassine overlay. A bit of insect nibbling and marking of the case, minor signs of use.
The printed colophon slip pasted inside the back board tells us this album was hibaihin: not for sale. I think there is another slip underneath this but I'm not going to pick at it. Au$6,000

How many copies of this monumental textile design album did Takizawa produce? How many could he produce? I'm still flummoxed by how it was done and the amount of work involved. I first assumed that Takizawa must have built and painted large sheets and then cut them up. He probably did but on at least one extravagantly textured design the surface extends a fraction beyond the paper - it can't have been cut up afterwards.
Takizawa experimented with all sorts of techniques including layering paper: some designs have paint, threads or cords covered with textured tissues. How much of the texture could have been applied with some sort of stencil I don't know but the amount of work in creating each of the 200 designs bewilders me.
It occurred to me that there is a lot of blank space in this album and of course that's intentional. Most design albums cram designs together and we are dazzled by colour and movement. In the best of them the complete plate, not each part, is the design. Takizawa has made sure that each design, large or small, is to be examined for itself. Whether or not each design works is up to us and we won't be distracted by the salon clutter style of presentation.
These are called textile designs and that's obvious with many but like every good designer Takizawa has let himself run free just for the hell of it. And then he has gone a step further: a lot of these are paintings in themselves, abstract expressionist if you like - or call it something else if you don't.
Takizawa's short preface is typeset and, from what I can figure out, talks about colour and soul and spirit rather than technique. The other two, by luminaries Wada Sanzo and Sasagawa Rinpu are reproduced from their manuscript drafts, corrections, scribbles and all. Sasagawa was at this time maybe Japan's most respected literary critic and ukiyo-e expert but he destroyed his career the next year by foolishly backing two new discoveries that turned out to be fakes. I gather no expert has taken a risk since then.
Takizawa was best known as a flower painter. He won imperial approval in the late twenties which suggests to me that his work was not so radical. This album is so singular, so unlike anything else I've seen of the period there is no point in talking about radical. It was another generation before we see anything like this in terms of colour and expression and it took new technologies in polymers and acrylics before artists did anything like this with book production. So how many copies? And how different is each one? I don't know, I can't find any record of another copy.


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RADCLIFFE, Ann. The Italian, or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents. A romance. Dublin, printed for P. Wogan &c 1797. Two volumes 12mo contemporary sheep (some insect chewing of leather around the spines). Some browning and signs of use but a pleasing enough original copy. Au$850

First Irish edition, hard on the heels of the London edition. Having never recovered from The Mysteries of Udolpho and the wonder and awe it produced in me - I still wonder how it didn't kill the Romantic movement stone dead and I had an awful urge to slap Emily every time she trembled in ecstacy faced with a slice of nature - I'm unable to face The Italian. The conflicting opinions of it being her both her best and her worst book make it a bit intriguing.


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VIRULY, A. & Han HOLLANDER. Geillustreerd Album ter Herrinering aan de Londen-Melbourne Race. Amsterdam, Vlieger [1934]. Oblong octavo publisher's illustrated wrapper, string tied; 64pp, photo illustrations. Covers somewhat used and grubby, decent enough. Au$65

Commemorative book for the Melbourne Centenary or MacRobertson Air Race. The Dutch KLM plane Uiver arrived second and won on handicap. Trove, backed up by precautionary searches of individual catalogues, finds three copies in Australia and OCLC finds only one outside the Netherlands.


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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 (bit rubbed and marked); 128pp (pp112-28 are adverts), numerous photo illustrations and plans. A mildly used copy.
Inscribed by Gilling on the front fly: "A limited number of copies of this book were published. This copy is no. 32. F. Glynn Gilling". Au$750

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. I'm yet to come across a copy numbered past 50.
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 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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DAKE, Charles Romeyn. [spelt 'Romyn' on the title page and 'Romeyn' on the cover which seems to be correct]. A Strange Discovery. NY, Kimball 1899. Octavo publisher's red cloth (spine a bit discoloured and worn at the tips); [4],310pp and three plates, one a map. Au$325

First edition of this Antarctic lost race thriller, an elaborately set up continuation of Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. It includes a photo of Loomis House in Bellevue Illinois, a focal point of the introduction to the story. Bellevue is apparently Belleville, Dake's home where he was a homeopath - as is the character Bainbridge in this book. Dake committed suicide in 1899; ostensibly because he discovered he had cancer, not because his only novel had his name misspelled on the title page.


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ROBERTS, Morley. The Adventure of the Broad Arrow. An Australian romance. London, Hutchinson 1897. Octavo publisher's cloth (cover marked); eight plates by A.D. McCormick. A few spots and minor signs of use; a pretty good copy. Au$450

First edition, colonial issue, of one of the more famous west Australian lost race novels - though lost race is stretching it a bit. The white tribe here is descended from escaped convicts. But they are swimming in gold and there were pygmy cave dwellers.


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NEWLAND, Simpson. Blood Tracks of the Bush. London, Gay & Bird 1900. Octavo publisher's red cloth. Sixteen page publisher's list dated January 1900 at the end. Some light spotting at the beginning; a nice, bright copy. Au$850

First edition. We begin, as we must, on an English country estate with an unscrupulous debt-ridden squire directing his equally unscrupulous son to take his young ward's inheritance, make his fortune in the colonies and save the family home. Scene change to Wilcannia and no-one behaves any better.
It's a well filled novel, plenty of murder and robbery, false identity, a dash of lost race fantasy when the last survivor of the Leichhardt romp is discovered and points our hero west into the setting sun to rediscover, under the snow capped mountain, the mysterious chamber filled with gold, and - most notable - graphic accounts of the massacre of Aborigines foolish enough to cause trouble.
Not much mercy here; I don't think it's giving too much away that the only protaganist left standing at the end of the book is the noble and loyal young ward and she's badly scarred.
Trove locates only two copies of this first edition - the Bell colonial edition is a bit more plentiful - and OCLC and Copac add few copies outside the four British deposit libraries.


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[BRICAIRE DE LA DIXMERIE, Nicolas]. Le Sauvage de Taiti aux Francais; Avec un Envoi au Philosophe Ami des Sauvages. London [ie Paris], chez Le Jay 1770. Octavo, bound after two other works in contemporary marbled calf with alternating green and red labels (a bit rubbed). A pleasing copy. Au$2,850

First edition of this Tahitian incunabulum - the start of Europe's reverie - a series of letters by a Tahitian visitor to Paris. Which means of course that it is a scathing swipe at French society and politics. Paris had been given the once over by a few fictional Persians, Chinese and other exotics but now, not only did they have a 'prince' from the just discovered New Eden but he was real: Aotourou, the Tahitian who accompanied Bouganville to Paris with news of paradise on earth. So how could he not pass judgment?
Naturally he chose to do so anonymously and not having more than a few words of French relied on a distinguished man of letters to write them down and fill in the gaps. I must make it clear that Dixmerie uses none of the typical set dressing employed by authors of fictional authors; I'm doing that. He starts with an editor's account of Tahiti that draws from the only published account so far - that of the voyage's naturalist, Commercon, whose report had appeared in the journal Mercure de France in November 1769. Dixmerie was, by the way, a regular contributor to and editor of the Mercure.
Dixmerie says that he could say much more about Tahiti but their Tahitian visitor wants his book to be read and has noticed that the French don't read big books. Dixmerie's Tahitian stops short of fermenting revolution but he is nonetheless a radical in the manner of many pre-revolutionary troublemakers. His views of women are contradictory, or perhaps confused, but still he advocates equality at all levels.
The confusion is understandable. The pre-occupation of the philosophe with the idea of perfect man and that of the rebellious troublemaker with an ideal society not only intersected, they now had the address: Tahiti. The sales rep was in town.
Those who met Aotourou, Dixmerie presumably among them, quickly realised he was no Arcadian but for the rest of France, of Europe, here was ideal man, that is: a man surrounded by amenable young women, nothing much else to do and plenty to eat. In other words the aristocracy. A fair minded egalitarian - a rarer breed than you might think - sees the obligation of including women in this equality business but it's hard when you risk losing that bounty of temporary maidens.


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