Catalogues

Catalogue #64

Catalogue #64

With our latest catalogue, we play to our strengths – or occasionally, merely our predilections! – so you will find Australiana, military history, autographs, photographs, trade catalogues, and illustrated books featured throughout.

Picture Book 10

Picture Book 10

Our Picture Book 10 celebrates the return of the Melbourne Rare Book Fair in fitting style. The cover illustrations are Scenes in the Bush of Australia, By A Squatter, Alexander Denistoun Lang. Published in 1847, in this very rare hand-coloured form it constitutes the first Victorian colour-plate book. It is in excellent company with the four parts of The Diggers & Diggings of Victoria as they are in 1855 by S.T. Gill (1856, in the original wrappers). If your taste in lithography is a little more gothic, you can’t go past The Demon McGuire (1872), a very rare early illustrated Australian children's book, in which a monstrous demon rampages through the streets of Sydney.

Literature is another strength. Stellar items include first editions of key works by T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land (1923), and Poems 1909-1925 (1925), as well as the deluxe edition of 1926, limited to a mere 85 signed copies. Our run of ten issues of The Little Review (1919-21) includes eight with instalments of the first appearance of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Beautiful editions from the famous Kelmscott, Eragny, and Ashendene private presses are present, along with Idyllia (1922, with five original Norman Lindsay etchings), a rarity from N.L. Press.

We hope you enjoy looking at Picture Book 10, replete with eye-catching books, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, and ephemera – and it won’t take you long to read it either!

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Please click on any item in the catalogue for more information, or to place an order on our website

Online Catalogue #63

Online Catalogue #63

The current list contains some wonderful items. The archive of material relating to Port Albert, the small Gippsland settlement that was one of the earliest ports established in the colony, is unique by definition. Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright, elegant portfolios covering his work prior to 1910, are renowned for their beauty and genuine scarcity: we have eight plates from these most important architectural manifestoes. Our four-volume set of the Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, edited by Charles Mountford, is in collector’s condition, with the added bonus of presentation inscriptions from him in the first two volumes. We also have a signed vintage Mountford photograph, 'Windsor's Pillar, Mount Chambers Gorge' (Flinders Ranges, circa 1937).

We are still working our way through three large collections: Australian military history; catalogues raisonné of significant twentieth century European artists; and Aleister Crowley and the occult; all three areas are well-represented this time.

As are some of our favourite subject areas too: trade catalogues, photography, autographs and manuscripts, Australiana …

Online Catalogue #62

Online Catalogue #62

We thought the cracking copies of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite’s first two books, Mollie’s Bunyip (1904) and Mollie’s Staircase (1906), would be the children’s book highlights of our current catalogue. Then we purchased Benjamin Forster’s anonymously-issued Botanical Illustrations of the Twenty-Four Classes in the Linnaean System of Vegetables (1813): despite its prosaic title, this miniature book with 48 hand-coloured wood engravings would crown any international collection.

Fully one-third of this 200-item catalogue contains autograph material of one kind or another: marks of provenance, authors’ signatures or inscriptions, signed documents, photographs or letters. Signatories range from prime ministers to presidents, musicians to Nobel laureates, self-published authors to world-famous cricketers. However, the stellar item is a small group of letters from the archive of Professor T.G.H. Strehlow. They are primarily from Pastor F.W. Albrecht, who replaced Strehlow’s father as superintendent of the Finke River Mission at Hermannsburg in Central Australia in 1927. These letters, written in 1957-58, are of strong interest in themselves, but greater significance must be attached to the accompanying letters in Western Aranda (Arrernte) from five elders. We have obtained full translations, and our catalogue record is worth reading, whatever your collecting interests may be.

Off you go!

Online Catalogue #61

Online Catalogue #61

Highlights from our latest catalogue include copies of Johnston’s National Atlas (1844) and Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena (1856), and Smith’s New General Atlas (1809); numerous catalogues raisonné of significant twentieth century European artists (among them Bonnard, Braque, Buffet, Delvaux, Klee, Leger, Meryon, Miro, and Picasso – several with original graphics); a good selection of photographs of Indigenous Australians; and iconic Hurley images of the Antarctic.

Among the autographs and manuscripts of importance are works by Proust, Queen Victoria, Gorki, and Mussolini. Norman Lindsay has added an original pen drawing of Bunyip Bluegum to his signed inscription in a copy of The Magic Pudding; we also have a copy of one of his earliest illustrated works, A.G. Stephens’ Oblation [1902]. We continue to mine the archive of T.G.H. Strehlow, and now offer a significant letter from him, in reply to one from the eminent anthropologist Nancy Munn seeking information about story-telling by Aranda (Arrernte) women and children. Strehlow recalls from his childhood years in Hermannsburg two bloodthirsty tales told by little girls to frighten little boys, and records them in great detail.

Don’t just sit there, get stuck into them!

Online Catalogue #60

Online Catalogue #60

Our first catalogue for 2022 contains some very appealing rarities: an American Civil War muster roll; eight issues of Verve (containing numerous original lithographs by the likes of Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Derain, Giacometti, Klee, Léger, Matisse, Miro, and Roualt); Stoddart’s presentation copy of the Australian Cricket Annual 1896-7; the first edition of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (with the dustwrapper); a 1930 autograph letter signed by Aldous Huxley (with very interesting literary content); rare examples of Indigenous Australian portraiture; a fine copy of the golden jubilee edition of Winnie-the-Pooh (one of only 300 copies signed by Christopher Robin himself); and an album of 87 large-format aerial photographs of New Guinea, circa 1943.

Don’t worry, there are also some standard works: Oxley’s Journals (1820); Our Pastoral Industry (1910); Pastoral Homes of Australia, New Series, Volume 1 (1929); Wild Rivers (1983) by Peter Dombrovskis and Bob Brown (signed by both of them) … we won’t go on ...

Online Catalogue #59

Online Catalogue #59

Many of the highlights in our latest catalogue are to be found in the lengthy section on Australian Modernism at the beginning of the list. There are numerous elusive ‘little magazines’, such as complete runs of Comment, Angry Penguins, Angry Penguins Broadsheet, Ern Malley’s Journal, Art in Australia (all six Series 4 numbers), and Manuscripts. There are also substantial runs of even rarer titles, such as Barjai, Pandemonium, and Tomorrow. Sidney Nolan is well represented, with two books containing original artwork, and another lot containing over 80 items with cover artwork by him.

From anti-heroes (think Ned Kelly and Ern Malley) to heroes: we have signatures of seventeen men awarded the Victoria Cross; numerous accounts of the adventures of Biggles himself; and a stirring poster featuring Condoman (definitely a man of action).

All this and more – with our compliments of the season!

Online Catalogue #58

Online Catalogue #58

Our latest catalogue includes two very rare items that are parochial in the extreme, but by nature of universal appeal to collectors. The album of photographs by Freeman & Wivell, prepared for the 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition, contains 20 large-format stark and monumental ‘architectural portraits’ of the city of Adelaide. The mammoth hand-coloured wall map of the settled portions of South Australia, prepared by Sanders & Packard, Surveyors, in early 1886, appears to be unique.

Among other important items of literature are first editions of Katherine Mansfield’s first book, In a German Pension (1911); the third and fifth volumes of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, as well as his Till We Have Faces (1956); and T.S. Eliot’s Animula (1929, one of only 400 copies of the signed large-paper edition). The signed deluxe edition of Gifford Chapman’s Kangaroo Island classic, Wooden Fishing Boats (1998) is arguably rarer than Fenner's much earlier Pocket Atlas of Modern & Ancient Geography (1828, with 79 hand-coloured maps), but horses for courses …

Less rarified, but no less interesting and definitely as eclectic, items include numerous volumes in the Legal Classics Library series; a selection of Bluey and Curley annuals; assorted trade catalogues and other printed ephemera; and a handsome gold medallion awarded to Joseph Watson, a member of the Port Adelaide Football Club’s team declared ‘Champions of Australia’ in 1913.

Down tools or drinks for twenty minutes and enjoy the catalogue!