Our current catalogue features a collection of approximately 200 books on campanology, offered as one lot. If that doesn’t ring your bell, move on to the literature and illustrated works. We have half a dozen titles from the Cuala Press by W.B. Yeats; a large-paper copy of T.S. Eliot’s Marina (1930), one of 400 signed copies; Ngaio Marsh’s Death and the Dancing Footman (1942), a fine copy with the dustwrapper; and Verve, Numbers 27 and 28 (1952), a double issue containing 29 original lithographs.
Singular or unique items include a photograph of ‘Breaker’ Morant, in a small group of troopers in Adelaide in January 1900; a copy of The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1899), the seminal work on anthropology, signed by both Spencer and Gillen; and a husband-and-wife pair of 1850s South Australian daguerreotypes.
To coincide with the Melbourne Rare Book Fair we are pleased to announce the latest in our series of Picture Book catalogues. It contains a fine miscellany, from Antarctic photography to scarce modern literature, classic texts of voyages and exploration to unique manuscript material.
Since the catalogue went to the printers we have been busy! New in stock are:
A singular copy of A Child's Garden of Verses, signed and inscribed by Robert Louis Stevenson, together with a signed letter; The Native Tribes of Central Australia signed by both Spencer and Gillen; private press material, including titles from the Cuala Press of W.B. Yeats and his sister Elizabeth; delightful publications from Lucien Pisarro's Eragny Press; D.H. Lawrence's privately printed Pansies (signed); and T.S. Eliot's Marina (also signed); superb examples of Indigenous portraiture.
To view these items (and much besides) visit us at Stand 31 at the Melbourne Rare Book Fair this coming weekend, 6–8 July 2018.
John Kauffmann (1864-1942) was born in the small village of Truro in country South Australia; he became an internationally recognized pioneering photo-impressionist by the first decade of the twentieth century. His images were awarded medals at major competitions, but, perhaps more significantly, they were sold for high prices at a series of one-man exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney. His trademark was soft focus — think sombre moods and misty aspects. His work fell out of favour in the last two decades of his life, but his creativity continued to evolve. In the early 1930s, he produced a series of 'portraits of living flowers', some of which must be numbered among his best work.
This retrospective, containing 40 images and other material from the artist's estate, includes vintage prints from all periods of his long working life. All items are for sale, and this exhibition represents a unique opportunity to purchase important artworks with impeccable provenance.
Exhibition 16–28 February 2018
10am–5pm, Monday to Saturday
196 North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
Our latest catalogue commences with about a dozen rare Australian WW1 battalion histories, including a signed copy, in the original wrappers, of Longmore’s Eggs-A-Cook! The Story of the Forty-Fourth. These are followed in quick succession by small sections on a variety of subjects, invariably containing a treasure or three.
There’s aviation (with a copy of the first edition of Flying the Arctic signed by Hubert Wilkins, and a large signed certificate from the Byrd Antarctic Expedition, 1928-30); the Boer War (letters from Lord Baden-Powell to an Australian comrade-in-arms, and an impressive portrait photograph of three South Australian officers in London for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee); books on bookplates (not least, Gartner’s The Bookplates of William Hunter, one of only 50 copies); Burke and Wills (Foster, Kirby, Norman – even a book from Robert O’Hara Burke’s own shelves); big game hunting (20 items, all pertaining to India) … and we’re still only up to the letter B. We’ll leave the rest of the alphabet to you!
Our current catalogue contains a number of rarities from a collection we helped build some forty years ago – ouch! That small yelp is for a couple of reasons – where did all those years go? – and another fine collection is being dismantled. But there is more than a degree of satisfaction to be had from what we have coined the ‘pre-deceased estate sale’. Admittedly, it is a different form of satisfaction to that of acquisition and custody, but there is a lot to be said for overseeing the orderly dispersal of a significant aspect of one’s personal life in a considered and professional manner (to say nothing of the capital gains!).
Accordingly, for your delectation, we have eight rare works on Australian cycling and motoring, by the likes of Birtles, Dutton, Murif and Pearson. This does not include five titles by Michael Terry, which we mention in the company of other inland explorers and expeditions: Cadell, the Calvert Expedition, the Horn Expedition, Lindsay, and Winnecke (including a signed book).
Literature is well-represented, with sixteen Brindabella Press-related publications, half a dozen Angry Penguin items, a signed Arthur Rackham (Undine), and the very rare Edwardian illustrated Australian children’s book, Some Childrens' [sic] Songs by Marion Alsop & Dorothy McCrae.
There are rare and important vintage photographs by Frank Hurley, John Kauffmann, and May Moore, to go with, as usual, our unusual miscellany of items that are either unique, quirky, ephemeral or merely worth reading. We wish you profitable browsing!
Our latest catalogue contains a series of letters and a manuscript list of early career highlights by Dame Nellie Melba; a group of scores and an impressive portrait photograph, all with fulsome signed inscriptions from Percy Grainger; an 1862 carte de visite of Das Torrens-Fest in the Barossa Valley, feting Robert Torrens and the Real Property Act; vintage photographs by Frank Hurley (exhibition prints from his ground-breaking 1915 exhibition); an 1880s watercolour by George Frederick Gregory Jr, with the classical Italianate Largs Pier Hotel featured prominently; a collection of over 80 Australian bookplates; items associated with an 1802 Port Phillip Settlement pioneer … and of course there are books galore!
Cook’s Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (1784, four volumes, complete with the atlas); Phillip (1790, the preferred second edition); Hunter (1793); Taplin’s Folklore … and Languages of the South Australian Aborigines (signed by Dr John Harris Browne, surgeon on Sturt's Central Australian expedition of 1844-45); Willshire’s Aborigines of Central Australia (Port Augusta, 1888); Elliot’s Review of the Primates (1912, three volumes) … among many others!
Exploration on land, sea and ice is just one strength of our current list. Oxley, Mitchell, Parkinson, Mawson (a signed book) and Shackleton (an autograph letter signed) find themselves in the company of some serious military history. Limb's History of the 10th Battalion has impeccable provenance: a signed presentation inscription from the first Commanding Officer, Price Weir, to the second, Beevor.
Other rarities include desirable ephemera - such as Light Horse Regiment reunion menus, or the souvenir ticket from the first train trip across the Sydney Harbour Bridge - and some vernacular photography at its best (Maori cartes de visite, a striking portrait of an Aboriginal lad, an Afghan or Indian butcher in the Adelaide Hills). At the very least, it makes entertaining reading!
The featured item introducing our latest catalogue - a larger-than-lifesize portrait of Sir James Hurtle Fisher (1790-1875), exquisitely hand-painted by the 'Artist Photographer' Townsend Duryea - is singular on many levels, not least by being quintessentially parochial, yet assuredly world-class.
The rest of the offering tends to fall somewhere between these two extremes, but common threads are rarity and desirability.
Reader's tip for busy people: if you are not interested in facsimile editions of Australian unit histories, skip the first fifteen items!