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!
Another year, another Picture Book – long may it continue!
There’s probably no better way to introduce an illustrated work than to start with exquisite examples of some genuine rarities by that master picture-book-maker himself, Samuel Thomas Gill. We have his Diggers & Diggings of Victoria as they were in 1852, and the four parts illustrated by him of Diggers & Diggings of Victoria as they are in 1855.
We could say much more, but why spoil the fun for you?
Read on, and you will find a fascinating range of signed modern literature, manuscripts, photographs, maps and atlases, and, last but not least, even some rare books!
To view these items (and much else) visit us at Stand 16 at the Melbourne Rare Book Fair, at Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne, this coming weekend, 7-9 July 2018. For more details go to www.rarebookfair.com
Our latest list features an impressive portrait of a young Aboriginal woman, Clara, photographed by Charles Scott at Allendale Station, near Oodnadatta, in 1903-04. There are another dozen or more photographic items (including cartes-de-visite, stereophotographs, albums and photographically-illustrated books), many of them genuine rarities. From antiquarian travel, and Australian unit histories and military ephemera, to signed modern literature and a broad miscellany in between ... enough already, it's over to you now!
Our latest list features many rarities, including an extensive album of photographs relating to Australian mining and aviation in the 1930s; the first newspaper published in South Australia (3 June 1837); important association and signed copies, including A.B. Facey's A Fortunate Life (published only nine months before the author's death) and T.G.H. Strehlow's Songs of Central Australia; a collection of autograph letters from Arthur Gask (which we will euphemistically describe as colourful); a broad selection of unusual ephemeral printings, including trade catalogues and many Australian pamphlets, and much more!
This effort is shorter than usual, but it contains some stellar items, and we can also use the opportunity of making contact with you to announce some of our projects for the coming months (in particular, our major auction in Melbourne on 5 and 6 April – see below).
First, the catalogue. It contains an extraordinary letter from Camille Saint-Saëns; written in 1882, it is a bitter denunciation of the failure of a journal to promote French music (and at the same time be modern). Other unique items include an album of photographs from Donald Campbell’s abortive 1963 attempt on the World Land Speed Record at Lake Eyre, with a letter from Campbell; a collection of twelve signed photographs of international musicians and singers from the 1920s-30s, presented to an Adelaide impresario; an original large ink drawing by David Hockney; and an archive of material relating to the Australian Limited Editions Society’s 1939 publication, The Life and Times of Captain John Piper by M. Barnard Eldershaw, including the 17 pieces of original artwork by Adrian Feint.
Printed items include the complete set of Butler’s Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914-1918 (1938-43), with all volumes inscribed and signed by the author; Bardon’s Papunya Tula. Art of the Western Desert (1991) inscribed and signed by the author, with two letters from him; and Austin’s The Mines of South Australia (1863), the cloth-bound edition with the map, unknown to Ferguson, and rare to this day. Our featured item, illustrated above, the 'Starvation Debenture' handbill, political propaganda from the June 1932 election in NSW, was apparently printed by the hundreds of thousands, but don’t hold your breath for another one to surface …
Just when you thought it was safe! However, there are only 92 items to browse, so you can relax in a few minutes ...
Signed items are in abundance: signed portrait photographs of Florence Booth (Mrs General Bramwell Booth) and Lord Stonehaven (Australia's eighth Governor-General); postcards with interesting content from Seamus Heaney and Henry Moore; signed copies of Skertchly's The Story of the Noble Opal (1908), Walsh's Bradshaw Art of the Kimberley (2000), Garry Shead's Australia Suite (one of only 100 copies, each with an original signed etching), Barry Humphries' Treasury of Australian Kitsch (signed, with a self-caricature); and 36 First Day Covers signed by significant RAF personalities from WW2.
Important maps include a large Crimean War map by Major Thomas Jervis (1854), and the rare New Counties ... Atlas of South Australia by Frank Carroll (1876). Our selection of trade catalogues will enable you to become instant experts in everything from tugboats and dredgers, to religious vestments and accoutrements, the fine arts of butchery and surgery (separate catalogues!), painting for architects (with 154 colour samples), and dying yarns and printing fabrics (with over 620 original samples).
Harcus's South Australia (1876) with the unheard-of dustwrapper; books on the bookplates of Adrian Feint (1928 and 1934); and McEwin's The South Australian Vigneron and Gardeners' Manual (1871) are some of the other genuine and desirable rarities on offer.
Our latest list features two very large-format vintage Frank Hurley photographs, both carbon prints from his 1915 Fine Art Society Exhibition: the superb 'Panorama of Bergs in the Davis Sea', from Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-14, and 'Haunt of the Wild Duck', from Hurley's trip to the Northern Territory in April-July 1914. Another key polar item is the first edition of Shackleton's South (1919), from the personal collection of one of the ill-fated Ross Shore Party.
Other rarities include an album of over 100 bookplates by George Perrottet (many signed); the deluxe edition of the Alsop sisters' Some Childrens' [sic] Songs (1910); Bodyline umpire George Hele's copy of Sir David Sergeant's Australia: Its Cricket Bat, Its Kangaroo, Its Farming, Fruit and Flowers (inscribed by the author, who faced the first ball bowled in the first match between Victoria and NSW in 1856); two sets of Bean's Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 (one of them a complete set of first editions); half-a-dozen items 'not in Trove'; significant photograph albums; numerous books with interesting provenance ... you get the drift ... and with only 102 items to choose from, you haven't got time to lose!
Our latest list features the first Australian gardening book by a woman, The Flower Garden in Australia (Melbourne, 1893); the deluxe large-paper edition of Shackleton's The Heart of the Antarctic (1909, one of only 300 sets), signed by 16 members of the expedition; Federation material from the collection of Sir John Downer; classic texts of inland exploration (mainly the deluxe issues of the Friends of the State Library of South Australia facsimiles); two photograph albums compiled for the architects Woods, Bagot, Laybourne-Smith & Irwin (Adelaide, 1930s); as well as good selections of natural history, cricket, photography and more.