Online Catalogue #11

Our latest online catalogue contains recent acquisitions, all of them interesting, many of them rare, some of them significant.

Exemplifying this as a group of items relating to Katie Langloh Parker, some of them from her own collection. There are variant editions of her two seminal books on Aboriginal mythology, including her own copy, signed and annotated, of Australian Legendary Tales (1896), and her very rare third book, My Best Boy and My Boy-in-Law (1901). There is also her signed copy of Isaac Nathan's excessively rare The Southern Euphrosyne (1849), possibly the first book to attempt a serious study of Aboriginal music. This item is almost upstaged by our copy of T.G.H. Strehlow's Songs of Central Australia (1971), signed by the author.      

Photography is one of our areas of specialisation, and our eclectic offering this time includes an important album relating to the early days of Commonwealth Government control of the Northern Territory, focusing on the Demonstration Farms established at Batchelor and Daly River in 1912. British officers who died in the Afghan War in 1878-80, Australian medical photography in the late 1880s, Townsville in the 1890s – these original images retain the power to transmute paper …

Early books on opals are highly desirable, and we are privileged to be able to offer variant copies of one of the great rarities, Skertchly's The Story of the Noble Opal (Brisbane, 1908). Another collection we have had access to recently contained over 1000 book on botany, and this list contains monographs by Cox (on Farrer) and Stern (The Genus Paeonia), and important sets by Davidian (The Rhododendron Species), Escobar (Native Colombian Orchids), Stones and Curtis (Endemic Flora of Tasmania), and Withner (The Cattleyas). 

If you prefer art, autographs, aviation, erotica, ephemera, exploration, literature, militaria, wine … this catalogue has something for you too! As ever, happy browsing!

Picture Book 4

Welcome to the fourth volume in our occasional series of Picture Book catalogues. By design they are light on text (time is short!), and you won't find too many standard works here either. There are many rare or unique items, particularly manuscripts and photographs.

Click here to view the catalogue.

We hope you enjoy browsing through it as much as we did putting it together. To order or enquire about items, please email us at

We plan to bring material from the catalogue to the ANZAAB Rare Book Fair in Melbourne next weekend (Friday 25 – Sunday 27 July). For more details go to

Online Catalogue #10

Our tenth online catalogue is rich in rare and unusual items. Australian WW1 militaria includes 12th Light Horse ephemera, a run of an AIF convalescent camp journal, and Robinson's very large Before and After the War map (circa 1920). Cricket tragics can have an 1880 portrait photograph of Affie Jarvis, all the autographs of both Ryder's and Woodfull's XI from 1929, or the Australian squad for the 5th Bodyline Test (including Alexander and Lee).

Other manuscript items include a charming personal letter from Sir Allen Lane, an unpublished poem by A.P. Herbert, a Ben Chifley letter, books signed by George Fife Angas, Les Murray, and Jeffrey Smart, some graphic watercolours by Charles Angas (nephew of George French Angas), and a 1916 illuminated address from Murray Bridge with a large vignette of a paddle steamer. We also have a copy of Kinloch's The River Murray (1853).

And we do still deal in standard works, too! Cook (third voyage), Bligh, Oxley, Sturt, McKinlay, Wills, Stuart, Gosse, the Horn Expedition, Spencer and Gillen

There's plenty more! As ever, happy browsing!

Online Catalogue #9

Our latest fully-illustrated catalogue is a little shorter than usual, but it compensates for this with the quality of these recent acquisitions.

Pamper the child in you with Ethel Spowers' Cuthbert and the Dogs, E.W. Hornung's The Cricket on the Green (an author's presentation copy, no less), or a flight of scarce Biggles books.

An Adelaide cabinet maker's extensive manuscript specifications book (circa 1920s) is by definition unique, as is our autograph letter from Hans Heysen recalling in detail the creation of a particular painting. The two Western Australian 1930s goldfields maps are both scarce and attractive; and the series of 66 stereophotographs by Craig & Solin of Fremantle (circa 1898) includes numerous mining scenes. Many of these photographs appear to be unrecorded.

Antiquarian items include a bound volume of seventeenth-century tracts, and Savage-Landor's classic account of the Boxer Rebellion, China and the Allies (1901). There is a small selection of books on Turkish and Persian Rugs, and if this is your area of interest, go to our website and you will find there the bulk of our large recent purchase on this subject.

Our military offering includes some of the best material we have ever handled. Superlatives do not do justice to General Sir John Monash's personal copy, signed and dated, of his The Australian Victories in France in 1918 (1920). A poignant letter from ANZAC cove, July 1915, is written on the margins and blank verso of issue 49 of the Peninsula Press, the utterly rare Gallipoli field newspaper. Knox and Brazenor'shistory of the 23rd Battalionwas 'Printed and Published ... on the Battlefield', and most of the three series of rare journals relating to the Imperial Camel Corps were printed in Cairo. The list continues ...

I'm getting carried away! Surely, you have already stopped reading this preamble and are halfway through the catalogue itself. Happy browsing!

Online Catalogue #8

Online Catalogue #8 - Highlights of our current catalogue include rare and unusual works on Australian Aborigines, Australian exploration, and nineteenth century travel. There are numerous autographs, including items signed by Princess (later Queen) Victoria, Sir John Franklin, Archbishop Mannix, Archie Jackson, Don Bradman, Ion Idriess, Charles Mountford, Marcel Marceau, Thomas Keneally, David Malouf, Russell Drysdale (Henry Lawson: Short Stories, one of only 100 copies with five original etchings), Donald Friend and Brian Dunlop (with an original etching).

The balance is an interesting miscellany of colour plate books, the Kelly Gang, trade catalogues, vintage photographs (including eleven cartes de visite of 1870s Warrnambool, and a very rare Victor Richardson portrait on glass), aviation, antiquarian books ... and all items are fully illustrated.

Online Catalogue #6

Highlights of the current catalogue include numerous autograph items: an 1820 autograph letter signed from Alexander von Humboldt; Ben Chifley's Second Ministry (1946-49), with the addition of three former Prime Ministers; and cricket teams galore – England in Australia in 1936-37 (three different examples), 1946-47 and 1950-51; Australia 1952; and various state teams (NSW, Queensland, SA and Victoria) from 1930 to 1953. Other unusual sporting items are Soutar's The Australian Golfer (1906); the autograph and a rare photograph of 'Oppy' while on his 1937 Fremantle-Sydney record-breaking ride; and the lavish official invitation package issued by the Melbourne Olympic Committee in 1948.


Unusual children's books include the very rare true first edition of Mary Fitzgerald's King Bungaree's Pyalla (1891); Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1876, first edition, later impression) with his An Easter Greeting to Every Child who loves 'Alice' tipped in; Ethel Turner's Gum Leaves (1900) with a lengthy signed inscription; the complete run of The Technicon (fourteen issues, 1921-23) issued by the Broken Hill Junior Technical School; and Sinbad the Sailor, illustrated by Edmund Dulac (1914).

Photographs are one of our areas of specialization, and this time we offer albums by Captain Samuel Sweet (22 images of 1880s South Australia) and Hugo Keil (25 signed images of Central Australia from the early 1940), plus another of an excursion to Mt Wudinna in 1911; two cartes de visite of Burra (circa 1880); and a wonderful suite of publicity shots of the Newman Family Variety Performers, those amazing trick cyclists (Adelaide, circa 1900).


The balance of the list includes an interesting miscellany of art, literature, association copies, travel, militaria, trade cataloguesand ephemera.

Online Catalogue #7

Highlights of the current catalogue include choice items in our personal favourite areas of interest, photographs and manuscripts. The key piece is one of the most appealing Australian photographs we have handled – an 1862 extensively hand-coloured half-plate ambrotype, in the original ornate frame, of Corporal William Hill, 'well equipped and accoutred' in the uniform of the 1st Adelaide Rifles. Other noteworthy photographic items are a collection of a dozen images of international musicians and singers, inscribed and signed to an Adelaide impresario in the 1920s and 1930s, and a group of five cartes de visite of a very rural Mornington Peninsula, circa 1870s. Among the autograph items are letters from Governor George Grey, Ion Idriess, and Sir Russell Drysdale, signed items by Oskar Kokoschka, and a very rare large-format pictorial certificate signed by Rear-Admiral Richard Byrd, relating to the Byrd Antarctic Expedition, 1928-30.

Trade catalogues are another of our enthusiasms, and this time we have excelled ourselves with a large folio scrapbook containing 66 samples of fabric (circa 1870), complete in many instances with extensive manuscript technical data. Other examples include 1910 catalogues on guns and tools from the Australian merchants Harris, Scarfe.

Among the rare antiquarian books are three volumes on military tactics and fortifications (1598, 1600 and 1683), a fine set in the original cloth of Jukes' Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of HMS Fly (1847), and an equally fine copy in the original wrappers of Meyer's Manners and Customs of the Aborigines of the Encounter Bay Tribe, South Australia (1846). From a much later period, but probably much rarer, we have mint copies of the two issues of People Magazine from early August 1978 with the controversial photographs by T.G.H. Strehlow. For good measure, we also have Grahame Walsh's three sought-after volumes on Australian Aboriginal rock art.

The balance of the list contains an interesting miscellany including Australian Federation ephemera, a large collection of Jindyworabak literature, vintage children's books, travel and militaria.

Online Catalogue #5

Highlights of the current list are signed copies (many of them first editions) of works by J.M. Coetzee, Seamus Heaney, Colin Thiele, Manning Clark (one inscribed to Bob Brown), and David Malouf, among others.

Interesting Australian Aboriginal material includes Baldwin Spencer's Native Tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia (with the very rare dustwrapper), T.G.H. Strehlow's Songs of Central Australia, Charles Mountford's Nomads of the Australian Desert, the Report of the Horn Scientific Expedition (four volumes, 1896), George Taplin's The Folklore, Manners, Customs, and Languages of the South Australian Aborigines (1879) and two of Grahame Walsh's spectacular studies of Kimberley rock art, Bradshaw Art of the Kimberley and Australia's Greatest Rock Art.

The balance of the list includes an interesting miscellany of vintage photographs, art and photography books, association copies, cricket items, private press books, militaria and ephemera.