London, Dulau, 1896.
Quarto, four volumes, [ii], xviii, 220 pages with illustrations and a map plus 11 pages of plates and a large folding map (650 × 615 mm); [ii], iv, 432 pages with illustrations plus 28 pages of plates (1 folding, 11 in colour) and a corrigenda slip at page 1; [vi], 204 pages with illustrations plus 9 pages of plates (2 folding); and [vi], 200 pages with illustrations plus 20 pages of plates (6 folding, 4 of them in colour).
Blue binder's cloth lettered in gilt on the spine (similar to the original bindings), all edges uncut; spines sunned, with light uneven sunning to a few sides; tidemark to the verso of one front flyleaf; early Queensland Parliamentary Library inkstamp on the initial blank or half-title, and the title page, of each volume; first and last pages offset; uncut leading edges very lightly chipped, with three short edge tears (and one to the stub panel of the map) neatly sealed; minimal signs of use and age; overall an excellent set (scarcely opened since the binder and librarian left their marks).
The purpose of this scientific expedition, sponsored by mining magnate and philanthropist William Austin Horn, and with Charles Winnecke as commander and surveyor, was to examine the MacDonnell Ranges on the not unreasonable premise that 'when the rest of the Continent was submerged the elevated portions of the McDonnell [sic] Range existed as an island, and that consequently older forms of life might be found in the more inaccessible parts'. This in fact proved not to be the case, but the expedition (of some fourteen weeks and 2000 camel miles) was an outstanding success. 'It was not the intention ... to explore a new region ... But in the pursuit of natural history the expedition split into independent groups and explored undiscovered areas, thus filling in more of the blank spaces in this vast region' (Feeken, Feeken and Spate). 'These volumes constitute one of the most substantial contributions in nineteenth-century Australian exploration [but perhaps more importantly, the expedition is] a landmark in anthropological history because it resulted in [Baldwin] Spencer meeting Frank Gillen' (Mulvaney). [4 items].