Products for the Home 1920s through 1950sPublished on 23 Aug. 2011
Catalogues, pamphlets and brochures for a wide variety of home products: practical items such as plumbing fixtures, millwork, hardware, and various building materials (e.g. brick, marble) as well as catalogues and brochures promoting products that add the final touch to interior décor: booklets detailing wall paper and paint products, furniture and accessories, curtains, light fixtures, small appliances, etc. Of particular interest from a social history standpoint are the pamphlets and brochures that target the female consumer. There are a considerable number of these; they serve to illustrate the power and peril associated with choosing home products that must, by necessity, fulfill functional demands while comporting to an understood "refined taste."[...] Read more
The Great South LandPublished on 16 Aug. 2011
This catalogue of books and maps tells the story of a New World. Unlike the American discoveries to which that phrase is often taken to refer, this New World is the result of a push to the east and the south. The story of its development from theory to actuality is also the story of the exploration, exploitation, and occupation of the East Indies, South East Asia, and the Pacific as the competing national interests played out their grand battle.
As this catalogue amply attests, the early modern voyages have a fascinating pre-history which stretches back to the classical geographers, whose works became some of the most important early printed books in the late 1400s and 1500s. Gradually the early imaginings became replaced by the belief that a vast Southern Continent could contain riches and exotica: the Ophir of King Solomon, the lands reported by Marco Polo and golden islands, reputed to have been known to the Incas, lying somewhere in the South Pacific. When Quirós though he had found it he grandly named it Austrialia del Spiritu Santo.
This catalogue is arranged in sections that will approximately tell the story of these speculations and discoveries. There are separate sections for the major exploring nations - the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and English. It makes a splendid roll-call: Marco Polo, Mandeville, Varthema, the first Dutch trading fleets chronicled by Lodewijcksz and Spilbergen, Jansz and the Duyfken, Quiros, Mendaña and Torres; Schouten and Le Maire showing another way across the Pacific; Tasman; Pelsaert's Batavia and the first noteworthy - and hair-raising - events in west Australia; King Manuel and Pope Leo X, Drake's great voyage, and finally William Dampier, the first English landing on the Australian continent at the cusp of the eighteenth century.
Twenty-four manuscripts: a collection of original documents & holograph letters 1755-1872Published on 08 Feb. 2011
many beautiful items is a letter from the Russian voyager Grigory Mulovsky to Georg Forster about their planned Pacific and Australian voyage in 1787; a charming letter by an elderly Louis de Bougainville to his fellow Pacific-voyager Louis de Freycinet, regarding a veteran of the Baudin voyage; a detailed letter from the Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones to Thomas Jefferson regarding the outifitting of the La Pérouse voyage; the original manuscript log of the "Marquis of Rockingham" on its first and only voyage before being purchased by the Navy Board and renamed HMS Resolution for Cook's second voyage; and an amazing letter and ship's manifest for an early trading voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Sydney on board the Rose.[...] Read more
Australia in the Eighteenth CenturyPublished on 08 Feb. 2011
A collection of material relating to eighteenth-century Australia, including many of the foundation works of discovery and settlement. The centrepiece of the catalogue is Daniel Gardner's portrait in oils of Edward Riou, hero of the wreck of the Guardian, painted before he sailed as a midshipman on Cook's third voyage; there is also Fabricius' 1775 work on entomology, the first work to study the insects collected by Banks and Solander on the Endeavour voyage; fine copies of the major First Fleet publications, including a set of Governor Phillip and Surgeon White's accounts bound for Viscount Courtenay; the first scientific description of a platypus by Everard Home; beautiful sets of both the French and English editions of the La Pérouse voyage; and a marvellous copy of Thomas Jefferys' American Atlas, the most comprehensive survey of the American colonies at the beginning of the Revolution and which includes several charts based on the work of James Cook.[...] Read more