Voyages: A Catalogue from Australia
The final piece to this tragic puzzle is Peter Dillon’s Voyage aux Iles de la Mer du Sud, en 1827 et 1828… Dillon was a trader in the Solomon Islands when he was shown a sword he suspected to have come from the La Perouse voyage. This led to his own adventures in search of the lost expedition. He finally located the wreck of one of the ships and various other artifacts on Vanikoro Island. Identification of the artifacts would later be confirmed by the no longer youthful de Lesseps. Item 67. AU$5,500, US$3,880.
Item 12 is the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836… The authors are Phillip Parker King, Robert Fitzroy, and best known of all, Charles Darwin. It was on the second voyage, that of the Beagle from 1831-1836, that Darwin accompanied Fitzroy and undertook his study of flora and fauna in the tropics. Darwin would later write of his time on the Beagle as “the most important event in my life” and “I owe to the voyage the first real training or education of my mind.” Darwin’s journal, now better known as The Voyage of The Beagle, comprises volume three of this four-volume set. AU$55,000. US$38,802.
Then there’s the unusual. Item 23 is John Bulwer’s Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d: or The Artificiall Changling Historically presented, in the mad and cruell Gallantry, foolish Bravery, ridiculous Beauty, filthy Finenesse, and loathsome Loveliness of most Nations, fashioning and altering their Bodies from the mould intended by Nature… From 1653, this is the earliest study of tattooing and other forms of body “mutilation.” It’s a combination of fact and fiction taken from various reports world travelers had brought back to England. Bulwer was evidently both appalled and fascinated by these practices, which he considered a debasement of God’s image in man. AU$18,500, US$13,052.
Another oddity is a German book created by Karl Maria Seywell, Geheimes Tagebuch von Christoph Columbus… Published in 1892, it was meant to look like an original Columbus journal that had been fished up from the bottom of the sea. To perpetrate this myth, the publisher used such techniques as encrusting seashells to the book’s cover. Item 28. AU$6,000. US$4,233.
Hordern House can be reached on the web at www.hordern.com or by phone at (61-2) 9356 4411.