Highlights

Each year our exhibitors bring rare, beautiful and unusual items for sale.

Here are just a few of the exhibitors' highlights that were at the Fair in 2023!

There are a number of pages of highlights. To browse all the highlights - choose a page from the list below.

You can also check the highlights listed under your favourite booksellers in the exhibitor directory.

Although the 2023 Fair has now closed, some of these items may still be available from our Exhibitors if you wish to contact them.

DIGGLES, Sylvester. The ornithology of Australia.
$26000
Folio, 120 hand-coloured lithographed plates finished with gum arabic, each with a single leaf of descriptive letterpress. Contemporary black morocco (almost certainly a Brisbane Sapsford binding), sides panelled within an ornamental gilt border, modern spine expertly bound to match, gilt edges. Foxed as usual, marginal text and plate tears, all expertly repaired. The ink signatures of J. L. Cribb and George H. Barker on the blank preliminary leaf as well as a pencil annotation and collation in an early hand. Very scarce.
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Walton, The Rev. W. H. Murray. Scrambles in Japan and Formosa.
$1500
London: Edward Arnold, 1934. First Edition. 8vo. original cloth gilt in dustwrapper; pp. 304, with 26 plates & 2 folding maps. A superb copy in an excellent example of the scarce dustwrapper, about fine. Although there were few major peaks in the Japanese Alps not been scaled before Western alpine pioneers, climbing as a leisure activity was a novel idea to the Japanese. In this context, the mountaineering achievements of Walter Weston and those that followed, H. E. Daunt and Murray Walton, are an enduring legacy of pre-war Anglo-Japanese relations.
LAVOISIER, M.; HENRY, Thomas [Trans.] Essays on the effects produced by various processes on Atmospheric Air; with a particular view to an investigation of the constitution of the acids.
$2000
London: Warrington, Printed by W. Eyres for J. Johnston, 1783. First English Language Edition. Octavo : pp. vii [viii] + [2] 141 + [3, List of Books lately published by J. Johnston] : now custom clamshell box with red leather title panel lettered in gilt. [DUVEEN 336] Lacks covers and half title; toned, foxed and brittle; title page detached; thereafter first gathering detached; chips and water stains. The collected essays show the development of Lavoisier's thinking and in the penultimate essay (VIII) the term "oxyginous principle" (principe oxygin, i.e. oxygen) appears for the first time.
The adventures of a woman in search of her rights
[RESERVED]. Boston and New York : Lee & Shepherd, [1871]. A rare example of this significant feminist work by English artist Florence Claxton, an early suffragist who spent part of her adolescence in Sydney, New South Wales in the 1850s. Claxton largely withdrew from professional artistic life after her marriage in 1868, and committed suicide in 1920. Until relatively recently, her small but potent oeuvre, comprised mostly of acerbic and incisive book and magazine illustrations, has been largely neglected.
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Darwin (Erasmus) THE BOTANIC GARDEN.
$20000
Darwin (Erasmus) THE BOTANIC GARDEN; A Poem, in Two Parts. Part I. Containing The Economy of Vegetation. Part II. The Loves of the Plants. With Philosophical Notes. [Two parts in one volume]. printed for J. Johnson, London, 1791. First edition of Part I and Third edition of Part II, being the First edition of the complete work. *With an autograph letter, signed, from Erasmus Darwin to Sir Joseph Banks, dated October 14 [17]81: 4 pages, small printed name label ‘ERASMUS DARWIN’ at foot of first page. This is accompanied by a short ALs from Francis Darwin to John Enys. $20,000
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MASON, Major George Henry (attributed). THE PUNISHMENTS OF CHINA, Illustrated by Twenty-two Engravings with Explanations in English and French.
$1450
London, printed for William Miller by S. Gosnell, 1808 [later issue]. Folio, with 22 fine handcoloured stipple engraved plates by J. Dadley, bound with new endpapers in early straight grain morocco, the boards within elaborate embossed and gilt frames, the backstrip preserving remnants of the original lettering, all edges gilt. As often, this is a later issue with some plates watermarked in 1817. Mason's time as a British army officer in Canton in 1789 gave him the opportunity to illustrate local customs and costumes, and he also provided the text for each plate. See Abbey Travel, 532.