Hordern House Rare Books

Member of ANZAAB - Australia

Since 1985 Hordern House has been a centre for antiquarian material in all forms, especially dealing with voyages and travels, discovery and exploration, as well as Australiana, and classic fields of rare book collecting.

We are now located in a former warehouse in Surry Hills, Sydney. Visitors are welcome by appointment.

We issue catalogues and lists online.

Explore our website to see a wide range of stock in various fields.


GRAY, Robert. The Entomology of Australia… Part I… the genus Phasma…
Rare: all published. The beautifully drawn and handcoloured plates of The Entomology of Australia make it one of the finest of all Australian illustrated natural history books, and one of a very select group of important colour-plate books on Australian natural history issued before 1840; others in this category include the famous books by Smith and Lewin. Gray’s was the second separately published work on Australian entomology.
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Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera. London, 1733-1737
First edition, first issue of Pine’s Horace: a particularly fine example of this masterpiece of book-design and ‘remarkable enterprise in engraving’ (DNB). With every page fully engraved -- including not only the plates, portraits, vignettes, initials and other decorations, but all text too -- it is a tour-de-force of the art, and one of its most famous exemplars. This first issue is identified by having the uncorrected reading ‘Post est’ in the caption to the Caesar medallion on p.108 of the second volume (in later issues it would be corrected to ‘Potest’). The extensive lists of subscribers
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SMITH, James Edward. A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland…London, 1793
The first separately published book on Australian botany. The Specimen of the Botany of New Holland contains the first illustrations of a number of Australian species, including the waratah. According to a note in the preface the drawings on which the fine hand-coloured plates were based were done in the colony by John White, the Surgeon-General, who was a keen amateur natural history artist and collector. White’s own Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, published in 1790, celebrated the new colony’s ornithology in particular
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Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants…
A very fine and attractively bound copy of the first and only edition of one of Hooker's rarest and most beautifully illustrated works; an important work, it includes specimens from Australia described by Robert Brown, colonial botanist Charles Fraser, and Allan Cunningham. A particularly notable inclusion is the Banksia verticillata (no. 96) from western Australia, first noticed at King George Sound by Archibald Menzies on the Vancouver voyage “and brought by him to our gardens in 1794”; this banksia, now considered vulnerable, was later codified by Robert Brown when he returned to the region
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