Rare Aviation Books

Member of ANZAAB - Australia

Rare Aviation Books is a specialty bookshop located in Sydney Australia, with a large stock of books, manuscripts, magazines, ephemera, and realia relating to the history of flight. The business was founded in 2014 by Professor Marshall Silver, a geotechnical engineer with a lifelong passion for the history of aeronautics. We take some pride in both the rarity and condition of our books and other collectible items.

We are the only antiquarian booksellers in the world with an exclusive focus on aviation, and are well positioned to assist in collection development. Despite the specialised nature of the business, our stock encompasses a diverse range of materials, from children's books and adventure stories through to technical manuals and engineering resources.

Our shopfront is located in the heart of Sydney at Argyle Place in the historical Rocks district, within easy walking distance of Circular Quay and Wynyard train stations. All visitors are welcome, but we do ask you to ring ahead to ensure the business is attended.

We have several thousand volumes stored offsite in Sydney, and are happy to arrange for inspection of these books prior to purchase. Fresh material is regularly added to our website.

Given the international scope of aviation history, we are proud to stock books in a wide range of languages including French, German, and Italian. Our bookstore manager, Ms. Clotilde Lancereau, is a native French speaker and can actively assist with the acquisition of rare French language books and manuscripts.

Customer satisfaction is our priority, and we are pleased to announce recent membership in the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers

Highlights

Jüdische Flieger im Kriege ein Blatt der Erinnerung by THEILHABER, Dr. Felix A.
$725
Berlin: Louis Lamm, 1919. Octavo, printed wrappers, 52 pp., four plates. Well preserved in the original publisher's printed wrappers. Scarce early booklet defending the role and valour of German-Jewish aviators in the First World War. Printed in 1919, this is the scarce first edition and was followed by an enlarged second edition of 1924. The author, Felix Aaron Theilhaber (1884-1956), was a physician and gynaecologist based in Berlin and Jena. As a young man he visited Palestine and remained committed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland for the remainder of his life.
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Catalogue of an Exhibition of Paintings, Pastels, Drawings and Woodcuts illustrating Col. T.E. Lawrence's book "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". With prefaces by Bernard Shaw and T.E. Lawrence [LAWRENCE, Colonel T.E.] SHAW, George Bernard
$1000
The catalogue was issued by prestigious London based Leicester gallery, under the auspices of Cecil Phillips and Oliver Brown. The calibre of Leicester Galleries is evidenced by the advertisement on the rear wrapper for previous shows, including painting and sculptures by Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Gauguin and the like. The present T.E. Lawrence exhibition, of which this catalogue is an extant record, featured original artworks by William Roberts, Eric Kennington, Augustus John, Henry Lamb, Paul Nash, R.M. Young, Cosmo Clark, Colin Gill and Frank Dobson.
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Story of "Southern Cross" Trans-Pacific Flight 1928 KINGSFORD-SMITH, C.E. [Charles Edward] and ULM, C.T.P. [Charles Thomas Philippe]
$1500
Sydney: Penlington & Somerville, 1928. Small octavo, original blue decorated cloth, 228 pp, with 34 double-sided photo plates. Some spotting, otherwise a well-preserved copy in dust-jacket. First edition. That memorable feat of flying across the Pacific Ocean from California to Australia is vividly recorded in "Story of Southern Cross Trans-pacific Flight", which is illustrated with more than seventy photographs.
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War Birds Diary of an unknown aviator. Illustrated by Clayton Knight [John MacGavock Grider] and KNIGHT, Clayton [illustrator]
$1000
New York: George H. Doran, 1926. Octavo, half bound, hand marbled paper, 282 pp., frontispiece, many illustrations both in colour and black and white. A beautiful copy. An unusual large format copy of this classic book, here signed by commanding officers of the Squadron, and recently rebound by a master binder in splendid style. This special edition was limited to 210 copies autographed by the commanding officers and the artist. This particular instance is the publisher's file copy, and is marked as such.
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Unique collection of Royal Flying Corps personal training materials from the Ruffy-Baumann aerial training school at Hendon [GARDNER, Flight Lieutenant C. C.] Royal Flying Corps
$1200
London: Royal Flying Corps, 1916. Collection of First World War personal training materials, comprising the following: original ring-bound notebook issued by the Royal Flying Corps with motto and insignia blocked on the front cover. The notebook measures 155 x 225 mm and contains approximately 100 sheets within card section dividers. In addition to the notebook itself, this collection includes a suite of 15 original photographs from the Ruffy-Baumann aerial training school at Hendon; with manuscript notations to the reverse indicating the identity of the owner (see description below).
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Notes d'un pilote disparu (1916-1917) "Lieutenant Marc" [VILLARS, Jean Beraud]
$750
Paris : Hachette, 1918. First edition. Small octavo, [x], 224, [4] pp., contemporary gilt lettered quarter green cloth. An attractive copy. Originally published under the nom de guerre ‘Lieutenant Marc’ in 1918, the real author was identified in the 1970's as Jean Beraud Villars. This book was so critical of the French military and aircraft manufacturers (who he alleged supplied inferior aircraft) that Villars could not publish it under his own name. This is the censored and redacted French first edition.
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Les avions allemands by MASMEJEAN, A. [Auguste]
$700
Paris: Librairie Aéronautique, circa 1916. Octavo, original beige wrappers with blue lettering, 64 pp. (last blank), six large folding plates. Wrappers moderately dust-stained and a little chipped at extremities, internally fresh and unmarked, overall a pleasing uncut copy. Scarce and detailed technical handbook of two German fighter planes (Aviatik and Fokker), prepared for French aviators and mechanics during the First World War. Of special interest are the six perfectly preserved folding plates detailing Mercedes and Oberursel engines.
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The Atmotic Ship BLAND, William
$7500
Sydney: David Mason Printer, circa 1866. Single printed sheet measuring 570 x 445 mm. Backed on linen, slight loss of text due to a split at folds (now repaired), otherwise in good condition. A rare and desirable piece of early Australian aeronautical history, being one of the earliest instances of aviation design published in the colony of New South Wales. Dr. William Bland (1789-1868) was a surgeon, politician, medical humanitarian, and convicted murderer (following a duel in Bombay in 1813 whilst serving as naval surgeon aboard the Hesper).
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