Thursday, October 29, 2015

Exhibiting : TORONTO INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOKFAIR November 6-8 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ontario

We are pleased to be returning to Toronto for the TORONTO INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOKFAIR November 6-8, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Visit us at Booth 201, near the entrance to the Fair
Where we will be exhibiting 
Many new arrivals.
We look forward to seeing old friends,
And meeting future friends


We will be bringing vintage photographs, including famous musicians such as Rachmaninoff, Heifetz, Segovia, Menhuin, Van Cliburn, and many more.

 We will also be bring vintage and exotic Travel Photographs from places such as Ceylon,  Malaysia,  Venice,  China,  Burma, Egypt ...

Among the fine and rare books we will be exhibiting, we offer the following preview of 

Captain Cook's Third Voyage

Includes a folding view of "The Death of Cook" not found with the first edition. This publication is based on the official account of Cook's Third Voyage, but was adapted for a wider public by leaving out technical details. The plates are based on those found in the first edition, but have been re-engraved for this edition.


Belcher, Edward.  THE LAST OF THE ARCTIC VOYAGES. Being a Narrative of the Expedition in H.M.S. Assistance, Under the Command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., in Search of Sir John Franklin, during the Years 1852-53-54.  With Notes on the Natural History, by Sir John Richardson, Professor Owen, Thomas Bell, J.W. Salter, and Lovell Reeve.  London: Lovell Reeve, 1855.  2 volumes.  xx + 383pp; vii + 419pp.  36 lithographic plates (12 of which are coloured), 25 text illustrations, 4 charts (3 of which are folding).  Early 20th Century half crimson morocco and cloth boards, raised bands, gilt.    An attractively bound set. 

Belcher led the Admiralty-sponsored five-ship expedition to Wellington Channel in the spring of 1852.  Dividing the squadron into 2 parts, with the North Star remaining at Beechey Island as a base, Belcher sailed with the Assistance and the Pioneer under Sherard Osborn through the Wellington Channel.  The expedition made numerous discoveries there and subsequent sledging parties discovered further islands on their journeys westward.  At this time, the other two expedition ships, Resolute and Intrepid, rescued the crew of M’Clure’s Investigator expedition, also searching for Franklin and the first to travel through the North West passage.  Belcher finally sailed back towards Lancaster Sound, but the expedition ships were unable to penetrate the pack ice and all were eventually abandoned, the crews returning to the North Star.  On his return home, Belcher was court-martialled for his decision to abandon the expedition ships, but acquitted.  [AB 1241] 

For price, please phone 1 888 869 5459

We have recently purchased a small collection of rare arctic books. Please enquire. 1 250 381-2230

Lesson, R. P.  HISTOIRE NATURELLE DES OISEAUX DE PARADIS ET DES ÉPIMAQUES. Paris: Arthus Bertrand.  [1834-1835]. First edition. 4to --Large paper copy. [4] + viii +248pp + [4]. 43 beautiful hand coloured plates ( some large plates double page )--printed in colour and finished by hand by Jean Gabriel Prêtre and Paul Louis Oudart. In near contemporary deluxe full morocco, probably by a French bookbinder, with ornate arabesque corners front and back boards. Handsome copy with plates brightly coloured.

René Primevère Lesson (1794-1849) was a surgeon on board the "Coquille" on Duperrey's circumnavigation of the Pacific (1822 to 1825). Lesson's work on this voyage earned him a place among the prominent French naturalists of the period, including Dumont d'Urville (who was second-in-command on the voyage). The book was initially issued in parts, in 8vo format. This copy intended as a large paper copy, measuring thus 12" x 9", instead of 9" x 6".   Listed in FINE BIRD BOOKS.
From the J. Fenwick Lansdowne Bird Book collection.
We will also be bringing additional rare and fine Bird Books from the J. Fenwick Lansdowne collection, who is best known in British Columbia for BIRDS OF THE WEST COAST, 2 volumes.

Phone for the price 1 888 869-5459

One of the thrills of working as an antiquarian bookseller is to be offered private libraries. This past summer we acquired a notable collection which nearly filled the van.

Your Inquiries are welcome 1 888 869-5459

Friday, March 13, 2015

An Extradordinary Copy of Mackenzie's Voyages First edition 1801 PRESENTATION BINDING

Presentation Binding for Voyages from Montreal


Sir Alexander Mackenzie.  VOYAGES FROM MONTREAL on the River St. Laurence [sic] Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in the Years 1789 and 1793, with a Preliminary Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Fur Trade of That Country.  London: T. Cadell et al., 1801.  1st edition.  4to.  1pp (half-title) + 1pp (title leaf) + viii (Preface) + cxxxii (A General History of the Fur Trade) + 412pp + 2pp (errata).  Engraved frontispiece portrait, 3 large folding engraved maps (1 with hand-coloured details).  Original elaborately tooled burgundy boards (minor marks), seamlessly re-spined using tools of the period to match the style and patterns of the boards.  Occasional and trivial light foxing in a few places. Text and maps clean and crisp.  There are very few binders that could match the skill and techniques required of this restored binding, one of them being Aquarius of London who, in all likelihood, was commissioned to do this binding.  The boards date from approximately 1810, and, given the elaborate rolls and decorations, are typical of a presentation binding from the period, unlike the early and often simple bindings that are found with copies of Mackenzie’s Voyages.  Certainly the finest copy we have had to offer in many years.

Alexander Mackenzie (1764-1820), a fur trader with the North West Company, sought a passage from the Athabasca country to the Pacific Ocean. Following Peter Pond's speculation that the Pacific Ocean could be reached by a water route from Great Slave Lake, his first expedition from Fort Chipewyan in 1789 took him not to the Pacific as he had hoped, but down what would become the Mackenzie River to the “Frozen” or Arctic Ocean. 

In his second attempt, he ascended the Peace River by canoe and on foot, and crossed over into the headwaters of what he thought was the Columbia River (but was actually the Fraser River).  After being turned back by its unmanageable and torrential currents, he and his party decided to make an overland attempt to reach the Pacific Ocean.  In this they were successful, and arrived near the present site of Bella Coola, on the British Columbia coast.  

Further information can be found on our Abebooks website at

and at the Canadian Dictionary of Biography