10th Apr, 2024 10:30 GMT/BST

Books, Maps & Manuscripts

  Lot 82


Photographs - Challenger Expedition.
‘Views taken during the cruise of H.M.S. Challenger’.
An oblong quarto album containing eighty-one photographs taken during the first stage of the 1872-76 Challenger Expedition, a joint venture between the Royal Society of London and the British Admiralty to carry out an oceanographic circumnavigation.
The photographic collection commences with a photograph of the members of the Royal Society at Sheerness, followed by two groups of Officers then views of Lisbon (7), a photograph of a drawing of a Naturalist’s room, Gibraltar (2 panoramic and 10 single), Madeira (1 panoramic and 5 single), Teneriffe (2 panoramic and 4 single), St. Thomas’s Island, West Indies (1 panoramic and 11 single), Bermuda (1 panoramic and 30 single including a monument erected by the ship for a Naval Schoolmaster and a ‘Boy, First Class killed by accident March 25th 1873’ *), three photographs of an Ocean Section, a biological specimen and a Cricketing Party from H.M.S, Challenger. (*An account of the accident which occurred during dredging appears in Lord John Campbell’s Log-Letters from ‘The Challenger’, 1877.)
1872-3, various sizes including 140mm x 185mm, 134mm x 187mm, 150mm x 200mm, panoramas vary from two sheet 145mm x 387mm to six sheet, 130mm x 1120mm, mounted on both sides of card leaves with manuscript captions below. Some creasing to panoramas and foxing to mounts. All edges gilt, worn diced calf binding with brass corners and clasp mounts (clasp not present), brass monogram to upper board - ‘J.B.’, possibly the album of John Young Buchanan (1844-1925), chemist to the expedition.
[Departing from Britain in December 1872, ‘Challenger sounded, dredged and trawled the floors of the world’s oceans at no fewer than 362 locations, before returning in June 1876. The results of the voyage, encompassing the physical, chemical, geological, zoological and botanical dimensions of the ocean were published in fifty quarto volumes.’
‘The Challenger Expedition established the foundations of oceanography and is second only to Darwin’s voyage aboard the Beagle for its contribution to nineteenth-century science’. Rehbock (P.F.), At Sea with the Scientifics. 1992].

[Provenance by repute - Sotheby's, Groombridge Place, Kent, 15/9/92]

Sold for £3,800
Estimated at £800 - £1,200


Auction: Books, Maps & Manuscripts, 10th Apr, 2024

The sale includes a sketchbook of drawings of Southern China attributed to George Chinnery. English artist George Chinnery (1774-1852) left an extraordinary record of everyday life in Southern China in the early to mid-19th century, which has become an important source of historical information on the region.

Further highlights include an interesting archive of letters and ephemera relating to the composer and bandmaster Charles Coote (1809-1880), personal pianist to William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, and bandmaster and composer for stage productions put on by Charles Dickens. There is also several collections of 19th century photographs including an outstanding album with many views of Eton College and the River Thames at Windsor, Trinity College Cambridge, Switzerland, Gibraltar and Malta as well as an important photographic record of the Challenger Expedition, generally considered to be the foundation of oceanography. 

Single owner collections include a large quantity of books on Polar Exploration and early Whaling. We are also pleased to offer a selection of books from the library of Fred Gettings, prolific author and expert on astrology, symbolism and arcane lore. The library includes many early editions of Nostradamus with several manuscript works on the famous French astrologer.


Tuesday 9th April 10am-5pm and morning of sale from 8am

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