COLLINS, David (1756 - 1810)
An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales :
With Remarks on the Dispositions, Customs, Manners, &c. of the Native Inhabitants of that Country. [Together with] An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales from its first Settlement, in January 1788, to August 1801: with Remarks on the Dispositions, Customs, Manners, &c. of the Native Inhabitants of that Country. To which are added, some particulars of New Zealand; compiled, by permission, from the Mss. of Lieutenant-Governor King; and an account of a voyage performed by Captain Flinders and Mr Bass; by which the existence of a Strait separating Van Diemen’s Land from the continent of New Holland was ascertained. Abstracted from the Journal of Mr Bass. London : T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1798 – 1802. First editions. Two volumes, quarto, contemporary speckled calf with gilt borders, spines in compartments with gilt bands and contrasting red and black morocco title labels, some small chips and edge wear, marbled endpapers with the bookseller’s label of Asperne of London, vol. I pp. [ii], folding map, xx, xl, 619, 18 double page engraved plates, large folding chart, four vignette engravings; vol. II pp. [ii]; frontispiece engraving, map, xvi; 336, 3 full page engraved plates, black and white plate, four vignettes (one hand coloured), pale foxing to a few plates, the text largely clean, overall a fine, complete set retaining both the half-titles.
A fine set of the first edition of Judge Advocate David Collins’ journal of the First Fleet, with its striking series of plates illustrating Aboriginal people and their customs based on the sketches of Thomas Watling, supplemented with the rare second volume which describes the development of the colony in its first thirteen years. ‘The second volume is of the greatest importance, not only for its detailed chronicle of events but because of its narrative of voyages and expeditions of discovery … The journals of Bass and Flinders are of particular importance since Bass’s journal has never been recovered and … the accounts of inland expeditions recorded in the journals of John Price and Henry Hacking are singularly interesting. Quite apart from the exploration interest of these journals, they provide the first report of the existence of the koala, the earliest recorded sighting of a wombat on mainland Australia and the first report of the discovery of the lyrebird, which is for the first time described and illustrated in colour’ (Wantrup).
Ferguson, 263 & 350; Wantrup, 19 & 20; Hill 335 (first volume)