# 29462

LEICHHARDT, Ludwig (1813-1848)

Journal of an overland expedition in Australia from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845.

$14,400.00 AUD

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London : T. &​ W. Boone, 1847. First edition. Octavo, bound in period style with half-calf over marbled papered boards, spine in compartments with contrasting morocco title labels, pp. xx, 544, 8 (publisher’s advertisements); frontispiece and [6] aquatint plates (1 folding), internally clean; with the rare separately issued, hand-coloured map on three sheets (as issued: note that the maps are not laid down on linen like the Davidson Collection set which sold at auction in 2006), each sheet 650 x 800 mm, all maps well preserved, Japanese tissue reinforcement along the folds, all folding to octavo size and housed in a matching portfolio box; the two volumes housed in a custom buckram box with calf trim (some insect marks).

Rare set, complete with the separately issued maps, of this important account, published after Leichhardt had already set out on his final expedition.

Leichhardt’s first expedition, which took over a year to complete, was one of the most significant conducted by Australian explorers in the nineteenth century, opening up much of the rich interior of northern Australia. The expedition arrived at Port Essington in December, 1845, with the loss of only one of its members (the ornithologist, John Gilbert), having set out from southern Queendlsnd in September of the previous year. The fact that Leichhardt and his party were to disappear without trace on his next expedition, and that his ultimate fate remains a matter of conjecture, has understandably contributed to the ongoing fascination that this explorer holds for historians and the public alike. The brass nameplate from Leichhardt’s gun, acquired by the National Museum of Australia in 2006, was reputedly discovered in a boab tree in the vicinity of Sturt Creek, between the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts on the western side of the border between Western Australia and the Northern Territory border. This is compelling evidence that Leichhardt did not meet his fate in the Gulf of Carpentaria region, but remarkably managed to traverse two-thirds of the continent from east to west before he perished.


WANTRUP, Jonathan. Thomas and William Boone’s library of Australian travels, Melbourne : Australian Book Auctions, 2019, pp. 95 – 108.

WANTRUP, Jonathan. Australian rare books 1788 – 1900. Sydney : Hordern House, 1987, pp. 211.

Wantrup, 138a & 139; Ferguson, 4571

Provenance :

Geoffrey Ingleton, his bookplates to each volume.