About Gaston Renard Pty. Ltd.

The antiquarian book firm of Gaston Renard Pty. Ltd. was founded in Brisbane, Australia in 1945 by Gaston Renard (1914-1990). In 1948 he moved to Melbourne where he established a growing Australian and international business specialising in Australiana, Voyages and Travels and Natural History catering to both institutional and private customers. In 1959 he conducted the first of several ground-breaking Auction Sales with the sale of the library of the noted naturalist Charles Barrett. This was followed by further sales of the libraries of Dr. Ralph Pilkington (1963), A. L. Tremewen (1964) and the celebrated F. G. Coles collection in 1965. Each of these sales established new records for Australian book sales. After the Coles sale in 1965 Gaston Renard again moved the business to Croydon, Surrey, England where the international side of the business flourished, but ultimately the call of the Eucalypt proved too strong and he returned to Melbourne in 1970. In 1976 the present proprietor, his son Julien Renard, joined the firm and in 1981 the tradition of record-breaking auction sales was continued with the sale of the library of Clive Turnbull. In 1982, Julien Renard took over the running of the firm and continued to develop the mail-order side of the business (always a strong point since the early days). Further record auction sales were held in 1988 (the Bremer collection), 1989 (the personal library of the long-time Melbourne bookseller Bruce Evans of H. A. Evans), and 1994 (three magnificent libraries of Antarctica, Australian Exploration and Australian Art books). Today, Julien Renard is still available for consultation on private library disposals and in conjunction with established Australian auctioneering firms can offer a cataloguing and auction service second to none.

Gaston Renard Pty. Ltd. is today principally a mail-order and Internet business specialising in fine and rare books on Antarctica, Australian Exploration, Voyages and Travels, Bligh & the Bounty Mutiny and early Natural History. In addition to dealing in Antiquarian Books, Gaston Renard has recently established two new ventures in publishing. Our Book Explorer series of CD-Roms comprises searchable electronic texts of Australian explorations. Using unique and specially developed technology for the PC these CD-Roms enable sophisticated study of the original published source texts as well as zoomable maps and illustrations. Eight titles are already available including the accounts of John McDouall Stuart, First Fleet Surgeon-General John White, Thomas Mitchell's Tropical Australia, Charles Sturt's Southern Australia, John Macgillivray's Rattlesnake voyage, Ludwig Leichhardt's Overland Expedition John Oxley's Two Expeditions and Watkin Tench's Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay, and further titles are in preparation.

Our second new venture, under the imprint Edition Renard, comprises a more conventional publishing program of fine limited editions of important Australian works. The first title, John White's Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, complete with 65 coloured plates, elegantly typeset in Garamond, and finely bound in full Australian goatskin was issued in 2002 and a few copies are still available. The second title, Aboriginal Life in Old Australia, a fine "enhanced facsimile" of John Heaviside Clark's Field Sports of the Native Inhabitants of New South Wales, uniquely bound in emu and kangaroo leathers is also available. Our third title, an elegant type-facsimile of Watkin Tench's Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay was issued in 2004, and is available in cloth and half-leather versions. Our fourth title is a fine facsimile edition of James Edward Smith's Botany of New Holland (1793-94), with 16 fine coloured plates. Our fifth title is a new edition of the very rare private account of Governor Hunter's period of early Australian history, George Bond's A Brief Account of the Colony of New South Wales, first published in 1803, available in an inexpensive format in both hardcover and limp versions. Our sixth title is a fine facsimile of John William Lewin's very rare Prodromus Entomology. Lepidopterous Insects of New South Wales, first published in 1805, with 18 fine coloured plates. It is available in three versions in the style of the original bindings of the first and second editions of 1805 and c. 1821. Our seventh title, issued in 2007 a companion to our first, and in matching format, is The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, complete with 56 charts and plates of which 31 are finely coloured from the rare deluxe issue of the first edition of 1789. Our eighth title, issued late 2009, is a new edition, finely edited by Robert M. Warneke, of the very rare whaling narrative by Robert Jarman first published in 1838: A Voyage to the South Seas in the "Japan" employed in the Sperm Whale Fishery, complete with portrait of the Author, extensive notes, chronology, bibliography and index.

Several other titles are in the early stages of preparation. Further information on Edition Renard can be found here