ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY THE FIRST SEVENTY FIVE YEARS LIMITED EDITION
This is an extremely large and rare volume
Printed in 1986 to commemorate the 75th anniversay
of the Royal Australian Navy
Only 350 copies were produced and this one is numbered 218.
It is a huge book measuring 36cm x 44cm and contains 278 pages.
Is is personally signed on page (ix) by the artist, the Chief of Naval Staff
and by the author.
It was produced in Australia (mainly Sydney) with only
the paintings being reproduced in Hong Kong.
The binding was produced in buckram and buffalo leather
and according to the publisher's note
"marks the culmination of some years of preparation and planning ".
The most difficult task was "the selection of a marine artist
whose work would be of a standard acceptable to the Navy
and the naval historians".
In 1983 the publishers began talks with Phil Belbin, a Sydney artist
of some note and the rest as they say is history.
Mr Belbin furnished them with 26 originals of outstanding quality
(in my humble opinion) and who obviously 'understood' his subject.
All the plates are in excellent condition as is the volume generally.
The only faults I can find is some foxing to the front binding
(but absolutely none on the inside) and a tiny bit of the blue buckram
on the front has separated from the lower right corner section of leather.
A leather bookmark had been left between the front cover and first
blank page leaving a brownish mark.
A few of the clear acetate(?) sheets protecting the lithographs
have wrinkled a little from the weight and one had is corner folded over.
The outer buckram and cardboard protective sleeve has some minor
marks as well from age but no tears or damage as such.
This is a fascinating and important piece of Australian Naval history