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A View of Dawes Battery at the Entrance of Sydney Cove
Rudolph Ackermann, dated September 1, London 1820 - Engraved view measuring 230 x 335mm. (plate size), early handcolouring. An early engraved view of Sydney Cove, itself the extraordinary outcome of the fruitful relationship between two convict engravers, Walter Preston and Joseph Lycett, and the artistically talented army officer Major James Wallis.This plate forms the frontispiece of Wallis' fine album of Australian views titled An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales published by Ackermann in London in 1821. The plate was engraved by the convict artist Walter Preston whose considerable talents came to the attention of Major Wallis, then commander of the convict settlement at Newcastle. At the time, Newcastle enjoyed a fearsome reputation for as a place for secondary punishment and was described by a contemporary officer as 'the Hell of New South Wales'.For many years the attribution of Wallis as the artist of the views in An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales was a matter of historical conjecture (the implication being that he had appropriated the work of Preston and Lycett). However, the recent revelation of original watercolour material by Wallis establishes him as the artist. Not that this fact diminishes the achievement of the convict engravers: Preston was tasked with working upon the only copper sheets available, manufactured for sheathing the hulls of ships, a difficult material softer than standard engraving copper.Ultimately, both Preston and Lycett were pardoned by Macquarie on Wallis' recommendation, in no small part because of their work on this book. When Wallis departed Australia in 1819 he took the plates with him to London where this book was published by Ackermann, complete with an introductory history of the colony and a map of Port Macquarie by the surveyor John Oxley. Small closed tear affects upper blank margin (image entirely unaffected, now expertly repaired); very good.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-12-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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