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A Series of Lithographic Drawings of Sydney and its Environs . Coloured £1 8s. - Plain 13s. 6d
Sydney: J.G. Austin, 1836. Oblong quarto, eight lithographed plates; stab-sewn in printed yellow titling-wrapper with a later back wrapper; a fine copy preserved in a cloth case. Long term consignment. Sydney portrayed in lithography. A very desirable set of Austin's famous but extremely rare Sydney views, among the earliest lithographic views to have been published in the colony. In April 1836 Austin began work on his series of views of Sydney and its surroundings based on original drawings by the painter Robert Russell. Although he originally planned a series of twenty-four, just sixteen such views had been published by the end of 1836 and the series was halted by his death in 1837. Austin prepared the views using the relatively new method of lithography. The first lithographic press to arrive in the colony had been brought out by Governor Brisbane in the early 1820s for his astronomical work at the Parramatta Observatory. It did not see much use, but was discovered by Augustus Earle who began to make prints from it in the late 1820s, and ultimately owned it. (As Butler points out, another press may have arrived in the colony by 1828 as the surveyor Bemi produced some maps while Thomas Mitchell, the Surveyor-General, produced a few images). Earle failed to find a buyer for the press on his departure in 1828, so this was very likely the press that by 1834 was in use by the printmaker and publisher J.G. Austin shortly after his arrival in Sydney. Not long afterwards Austin formed a partnership with William Fernyhough, draughtsman and lithographer. The publishing history of Austin's views is poorly recorded. In total, 16 plates were issued in four parts in 1836. The following year, a "collected" edition appeared, published over Austin's 12 Bridge Street address. However, no full set of this collected edition appears to be recorded, and it seems that Austin issued the series in different configurations according to what plates he had available. Thus, Ferguson notes only two copies, a set in the Mitchell Library with 12 plates from the series, and a second set in the National Library with seven plates from the series separately mounted. This set in its striking original yellow wrappers contains respectively numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 15 from the full series. As usual the colophon on some plates has Austin's earlier Hunter Street address. The plates appear in the following order: Catholic Chapel (Hyde Park) Lower Lodge, Govt. Domain Government House, Sydney La Perouse Monument, Botany Bay Old Windmill, Government Domain Toll Gate and Benevolent Asylum, George Street South St James Church, Supreme Court House South Head Light House (Port Jackson).
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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