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Panoramic View of King George's Sound, Part of the Colony of Swan River
London: J. Cross, 1834. Some wear to folds and a little light ageing to verso, otherwise a fine copy.. Folding panorama, 180 x 2745 mm.; handcoloured etching and aquatint, captioned with title and "London Pubd. as the Act Directs Octr. 1834, by Robt Havell, 77 Oxford Street" This famously important and beautiful view, here in fine and bright condition, is very rare indeed. Dale's Panorama was the most ambitious print-making attempt to portray the Australian landscape undertaken in the first half of the nineteenth century. Very few complete examples survive today, no doubt because the aquatint is of an amazing length, almost three metres.The panorama shows the very beginnings of settlement in the west. Rarely is it possible to be witness at such a moment in a country's history: this astonishing and vivid panorama, published in 1834, was probably intended to excite interest in the fledgling settlement, and to promote immigration. It depicts 'Princess Royal Harbour, where the first settlement was established, and to the left of that King George's Sound and Oyster Harbour. The cleared area to the left is the present site of the "Old Farm" Strawberry Hill. The group of soldiers and natives on the right make up a party returning from a kangaroo hunt. Nakinna, chief of the King George Sound tribe, lived most of the time at the settlement, but eventually rejoined his people. He is probably the native shown wearing European clothes. The party of natives in the centre of the panorama are returning from a fishing expedition to the coast...' (The Colonial Eye, p. 37).Lieutenant Robert Dale (1810-1856), explorer and draughtsman, had arrived in Australia in June 1829 aboard HMS Sulphur, reaching the Swan River just six days after Stirling, the first lieutenant-governor, and the first West Australian settlers on the Parmelia. Dale was a member of the military detachment commanded by Captain Irwin sent to provide protection for the embryonic colony on the Swan River. He became acting assistant to the surveyor-general, John Roe, and made extensive and detailed expeditions throughout the Canning River, the York district and King George's Sound. His superb Panorama, which captures the unique beauty of the Australian coastline at the very beginning of settlement in the west, shows not only his excellent "on the spot" artistic skills but also his sound exploratory work. Dale River in Western Australia is named after him.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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