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Field Sports, &c. &c. of the Native Inhabitants of New South Wales with ten plates by the Author
London: Edward Orme, 1813. Quarto, 10 coloured aquatints; modern half calf, spine gilt-titled. A very good copy of the first issue of this important Australian plate book.This was the first work to be published on the Australian Aborigines. Clark dedicated his work to the recently deposed William Bligh, with the unusually affectionate comment that it 'may assist in keeping alive the recollection of a distant spot, where your exertions for your country, and for the benefit of mankind, have been so eminently displayed'.The identity of the artist of the drawings originally sent from New South Wales, or "The Author" as he is described on the title-page of this edition, has never been established with certainty. The images - "Smoking out the Opossum", "Hunting the Kangaroo", "Throwing the Spear", "Climbing Trees", "Fishing" (two plates), "The Dance", "Warriors of New South Wales", "Trial", and "Spearing Birds" - have a general air of authenticity that strongly suggests a resident artist, albeit one with an eye for the English market. John William Lewin, the colony's first professional artist, is generally seen as the strongest candidate. John Heaviside Clark must have worked from original drawings to prepare the plates, as he never visited Australia. Clark made something of a speciality of this intermediate work for the London printing trade.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-09-27           Check availability:      Biblio    


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