[Chaffey Brothers] VINCENT, J.E. Matthew (compiler)
The Colonisation of Greater Britain. Viticulture, Fruit-Farming, &c., in Australia ... [The Australian Irrigation Colonies on the River Murray, in Victoria & South Australia (cover title)]
Melbourne, Chaffey Brothers Limited, 1887.
Octavo, [viii] (comprising a list of illustrations, with a full-page illustration on the verso; a blank leaf; the list of contents, with a full-page illustration on the verso; title page, with the verso blank), 60 pages with 4 full-page illustrations.
Bright red full morocco, extensively lettered in gilt on the front and rear panels, all edges gilt; leather lightly rubbed at the extremities, with slight restoration near the head of the spine; a few pinholes to the blank top left-hand corner of the first handful of leaves; a very good copy.
With the armorial bookplate of A.R. Downer (Sir Alexander Russell Downer, 1910-1981, politician and diplomat). His father was Sir John William Downer (1843-1915), lawyer and politician (not least, one of the Fathers of Federation). He assumed office as premier and attorney-general of South Australia 'on 16 June 1885. Faced with economic depression [in the colony], he attempted to reduce the deficit by cutting government expenditure while increasing revenue by a protective tariff. Measures were taken however to find jobs for the unemployed on public works. Next year he opened negotiations with the Chaffey brothers for their carrying out an extensive irrigation scheme at Renmark' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). Ferguson 17975 records a variant copy of this item, in grey wrappers with advertisements in the preliminaries (and occasionally at the end of the text). Doubtless this deluxe copy was produced for presentation purposes, and we presume it was in fact given to Sir John Downer himself.