The Adelaide Almanack, Town and Country Directory, and Guide to South Australia for 1865
Adelaide, C. Platts, E.S. Wigg, J. Howell and W.C. Rigby, .
Octavo, [iii, endpaper advertisements], viii, 144, 118 ('The South Australian Directory for 1865'), [163, advertisements] pages with an original 'gem portrait' (a circular albumen paper print, 20 mm in diameter) of the photographer, Townsend Duryea, on one of them) plus tipped-in advertisements (2 four-page items, a small folding colour one for Levy Brothers and a large folding five-colour plate for - and by - the printer, W.K. Thomas).
Flush-cut cloth boards recently rebacked, retaining the original spine (with the original cloth a little silverfish-nibbled); small stain to the top margin of the front cover and the first 15 leaves, with very slight loss to the edge of the cover; creases and a tiny repaired tear to the foot of the leaf containing the photograph; a very good copy.
There seems to be no justification for the claim in Robert Holden's 'Photography in Colonial Australia. The Mechanical Eye and the Illustrated Book' (Sydney, 1988) that this book was published in 1865; works of this nature traditionally appear prior to their year of application, and all internal evidence and contemporary newspaper advertisements suggest that 1864 is far more likely to be the date of publication. This would place it in the first year in which photographically illustrated books are believed to have been published in Australia, in the fitting company of Hamilton and Jeffrey (see Holden, page 13). Davies and Stanbury's 'The Mechanical Eye in Australia' (Melbourne, 1985, where the almanack is listed as being the first such illustrated book in the country) reproduces the portrait on page 165; the same one appears in this copy. However, we have identified a variant portrait in a copy of the almanack in the State Library of South Australia; it features Duryea with his head turned towards the left of the page, with his distinctive bow tie bent in the middle at quite an angle. The definitive bibliography of Australian books containing original photographs will be a daunting but enjoyable and worthwhile task.