'Way back when wool was 20/- a lb'. A very large collage comprising 47 original individual caricatures of well-known pastoral identities ('Portrait sketches by Bushwaka' - black ink on paper, mounted on heavy card). New South Wales Pastoralists, BUSHWAKA, Frank F. FORSTER.
'Way back when wool was 20/- a lb'. A very large collage comprising 47 original individual caricatures of well-known pastoral identities ('Portrait sketches by Bushwaka' - black ink on paper, mounted on heavy card)

'Way back when wool was 20/- a lb'. A very large collage comprising 47 original individual caricatures of well-known pastoral identities ('Portrait sketches by Bushwaka' - black ink on paper, mounted on heavy card)

The sketches range between 100-140 mm high and 70-90 mm wide (two are smaller); they are mounted in five roughly straight lines, with their names and regional addresses (or rural industry employers) added in ballpoint pen to the mount. It is behind glass in its original and appropriately rustic white-painted wooden frame (external dimensions 770 × 970 mm, visible image size 595 × 800 mm). There is a Royal Easter Show Art Prize Exhibitions label on the verso, identifying the artist as Frank F. Forster, 10 Walker Ave, Narrabeen. The asking price on the label was $100, indicating it was exhibited on this occasion after the introduction of decimal currency (February 1966), but it looks earlier (perhaps 1940s-50s: just count the hats!). Whether this was the artist's intention, or whether it is indeed a product of an earlier time, we cannot say, but it certainly hits the spot. These are not just caricatures, they are clearly characters, presumably mates of Bushwaka himself: Cunningham Henderson of Casino; O.O.H. Dangar of Narrandera; C.J. Chisholm of Khancoban; A.H. Jeffreys and D.H. McKay of Delegate; Bert Parkes of Collarenabri; Mick Raleigh and Jack Watts of Wagga; E.H. Turner of Gunning ... and on it goes. Cunningham Henderson died at the age of 89 in December 1954; although he is depicted as an elderly gentleman in this group portrait, there is no sense of 'In Memoriam' about it. The last word on the subject goes to Year Book Australia 2000 (page 447): 'Prosperity in the wool industry peaked in 1950-51 when the average greasy wool price reached 144.19 pence per pound'.

Item #100889

Price (AUD): $2,500.00

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