Item #108651 'A Monster Anthill' [Northern Territory, Australia, 1914]. Frank HURLEY.

'A Monster Anthill' [Northern Territory, Australia, 1914]

A vintage sepia-toned gelatin silver photograph (330 × 450 mm), on the original thick card mount (368 × 492 mm).

The photograph has recently been hinge-mounted and matted using archival materials, ready for framing (visible image size 320 × 440 mm); in excellent condition.

Although this print does not have an original 'Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, London' label on the verso, it almost certainly comes from the 1915 Australian exhibition of Hurley's works; this was a slightly enlarged version of the London exhibition held earlier in the same year. The full title of the catalogue is 'Exhibition of Unique Photographic Pictures taken during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Also other Photographic Studies by Frank Hurley' (small octavo, 16 pages plus 8 full-page plates and the title-wrappers; printed in Adelaide by G. Hassell & Son). A small advertisement appeared in the Adelaide 'Advertiser' on Saturday 25 September 1915, announcing a 'South Polar Exhibit.... until October 6. This Exhibition is your only opportunity of viewing Historical Relics of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and Frank Hurley's Unexcelled Photographic Reproductions'. The images were sourced primarily from Mawson's 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, but there were also several sections of non-polar images as well, under the headings 'Northern Territory, Australia', 'Java', and 'Miscellaneous'.

Item 123 in the exhibition was 'A Monster Anthill', and the print size on offer there, '(A) 18 inches ... greatest length or height', matches this one. Hurley took the photograph on the whirlwind 6,000-mile trip he made with fellow-adventurer Francis Birtles through northern Australia from mid-April to the end of July 1914. Provenance: Sir Douglas Mawson (with the Mawson Estate stamp on the verso); by descent.

Item #108651


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