'Wayside Scene'. A vintage gelatin silver print (350 × 460 mm) mounted on the original flush-cut thick cardboard. Frank HURLEY, Australia.

'Wayside Scene'. A vintage gelatin silver print (350 × 460 mm) mounted on the original flush-cut thick cardboard

The mounted photograph has recently been hinge-mounted and matted in archival material, ready for framing (visible image size 340 × 443 mm); very slight discolouration and silvering-out near the edges; in excellent condition. This vintage print was made from the negative after it had cracked in two places; although the resultant two thin sharp lines run all the way down the centre of the plate, they are not immediately discernible. Even then, given the composition of this view (the 'Wayside' of the title is in fact a section of a small heavily-vegetated stream in Java, with people on several bamboo rafts attending to a variety of tasks), the cracks are only visible in less than the bottom quarter of the image. There is a print in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales (PXD 162/147) which was produced before the negative was broken. It would seem unlikely that many prints were produced after the event, suggesting that vintage prints of this image are rare.

This is an example of item 143 of the 1915 Australian exhibition of Hurley's works, which emanated from the Fine Art Society, London. 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 photograph in fact comes from Hurley's tour of Java on an assignment with the Royal Dutch Steam Packet Company. 'Mr Hurley is engaged in taking cinematograph views of the many beauty spots and points of interest available to tourists on this route, and the views will later be exhibited in Australia' ('Brisbane Courier', 3 July 1913). Provenance: from the personal collection of Sir Douglas Mawson, and by descent (with the estate stamp on the verso, signed and dated '2/VII/1992', attesting to this fact).

Item #108652

Price: $4,000.00

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