Sydney, Published by J. Maclehose, Hunter Street, Printed by J. Spilsbury, Jamison Street, 1838.
Duodecimo, viii, 188 pages with a title page vignette plus a folding frontispiece map (printed in red) and 42 engraved illustrations on 29 plates (one folding, a dozen on tinted paper).
Later half morocco and marbled boards; spine gilt in compartments; marbled sides a little rubbed; publisher's surname underlined twice in red ink on the title page; plate list bound out of order (now at the end of the preliminaries); map trimmed close to the printed border in places and a little marked, with a short tear from the left-hand edge neatly sealed before the map was professionally mounted on linen; half a dozen plates slightly cropped or shaved (generally affecting only the printed borders); acidic paper slightly tanned; expert conservation to a few tiny edge chips and tears; mild signs of use and age (occasional light foxing and a few trifling marks); a very good copy of an attractive item.
Essentially a very early tourist's guide, with the plates offering a fascinating record of the topography and contemporary built environs of Sydney. Fifteen of the plates were 'sketch'd & engrav'd' by the local artist John Black Carmichael (1803-1857), 'the work requiring his focus and labour for many months ... Some of the plates had already appeared in earlier publications. At first glance one image, the Normal Institution, Hyde Park, Sydney, seems box-like and regimented until closer examination reveals, at the forefront of the scene, children gambolling about the lawn engaged in sword-play, chasing one another, and one boy performing a hand-stand ... The view of the flat, static Barrack is brightened with troops, gentlefolk, an indigenous family and an animated indigenous man ostentatiously doffing his cap to a soldier ... à la Bungaree by Augustus Earle' (Karen Eaton: 'John Black Carmichael [1803-1857], Artist and Engraver', in 'Australiana', November 2015). The remainder of the prints were by William Wilson and Samuel Clayton (Roger Butler: 'Printed Images in Colonial Australia, 1801-1900'). The book was reissued the following year: 'Apart from the title-page, the second edition or issue of 1839 is identical to the original 1838 issue' (Wantrup). This copy carries the ownership signature of Eris O'Brien, sometime Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney (1948-1951) and second archbishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn (1953-1966). Ferguson 2539; Wantrup 224a.
This copy carries the ownership signature of Eris O'Brien, sometime Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney (1948-1951) and second archbishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn (1953-1966).
Ferguson 2539; Wantrup 224a.