Sydney: D. Wall, 76 York Street, n.d. but, 1848.
Quarto, with full page copper plate engravings throughout, owner's name "Alfred C. Johnson"; a good copy in the original pink papered boards, preserved in a blue folding quarter morocco book-form box, lettered to the spine.
First edition, first issue of Australia's first work devoted to architecture, showing the Georgian heritage of Sydney at a time when it was a city of just 50,000 inhabitants: 'invaluable for the early topography of Sydney' (Ferguson).
First edition, first issue of Australia's first work devoted to architecture, showing the Georgian heritage of Sydney at a time when it was a city of just 50,000 inhabitants: 'invaluable for the early topography of Sydney' (Ferguson).Joseph Fowles arrived in Sydney in 1838 and this is without doubt his most important work, providing remarkably detailed information on the buildings of mid-nineteenth-century Sydney. As Morton Herman puts it, 'the Sydney he records was a lovely colonial town of clean, chaste Georgian architecture. Whole streets were pleasant compositions of harmonious buildings, few of them over three stories high, all clearly designed, well mannered and an orderly delight to the eye…' (Foreword to the facsimile edition of 1963).Published by subscription, this work consists of forty "Copperplate Engravings of the Principal Streets, Public Buildings, Churches, Chapels, Etc.". Fowles stated that its express purpose was 'to remove the erroneous and discreditable notions connected with the Colony'. It is one of the rarer Australian illustrated books whilst its importance to architectural history is without rival. No further such detailed study appeared for at least fifty years. The handful of small illustrations of printers establishments used in this list all derive from this work.This work was re issued in 1878 with the text reset, and has been reprinted many times over. This first edition is greatly enhanced by its forty fine copper-engravings produced in Sydney. It was first issued in parts (an almost impossible rarity today; we offered such a set in a recent catalogue): this is its first appearance in bookform, here in the first issue (with a sheet of reviews and advertisements, omitted from later issues, following the title-page). These illustrations were engraved by W. Harris from original drawing done by Fowles and were well received by the press as "superior to any previous attempts at representing Sydney as it really is… " (Bell's Life in Sydney).Throughout his life Fowles taught as well as practised art. He was in charge of the training and examination of art teachers for the National Board of Education from 1854 until 1867 when the board was succeeded by the Council of Education. It was largely through his efforts that drawing was being taught in every government school in New South Wales by the surprisingly early date of 1869. He was also drawing master at a number of private schools, including The King's School, Sydney Grammar, Sydney High and Camden College, as well as at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (lessons £1 a quarter).
Price (AUD): $6,250.00 other currencies Ref: #2406575