Nlle Hollande: Port-Jackson. Sauvages des Montagnes Bleues. FREYCINET, Alphonse PELLION.

Nlle Hollande: Port-Jackson. Sauvages des Montagnes Bleues.

Paris: 1825.

Handcoloured stipple engraving, 150 x 270mm.

Blue Mountains Aborigines

A marvellous engraved portrait of an Aboriginal elder of the Blue Mountains named Karadra and his companion Hara-o, after an original study by Alphonse Pellion; Karadra, the older man on the right, holds a clay tobacco pipe in his hand. The engraving was printed for the Atlas Historique of the official account of the voyage.

A marvellous engraved portrait of an Aboriginal elder of the Blue Mountains named Karadra and his companion Hara-o, after an original study by Alphonse Pellion; Karadra, the older man on the right, holds a clay tobacco pipe in his hand. The engraving was printed for the Atlas Historique of the official account of the voyage.

Pellion (1796-1868) was one of the voyage artists with Freycinet on the Uranie. Much like Nicolas-Martin Petit, his famous predecessor on the Baudin voyage, Pellion is known for his sensitive portrayals of the Australian Aborigines. Pellion made two trips to the Blue Mountains in late 1819, on the second occasion joining a large group which included Freycinet himself. On this occasion Pellion earned the ire of his companions when he suddenly fired upon a curious bird, frightening his horse which bolted with its saddle pack filled with 'a considerable number of the most useful things, such as an artificial horizon, drawing-paper, pencils, paints etc.' After a long and tedious search the horse was given up as lost.

The French party was assisted by the explorer and pastoralist William Lawson. Freycinet describes their encounter with the two Aborigines in the Blue Mountains, the elderly Karadra being cared for by a younger companion: 'Mr Lawson recognised this old man as Karadra, the supreme chief of this part of the mountain. According to Mr Lawson there was nobody who had proved more dangerous to the English, who had died in considerable numbers at his hands, and yet nobody had been able to catch him in the act. Over a long period, the man had presented a peaceable face to the colonists. He made himself useful to them, either by waging war on the primitive peoples of the interior when they wished to approach the Nepean, or by warning the English our-stations of their positions on occasions when he was not strong enough to turn them back without assistance…' (Reflections on New South Wales).

Price (AUD): $2,400.00  other currencies Ref: #3502581

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