Hobart Town Almanack, and Van Diemen's Land Annual for 1835. ALMANAC, James ROSS.
Hobart Town Almanack, and Van Diemen's Land Annual for 1835.
Hobart Town Almanack, and Van Diemen's Land Annual for 1835.

Hobart Town Almanack, and Van Diemen's Land Annual for 1835.

Hobart: James Ross, 1834.

Duodecimo, frontispiece and plate by Thomas Bock, owner's armorial bookplate; a very good copy in contemporary patterned cloth, fragments of early paper spine label.

Rare Tasmanian almanac with a pertinent provenance

A rare Tasmanian almanac of great significance to the early history of the colony. The volume contains Jorgen Jorgenson's important 'Shred of Autobiography', what appears to be the first comprehensive index of Tasmanian flora by James Backhouse, and two engravings by Thomas Bock, including a scientific depiction of the platypus.

A rare Tasmanian almanac of great significance to the early history of the colony. The volume contains Jorgen Jorgenson's important 'Shred of Autobiography', what appears to be the first comprehensive index of Tasmanian flora by James Backhouse, and two engravings by Thomas Bock, including a scientific depiction of the platypus.
Copenhagen-born Jorgenson is most notorious for deposing the Danish governor of Iceland in 1809 and appointing himself head of government with the title 'The Protector.' Described by Marcus Clarke as 'a human comet,' Jorgenson and his career as a sailor, privateer, spy, revolutionary and explorer have formed the subject of several books, most of which rely on the swashbuckling self-portrait he paints here. Indeed, the audacity and grandeur of the Jorgenson's tales approach MacDonald Fraser's Harry Flashman (minus the confessions). Many relate to his time in Australia which he first reached around 1800 where he met Flinders and Baudin among others.
This copy in original binding has the bookplate of Robert James Shuttleworth (1810-74), the famous botanist and conchologist, whose specific interest would have been in the important 54-page 'Index Plantarum, or an attempt towards a popular description of some of the most common and remarkable indigenous plants of Van Diemen's Land' compiled by James Backhouse and Ronald Campbell Gunn. Backhouse, a noted naturalist from a prominent English Quaker family, travelled widely in the colonies from 1832 to 1838, and spent three years in Tasmania working closely with Governor Arthur. Gunn, a high ranking official in the colonial administration who was later a member of the Legislative Council, was an important botanist who published widely and notably hosted Dumont d'Urville during his visit to Hobart. Most of the specimens collected by the two were sent to Kew.
The two plates by Bock, show 'The Teeth and Underjaw of the Platypus' and a 'Fish Caught in the Derwent.' Both represent uncommon examples of early locally printed illustrations of Tasmanian wildlife. A noted engraver in London, Bock was transported to the penal colony in 1824 after being found guilty of drugging women. He was pardoned in 1832 and successfully established himself as a portrait artist. Several of his works are exhibited in the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.
The almanac was compiled by James Ross, a government printer who published several gazettes and newspapers, and his thorough knowledge of the colony in the early 1830s is reflected throughout.
Ferguson notes three plates, but only two ever appear to have been included.

Ferguson, 2021.

Price (AUD): $2,700.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504458

Condition Report

See all items by ,