Item #5000645 The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…. Samuel Thomas GILL.
The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…
The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…
The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…
The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…

The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G.
The Australian Sketchbook by S.T.G. Printed in colours and published by Hamel and Ferguson…

Melbourne: Hamel and Ferguson, 1865.

Oblong folio, with 25 fine chromolithographs (including the title); half dark green morocco renewed on original green cloth boards, front cover lettered in gilt.

Gill's homage to life in the bush

This is one of the best illustrated books on Australian life in the mid-nineteenth century. Gill's most famous volume and his last, it is a most attractive album of 25 rural scenes - bushranging, kangaroo stalking, the bush mailman, cattle droving - with a poignant comparison throughout between the life of the Aborigines and that of the settlers. 'Bush Funeral', for example, which shows a weeping funeral procession behind a coffin pulled by two bullocks, is followed by 'Native Sepulchre', an Aboriginal corpse on a platform with howling dingoes below.

This is one of the best illustrated books on Australian life in the mid-nineteenth century. Gill's most famous volume and his last, it is a most attractive album of 25 rural scenes - bushranging, kangaroo stalking, the bush mailman, cattle droving - with a poignant comparison throughout between the life of the Aborigines and that of the settlers. 'Bush Funeral', for example, which shows a weeping funeral procession behind a coffin pulled by two bullocks, is followed by 'Native Sepulchre', an Aboriginal corpse on a platform with howling dingoes below.

The colour printing of the lithographs is of notably high quality for this early date. The album was printed in 1865, later in the same year that chromolithography was first put to serious use in Nicholas Chevalier's Album. The colouring here (occasionally highlighted with a little hand-applied colour) is a delicate and successful use of the medium.

'The title-page shows a likeness of the artist carrying his boots and equipment and crossing a shallow stream barefoot. His head is turned suspiciously towards two Aborigines shown half concealed by rocks, while unseen by him a snake menaces an unprotected foot. The sketch indicates something of Gill's attitude towards himself at this time. He evidently viewed his own situation with wry humour, adopted a generally fatalistic attitude, and held his own achievements and future in scant regard' (McCulloch, Artists of the Australian Gold Rush).

A warm and ironic tribute to colonial bush life, The Australian Sketchbook remains a classic of illustrated Australiana.

Ferguson, 9924f; Wantrup, 251.

Price (AUD): $11,000.00

US$7,629.07   Other currencies

Ref: #5000645