Original Drawing of River and Trees.

circa, 1800.

Graphite landscape study signed 'P.G. King', 185 x 145 mm., on laid paper, mounted on larger yellow tinted sheet measuring 245 x 210 mm., with an unfinished graphite drawing of a gentleman checking fob watch to reverse, signed in ink 'Charles Runciman';mounted and framed.

Early drawing by one of the most important First Fleeters

An accomplished landscape signed by Philip Gidley King (1758-1808), Governor of the penal colonies at Norfolk Island and New South Wales during the early years of settlement. The unidentified scene is executed in graphite on laid paper bearing the watermark of Government issue paper of the period 1790-1810. The drawing is skilled, especially in the treatment of topography and vegetation, with an attention to detail befitting a naval officer of the era.

An accomplished landscape signed by Philip Gidley King (1758-1808), Governor of the penal colonies at Norfolk Island and New South Wales during the early years of settlement. The unidentified scene is executed in graphite on laid paper bearing the watermark of Government issue paper of the period 1790-1810. The drawing is skilled, especially in the treatment of topography and vegetation, with an attention to detail befitting a naval officer of the era.

King entered the Royal Navy in 1770 and served in the wars for American Independence from 1775. He won the admiration of Arthur Philip who appointed him second lieutenant on the convict transport Sirius bound for Botany Bay. Upon arrival King was dispatched as administrator of Norfolk Island, becoming Lieutenant-Governor after a short spell in England. He retained this title until 1800 when he replaced Hunter as Governor of New South Wales. King attempted to reform the colony, curbing the monopolies on liquor and stores enjoyed by officers of the New South Wales Corps. Although many initiatives were thwarted by vested interests King did improve conditions through initiatives such as improved livestock breeding, experimental agricultural crops, the introduction of coal mining and an active interest in exploration and marine surveying. He was the first to see a future for Botany Bay beyond the incarceration of felons.

King's sketch is clearly taken from an early album, and the notes and sketches on the back of this sheet help explain its survival. On the back is another sketch, a full-length portrait of Charles Runciman with the ink caption "A reflection": the portrait shows him scratching his head in wonder, beside an enigmatic voice bubble which reads 'Oh very well.' Runciman, an English artist, married King's third daughter Elizabeth in the late 1820s. Given the presence of both a sketch by King and a portrait of Runciman, it can easily be hypothesised that the original sketchbook remained in the King family for a very long period and was added to over the years.

Original art by any of the first colonial Governors is enormously rare.

Price (AUD): $15,000.00

US$9,670.03   Other currencies

Ref: #5000800