London: R. Ackermann, 1820. Print. This large print is the most important of the twelve views drawn to accompany "An Historical Account of New South Wales and Its Dependent Settlements; In Illustration of Twelve Views, Engraved by W. Preston, a Convict; from Drawings taken on the Spot, by Captain Wallis of the Forth-Sixth Regiment...", published in London by Ackermann in 1821. Although Wallis claims to be the artist on the title page, the purchase of the original sketch album by the Mitchell Library in 2011 shows the images were drawn by both Wallis and the convict artist Joseph Lycett . The engraver Preston was also a convict transported to Australia. The folklore surrounding this important work indicates that he engraved the views on the sheet-copper from the hulls of ships, as none other was available in New South Wales at the time.
The album held by the SLNSW is Wallis' own grangerized volume of the work. It includes "original drawings, watercolours, and collages by James Wallis and Joseph Lycett including views, portraits of Aboriginal people, botanical, and natural history illustrations." The print appears to be based on this entry in Wallis' copy and is inscribed lower center "Drawn by a Convict".
[1.] [A View of the Cove and Part of Sydney, New South Wales, taken from Dawe's Point, ca. 1818 / by Joseph Lycett]
Inscribed lower centre in ink `Drawn by a Convict.’
Untitled original drawing for Plate 1 of Wallis’ 'An Historical account of the colony of New South Wales … (1821)
SLNSW Call Number SAFE/PXE 1072.
Wallis arrived with the 46th regiment, on the same ship which brought Joseph Lycett as a convict. Both Preston and Lycett were prisoners under Wallis in Newcastle where Wallis ran the penal settlement between 1816 and 1818. Lycett was to receive fame, and a pardon, for his famous work "Views of Australia". Ultimately, both men were pardoned by Macquarie. Wallis departed Australia in 1819 and took toe plates with him to London, where this book was published by Ackermann in 1820.
"Wallis's book has a most important position in a collection of Australian plate books. It is the first book of general landscape views of early New South Wales, representing the first great celebration of the progress of the colony made under the civilising rule of Governor Macquarie and, indeed, of Wallis himself. It is also the first plate book, properly so called, to consist entirely of plates engraved in the colony by a colonial engraver". (Wantrup) Ferguson 842; Wantrup 217a.
Copper engraving with later hand-color, image 56 x 38 cm, with generous margins. Some light tanning from early matting. Very good overall. Item #7688