C1821

Black Swans of New South Wales. View on Reed’s Mistake River, N.S.W.

Rare early C19th engraving of Black Swans from a drawing by the convict artist Joseph Lycett. An investigation was undertaken to determine the location from which Captain James Wallis sketched two black swans. Wallis had labelled the engraving as Reed’s … Read Full Description

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S/N: AHAO-010-BI-AA–301248
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Details

Full Title:

Black Swans of New South Wales. View on Reed’s Mistake River, N.S.W.

Date:

C1821

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

266mm 
x 188mm

Paper Size: 

470mm 
x 315mm
AUTHENTICITY
Black Swans of New South Wales. View on Reed's Mistake River, N.S.W. - Antique Print from 1821

Genuine antique
dated:

1821

Description:

Rare early C19th engraving of Black Swans from a drawing by the convict artist Joseph Lycett.

An investigation was undertaken to determine the location from which Captain James Wallis sketched two black swans. Wallis had labelled the engraving as Reed’s (sic) Mistake River, which suggests the location we know as Swansea Channel. Black swans feed and nest in that area today, as well as in the quiet bays around Marks Point. A person sketching wildlife would normally record the creatures as accurately as possible, and perhaps not worry too closely about the distant landscape. In this case, the background is not immediately familiar to us.

Wallis’s description;

The View is on Reed’s Mistake, a small harbour about eighteen miles south of Newcastle. A bar across prevents vessels of any burden from entering this harbour. The scenery on this river, called by the natives Bunjarees Norah, is rich, luxuriant, and picturesque. Kangaroos are found here in abundance, as well as wild fowl: the natives are a very friendly tribe, and excellent fishermen. (pp. 40-41)

The Black Swan was one of the first Australian birds to be recorded by Europeans. The first recorded sighting occurred on 5 July 1636 by Dutch sailor Antonie Caen in the ship the Banda on Bernier Island, N.W. Australia. The first capture was on 7 January 1697 by Willem de Vlamingh, Jurien Bay, Western Australia.

Common name: Black Swan
Binomial name: Cygnus atratus
First described: Latham 1790
Distribution:  Australia wide
Reference:

Exhibited in Joseph Lycett : convict artist  Treasures of Newcastle from the Macquarie Era

From James Wallis’s, An historical account of the colony of New South Wales.

Collections:
National Gallery of Victoria: Accession Number 2010.322
National Library Australia: Bib ID2997345
State Library New South Wales: Reference code 118335

Joseph Lycett (1777 - 1828)

Painter & forger convicted in 1811 & transported to Botany Bay. On arrival he was given his ticket of leave but soon was reconvicted for forgery and sent to the penal settlement of Newcastle. Again in 1821 he received a pardon and returned to England armed with a portfolio of colonial views. In 1824 John published “Views in Australia” dedicated to the Earl of Bathurst. Lycett is acknowledged as being one the most important colonial artists to record the progress of the colony.

View other items by Joseph Lycett

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