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Superb large c.19th Australian botanical from, The Forest of South Australia by John Ednie Brown (1848-1899). The Forest of South Australia was the largest c.19th series of botanical illustrations made solely devoted to Australian species. Although focused on South Australian species many of these … Read Full Description
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Orders over A$300
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Superb large c.19th Australian botanical from, The Forest of South Australia by John Ednie Brown (1848-1899).
The Forest of South Australia was the largest c.19th series of botanical illustrations made solely devoted to Australian species. Although focused on South Australian species many of these are endemic to other states. The majority of the original watercolours for the series were made by Rosa Fiveash while all the lithography on the stone was done by Harcourt Barrett who also drew all the detailed sketches of; bark, seeds and woods on the plates.
Common name: Scrub Sheoak
Modern binomial name: Allocasuarina distyla
First described: 1800
George, A. Capturing Flora / 300 Years of Australian Botanical Art. Ballarat 2013 p.174.
Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976 7516.
State Library South Australia: 581.9942 B878 d++
National Library Australia: Bib ID 2282454
State Library New South Wales: Call Number DSM/X582/2A2
Harcourt Barret (1838 - 1904)
Barret was born in England in 1838 and arrived in Australia in 1881. He worked in Adelaide as a chromolithographer for the South Australian Government Printer. He produced a number of maps but his largest body of work was as the lithographer for J.E. Brown’s The Forest Flora of South Australia (1882), he was responsible for transferring the original paintings onto stone and crafting the colour printing. “Published in nine parts with five prints per issue, The Forest Flora of South Australia was a popular series which became an essential part of any botany enthusiasts library. Once each painting was complete, the works were expertly prepared for lithography by the South Australian Government lithographer, Harcourt Barrett. Barrett was particularly skilled at his craft. Following his departure from this role due to the introduction of photo-lithography, he went on to work as a scientific illustrator and lithographer for the Royal Society of South Australia. Although Rosa Fiveash initialed a number of the images and Barrett’s name was printed on each plate of The Forest Flora of South Australia, neither of the artists were otherwise credited within the publication. Over time it became apparent that Fiveash was receiving an unfair share of the credit compared to Barrett, which prompted the lithographer to write a letter to The Advertiser, setting the record straight: ‘Of [the] 45 plates Miss Fiveash only supplied 32 drawings in watercolour of the centre or main branch only. Miss Camilla Hammond and Mrs. Smart sketched the native cherry, and it was from these sketches that the drawings upon stone were made. The remaining eleven plates and title page, together with all the additional work, consisting of the various woods, barks, seed-vessels, botanical sections, and various details of the flowers, were drawn direct upon the stones from photos and natural specimens wholly and solely by me during the time I held the position of chief lithographer at the Government Printing office.’ “ Reference ‘Capturing Flora – 300 years of Australian Botanical art’, Art Gallery of Ballarat. & Wrigley, J.W. (2013) Eucalypt Flowers, NLA
John Ednie Brown (1848 - 1899)
Brown was a silviculturist, born in Scotland, son of James Brown, LL.D., deputy-surveyor of woods and forests. He was educated in Edinburgh but left school at 15 to work with his father's and after three years, he was sent to the Invercauld estate in Aberdeenshire where he learnt the profession of assistant agent and forester. He then moved to England where he laid out plantations and managed estates in Yorkshire and Sussex. In 1871-72 Brown visited the United States and Canada, gathering more useful information on trees and forests. As a result he wrote 'Report upon Trees found in California' and 'Forests of the Eastern States of America' for which he received the gold medal of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. In 1878 he was offered the position of conservator of forests of South Australia. He returned briefly to England and arrived in Adelaide on 15 September. His first report showed the thoroughness with which he had made himself acquainted with the situation and possibilities of the South Australian forests, but he was bitterly disappointed when its adoption was opposed on technical grounds by the chairman of the Forest Board, Goyder who was himself qualified in forestry. Brown wrote A Practical Treatise on Tree Culture in South Australia, and presented the manuscript to the Forest Board in 1880. It was printed by the government and the board distributed 2000 copies free and sold another 1000 to cover printing costs. In 1883 the Forest Board was disbanded and Brown was placed directly under the commissioner of crown lands In 1890 Brown accepted the position of director-general of forests in New South Wales and when his position was made vacant he took up a position with the Bureau of Agriculture in Western Australia in 1895. Brown produced a report on WAS forests in 1896 and the Department of Woods and Forests was created, with Brown as its first conservator. In his brief régime much planting of softwoods was initiated, some sandalwood was sown, seedlings were distributed to encourage annual arbor days, and the value of hardwood exports rose by five times to reach more than £550,000. The commissioner of crown lands declared that 'it would be a calamity to dispense with the services of so useful an officer as the Conservator of Forests', and Charles John Moran, M.L.A., proclaimed him 'the first authority on timber in Australia'. After an attack of influenza Brown died at his home in Cottesloe on 26 October 1899, aged 50.
Rosa Catherine Fiveash (1854 - 1938)
Rosa Catherine Fiveash (1854-1938) Fiveash was a botanical artist, born in Adelaide, the youngest child of Robert Archibald Fiveash, businessman and superintendent of the Blinman and Yudanamutana copper-mines, and his wife Margaret, nee Rees. She was trained by Miss A. Benham and at the Adelaide School of Art and Design 1881-88, and then taught art privately and at Tormore House School in North Adelaide for many years. In 1882 Rosa was invited to illustrate The Forest Flora of South Australia. Nine parts of this work were published in 1882-90 but the series was never completed. Fiveash drew 32 of the 45 published lithographs.
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