C1866

Sketches of Darlinghurst Gaol

Extremely rare set of six engravings of Darlinghurst Gaol, now the National Art School, Darlinghurst. Construction commenced with pegging out by Francis Greenway in 1821, then The Gaol wall was began in 1822 and finished in 1824 using convict labour, … Read Full Description

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S/N: ISN-NS-661116076–232813
(C006)
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Details

Full Title:

Sketches of Darlinghurst Gaol

Date:

C1866

Engraver:

E.Mason 

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured engraving.

Image Size: 

180mm 
x 110mm
AUTHENTICITY
Sketches of Darlinghurst Gaol - Antique View from 1866

Genuine antique
dated:

1866

Description:

Extremely rare set of six engravings of Darlinghurst Gaol, now the National Art School, Darlinghurst.

Construction commenced with pegging out by Francis Greenway in 1821, then The Gaol wall was began in 1822 and finished in 1824 using convict labour, but due to a lack of funds, the site sat empty for 12 years. Construction of the rest of the complex did not begin until 1836, with completion of some of the cell blocks in 1840. The gaol was ready for occupation a year later, with the first prisoners occupying the gaol on 7 June 1841. The gaol was completed in 1885.

The site was transferred in 1921 to the NSW Department of Education, who adapted the building for use as the East Sydney Technical College. The National Art School was established in 1995.

Walter George Mason (1820 - 1866)

Mason was born in London, the second son of Abraham John Mason, a well-known wood engraver and lecturer. Walter’s father began teaching him the art of wood-engraving when the family lived in New York in the 1830’s. Walter was sent back to London to train under Mr G. Bonner before 1839. In England, Walter Mason became very well known as a wood engraver and worked with The Illustrated London News, Punch, Pictorial Times, The Art Journal,and other periodicals. Walter’s brothers, George and Charles, had immigrated to Australia in about 1850 and worked in Sydney as wood engravers.It seems likely that they encouraged Walter to join them. In 1852 Walter and his family left England for Australia, arriving in Sydney via the Windsor on 4 November 1852. Soon after his arrival in Sydney, Mason became involved in the founding of The Illustrated Sydney News.Despite a small permanent staff and the fact that 4000 copies of the first issue were sold at sixpence a copy, the paper had financial problems from the beginning. Over a few months in 1854, five of the original proprietors left the partnership and Walter Mason became printer and publisher. Despite engraving illustrations for a large number of newspapers, books and magazines, Walter was in financial difficulties for most of his time in Sydney.

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