View of Point Piper, Port Jackson.


Augustus Earle (1793 - 1838)

Very rare and important lithograph of Henrietta Villa, Point Piper, Sydney by Augustus Earle, the first professional artist in the colony. From one of the most significant series produced during the early colonial years of Sydney.  From Earle’s, Views in … Read Full Description


S/N: EARLE-101–233087
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Full Title:

View of Point Piper, Port Jackson.




Augustus Earle (1793 - 1838)


Trimmed to image and around title as issued? (Note, the National Gallery of Australia, copy is trimmed in the same way).


Lithograph with original hand colouring.

Image Size: 

x 255mm
View of Point Piper, Port Jackson. - Antique Print from 1829

Genuine antique



Very rare and important lithograph of Henrietta Villa, Point Piper, Sydney by Augustus Earle, the first professional artist in the colony. From one of the most significant series produced during the early colonial years of Sydney. 

From Earle’s, Views in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. Australian Scrap Book London: Charles Hullmandel, 1830. From Part 1, Plate 2.

Henrietta Villa was the property of Captain Piper, and named in honour of Governor Macquarie’s wife. Built between 1816 and 1822, at a cost of £10,000, the house was variously described as a naval villa and a marine pavilion. It was considered the most elegant house in Sydney at the time and became a symbol of progress in the colony. The location of Henrietta Villa was idyllic, a gracious building set on a headland jutting majestically into Sydney Harbour. Earle’s lithograph shows the house with its verandas covering the long windows. 

Earle’s description of the view when sailing into Sydney Harbour in May 1825,

‘The first pleasing object which breaks suddenly on the sight after having entered the Port, is Point Piper, so called from a worthy Gentleman of that name, choosing this spot for his residence’. Captain Piper’s Henrietta Villa was a single-storey residence which terminated in two pavilions, each surmounted by a saucer-shaped cupola inset with a series of windows that lit the rooms beneath. One pavilion housed a ballroom, or banqueting hall, designed in the shape of St Andrew’s cross. The gardens were laid out with imported English trees and a row of small brass cannon was positioned in front of the house; these were fired by Piper to salute his friends as they sailed up the harbour to attend his festivities:  ‘…no expense has been spared I am told to ornament this fairy palace;… he does the thing properly, for he sends carriages and four, and boats for those who like the water, and returns his guests to their houses in the same manner. He keeps a band of music, and they have quadrilles every evening under the spacious verandahs (sic). At the table there is a vast profusion of every luxury that the 4 quarters of the globe can supply…’

In the following institutional collections:

National Gallery of Australia Collection: 95.343 (Butler notes; This impression is trimmed around image and title. As a result the artist and publication details do not appear.)

National Library of NZ: Ref: PUBL-0053-02

State Library of NSW :  IE8801960

Butler (1982), 11
Butler, (Printed 2007) pp.99-102
Ferguson (1941-69, 1986), 1342
Hackworth-Jones p.95, ill.73 (watercolour)
Wantrup 219, p.412 
Australian Dictionary of Biography


Augustus Earle (1793-1838)

Earle reached Hobart in 1825 on the Admiral Cockburn after being rescued from the remote island of Tristan da Cunha, and spent three years in Australia painting portraits of ‘exclusives’, landscapes and the Aborigines. He spent four months in Van Diemen’s Land and then left in May 1825 for Sydney.

There he quickly established himself as the colony’s leading artist and on the 8 July 1826, Earle advertised the opening of his art gallery at 10 George Street, Sydney, where he offered painting lessons and ‘a large assortment of every description of articles used in Drawing, Painting &c.’ as well as his own pictures. In August 1826 Earle was given a lithographic press by the astronomer James Dunlop that had been brought out by Governor Brisbane, which was probably the first lithographic press in the colony. Earle’s first lithographic attempt was a portrait of the Sydney Aborigine Bungaree. By November he had published the first part of his lithographed views of Sydney, Views in Australia and the second part was issued the following month.

Earle’s views were not a success as no further parts were issued as had been his original intention. There are three known sets of the Sydney printing of these lithographs, all are in institutional collections. On 20 October 1827 he sailed for New Zealand on board the Governor Macquarie, with a view to record its landscape and inhabitants. Thought to be the first professional European artist to take up residence in that country, he stayed for six months, returning to Sydney on board the same vessel on 5 May 1828. On 12 October he left New South Wales forever, embarking on The Rainbow bound for the Caroline Islands.

Back in London in 1829, Earle published his set of lithographic Views in New South Wales, and Van Diemen’s Land (1830). Although more successful than his colonial attempt, all of Earle’s lithographs are extremely rare.

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