Zoological Gardens, at Botany.

Rare colonial engraving of Sydney’s first zoo. The zoo was established by former army sergeant Thomas Kellett at Botany. In 1834 Kellett bought land at Botany to establish the Banks Inn. He later expanded the inn into a large hotel … Read Full Description


S/N: ISN-NS-550630349B–443295
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Full Title:

Zoological Gardens, at Botany.




In good condition.


Hand coloured engraving.

Image Size: 

x 127mm
Zoological Gardens, at Botany. - Antique View from 1855

Genuine antique



Rare colonial engraving of Sydney’s first zoo.

The zoo was established by former army sergeant Thomas Kellett at Botany. In 1834 Kellett bought land at Botany to establish the Banks Inn. He later expanded the inn into a large hotel complex naming it the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel. BAYSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN The hotel was later acquired by local timber merchant William Beaumont and his business partner James Waller who, in the 1840s, began creating a landscaped “pleasure garden” stocked with a mixture of native and exotic animals. In 1851 they acquired an elephant and a Bengal tiger from Captain William Charlesworth, who was known for procuring animals for colonists from India. Charlesworth had displayed his animals since 1848 in Hyde Park under the aegis of the Australian Museum. To celebrate his new acquisitions Beaumont organised a fete that year, chartering a steamship to bring people from Port Jackson. The zoo and the hotel grounds became a popular picnic destination for Sydneysiders wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as a favoured place for weddings and parties.

From the original edition of The Illustrated Sydney News.

Gibbs & Shallard. Illustrated Sydney News. ISSN 2203-5397.

State Library New South Wales: F8/39-40
State Library Victoria: PCINF SLVIC=1853-1872
National Library Australia: Bib ID 440095

George French Angas (1822 - 1886)

Angas was a painter, lithographer, engraver and naturalist, fourth child and eldest son of George Fife Angas, a merchant and banker. As the eldest son he was expected to join his father's firm, but some months in a London counting house proved a disillusioning experience. In 1841 he took art lessons for four months from Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, a natural history painter and lithographer, and armed with this instruction set out to see the world. He began in the Mediterranean publishing, A Ramble in Malta and Sicily in the Autumn of 1841.......Illustrated with Sketches Taken on the Spot, and Drawn on the Stone by the Author, the following year. Angas's father had established the South Australian Company in 1836 and had large areas of land as well as banking interests in the province. George French sailed for South Australia in 1843 in the Augustus, arriving in Adelaide on 1st January 1844. Within days he had joined an exploring party selecting runs for the South Australia Company. They traveled through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the Murray River and down to Lake Coorong and Angas sketched views of the countryside, native animals and the customs and dwellings of the Narrinyerri people. Later he drew scenes on his father's land - 28,000 acres in the Barossa Valley - and accompanied George Grey's expedition to the then unknown south-east as unofficial artist. In July 1844 Angas visited New Zealand. Guided by two Maoris, he traveled on foot and by canoe through both islands, painting portraits of Maoris and views. Angas's father died in 1879, leaving a vast estate from which George French received only a annuity of 1000 pounds. In 1884 he went to Dominica on a collecting expedition, finding shells, moths, butterflies and birds. Dogged by rheumatism and neuralgia during his last years, Angas died in London on 4 October 1886.

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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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