11 - 13 July 2000
LYCETT, Joseph (1774-1827). Views in Australia or New South Wales, & Van Diemen's Land delineated. London: J. Souter, 1824. Oblong 4° (258 x 358mm). Hand-coloured lithographic title, 2 engraved maps, one folding, 48 hand-coloured aquatint plates after Lycett. (The large folding map laid down and torn and repaired with some loss, the 4th and 12th plates with neatly repaired tears affecting the image area, the final leaf of text with 7-inch repaired tear, four other plates and a few text leaves with neatly repaired marginal tears, some slight spotting and browning.) 20th-century green half morocco gilt, spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second and third, the others with double-fillet borders, gilt edges.
THE FINEST OF AUSTRALIAN TOPOGRAPHICAL PLATE BOOKS. Lycett, a professional painter of portraits and miniatures, was transported to New South Wales in 1814 for forgery. Following a conditional discharge in 1819 he travelled and painted views in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, being regarded as an unofficial government artist. He earned himself an absolute pardon in 1821, when he returned to England. Following the success of two large hand-coloured lithographs of Sydney and Hobart, he found a publisher to produce his Views in Australia in 13 monthly parts between July 1824 and June 1825. The demand for the first part ensured that the proposed lithographic plates were replaced by aquatints. The few lithographs that were produced for subscribers were replaced. Following the completion of the issue in parts, the work was published in book form. 'Lycett was the outstanding artist of his period in Australia and his Views in Australia is a landmark in the development of the Australian illustrated book. It is the most celebrated of Australian topographical plate books, and, despite its rarity, must be considered essential to a collection' (Jonathan Wantrup Australian Rare Books pp.289-292, no.218b). Abbey Travel 570; Tooley 310; Ferguson 974.
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