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Family album with rare photos of Australia and India in the late 19th century

[Album containing illustrations and photographs of Australia and India]. [Illustrated title-page:] Contributions thankfully received.
Australia [and England and India?], 1870s. Oblong album (ca. 23 x 30 cm). With 36 albumen prints, including 14 photographs of Australia. These include houses, churches, buildings in Springsure, Queensland around 1870, photos of Charles with his horse, a wonderful picture of an "Alligator killed in the Mackay River" and "bottle trees near Taroon", 5 photographs of India: Bengal Camp Delhi, multiple group photos in Darjeeling, a group photo in front of the government house in Calcutta, and the crew of the H.M.S. Narcissus, 17 photographs of Gibraltar, America, Switserland, art pieces and the Dicken family. Further with 24 watercolour paintings of flowers, landscapes and people, including two of the Taj Mahal, and 17 coloured pencil and ink drawings of people. The drawings and paintings are almost all signed S. P. D. or F. E. D., who were likely members of the Dicken family. Most photographs and art pieces are captioned in pencil or brown ink, several leaves are decorated with additional drawings or dried plants. Contemporary maroon cloth, embroidered with yellow flowers. Comes in a custom-made black-cloth clamshell box (internally covered in burgundy cloth), with a black morocco title-label on the spine, lettered in gold, and a folding liner of the same burgundy cloth. [50] ll.
€ 12,500
Album amicorum of a settler in Australia and his family, with rare photographs of Queensland (Australia) and India in the 1870s.
The photographs in the album are extraordinary, especially those of the small town of Springsure. In 1841, the first photograph was taken in Australia, of Bridge Street in Sydney. While explorers and early colonists quickly became a subject of interest for Australian photographers, photographs of early settlements are quite rare. The photographs of the government house in Calcutta and the crew of the H.M.S. Narcissus in the album are also of historical interest. Together with the numerous drawings, paintings and poems, the album offers a fascinating insight into life in Queensland in the late 19th century.
Charles Shortt Dicken (1841-1902) was born in India. He was a lieutenant for the Royal Irish Fusiliers, before he settled in Queensland in 1864. He entered the mounted police in 1866 and worked as a police magistrate until he was appointed secretary in the office of the Agent-General for Queensland in London in 1880. When he retired from this position in 1891, he received the title C.M.G, Companion in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. This is awarded to those who render extraordinary or important non-military service to the United Kingdom in a foreign or Commonwealth country. In the final years of his life, he contributed to The British Empire series, a series of four volumes which aimed to offer trusthworthy information about the colonies and settlement of the British Empire. Dicken was a co-author of volume IV - Australasia, published in 1900.
The cloth is worn at the head of the spine and shows a few small holes on the boards, revealing the leather album beneath. The illustration of the "execution of Mary, Queen of Scots" is missing on leaf [12]. Some of the dried plants are falling off. The edges and corners of the leaves show some signs of wear, the leaves slightly browned. Overall in good condition, the photographs, artworks and other decorations are very well preserved. Mennel, P., Dictionary of Australasian biography, p. 132; The Daily Telegraph, november 15, 1902, p. 4.
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Related Subjects:

Art, architecture & photography  >  Drawings, Prints & Watercolours | Photography
Asia  >  India & Sri Lanka
Australia, new zealand & pacific  >  Australia & New Zealand | Drawings, Photographs, Prints & Watercolours
Autographs, documents & manuscripts  >  Manuscripts & Documents