Joseph Lycett, circa 1775-1828, Views in Australia, or New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. London: J. Souter, 1824, first edition, oblong folio, lithographed pictorial title and 48 finely hand coloured aquatint plates after drawings by Lycett, 2 engraved maps by and after J. Tyrer (one folding), advertisement leaf, in modern crimson calf and marbled boards, gilt, slipcase, 28.5 x 37.6 cm. Provenance: Fine Australian Paintings, Sotheby's Australia, Melbourne, 24 July 1988, lot 54. Private Collection, New South Wales, acquired from the above. Literature. John Ferguson, Bibliography of Australia, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1941-1969, pl. 974. Ronald Tooley, English Books with Coloured Plates 1790-1860, Batsford, London, 1954, pl. 310. John Abbey, Travel in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860, from the Library of J.R. Abbey: A Bibliographical Catalogue, Curwen Press, London, 1954, pl. 570. Ronald Tooley described this publication as 'The finest and most celebrated colour plate book on Australia'. Joseph Lycett was artist to Major General Macquarie, Governor of Australia. Lycett was convicted for forgery and arrived in New South Wales in 1810 as a convict, but was later conditionally pardoned from the Newcastle mines owing to his ability as an artist. Macquarie became interested in Lycett's talents and sent three of his coloured drawings to Earl Bathurst, Secretary for the Colonies and supposedly in payment, Bathurst granted a pardon to the artist.
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- Marbling - A descriptive term for a finish applied to plastic, ceramics, glass, plaster or wood to imitate the colours and characteristic markings of various marble types. For moulded items such as the first three above, the marbling is within the item.
Interiors and furniture were marbled from from the early 17th century to the late Victorian period. The craft was practiced by skilled decorators using a combination of brushes and sponges. Some of the finishes achieved were so realistic as to make it difficult to distinguish the marbled surface from the marble surface.
Marbling is also a term applied to a finish for paper as often seen in the front and endpapers of old books. The marbling is achieved by floating the colours on water and then transferring them to paper. However the marbling finish on paper, as with the marbling finish on plastics, with its multitude of colours has little resemblance to naturally occurring marble.
- Aquatint - The arabesque pattern is an ornamental design that features flowing, curving lines and elaborate geometric shapes. It is inspired by the art and architecture of the Islamic world and was developed at Fontainebleu France in the mid 16th century. Its use was spread through published engravings, and it is characterized by its intricate and highly decorative nature. The arabesque pattern is created using a repetitive motif that is repeated and interwoven to create a cohesive design. It was used as a form of decoration in art, architecture, textiles, pottery, furniture and ceramics and it is often used to add a sense of grandeur and sophistication to a design. The arabesque pattern is admired for its beauty and complexity, and it continues to be used in a wide range of decorative contexts today.
- Circa - A Latin term meaning 'about', often used in the antique trade to give an approximate date for the piece, usually considered to be five years on either side of the circa year. Thus, circa 1900 means the piece was made about 1900, probably between 1895 and 1905. The expression is sometimes abbreviated to c.1900.
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