( – )
(Australia circa 1771 – post 1812)
34 x 49.8 cm image;41.4 x 55.2 cm plate mark; 51.2 x 68 cm sheet
John Eyre was born in Coventry, England and transported to Sydney on 14 December 1801, after being convicted of house-breaking in March 1799. In June 1804 he was granted a conditional pardon, and was appointed by Governor Bligh in 1807 to condense three charts of Port Dalrymple (Launceston) into one. It was during this time that he met David Dickinson Mann.
These prints are two of four aquatints issued as a set, commonly known as the 'Eyre views', which when joined form a panorama. They were first issued, hand-coloured, in 1810 (although uncoloured versions are extant). They were re-issued in 1811 in two forms, to accompany Mann's 'Present Picture of New South Wales'. In the cheaper version (at £3 13s 6d), the images were printed on un-watermarked paper with centre-folds in a bound atlas; in the more expensive version (at £4 4s), as a portfolio of four unbound prints to accompany the text (from which this print is most likely to have come). Mann, a pardoned convict, had taken Eyre's original drawings to England in 1809, where they were displayed publicly. His book is a personal history of the colony from 1799 to 1808 under the Governorships of Hunter, King, Bligh and Johnston. Watermarks on some prints suggest it was re-issued in the 1820s. Facsimiles were published by William Dymock in Sydney in 1884 and another, combining 'The West side of the cove No 1 and No 2' in the late 1890s and another by Walter Akhurst and Co., Sydney
Many features of the early settlement are identifiable - for example, High Street (now George Street) is clearly visible. Other features, such as the buildings in the mid-ground to the right of centre, seem to be the invention of the engraver as they do not appear in any known drawing of the site.
Kolenberg, H. & Ryan, A, Australian Prints, AGNSW, 1998
Jane de Teliga, Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 3.
Geoff K. Gray Pty. Ltd., Auction sale of rare books and prints by Geoff K Gray Pty Ltd, including the Australiana Library of The Late Joseph (Stonewall) Jackson, O.B.E., former Lord Major of Sydney, Sydney, 1967, 46. lot no. 745
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 19 (colour illus.). cat.no. 2b
Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 49
Auction sale of rare books and prints by Geoff K Gray Pty Ltd, Geoff K. Gray Pty. Ltd., Sydney, 28 Nov 1967–30 Nov 1967
Acquisitions 1967, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Mar 1968–01 Apr 1968
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999