CL 196 News from Australia
“An old cobbler and his wife listen whilst their daughter reads the ship letter, which has enclosed them a £100 note” (worth about £7,750 today), presumably sent by family members in the Australian Gold Fields.
Another interesting feature is the poster pinned to the cottage wall – Emigration to Australia in the ship ‘Hope’ and you can see the word Melbourne.” Signed on the hearthstone, on the left, “Published May 10th, 1854, by G. Baxter, Proprietor and Patentee, London."
George Baxter's News from Australia, and above on his original embossed stamped mount
A companion to CL 195 Australia News from Home which can be read about here
Under the print on the steel printing plate is "News from Australia. Engraved, Printed, and Published, May 10th, 1854, by the Proprietor, George Baxter, the Inventor and Patentee of Oil Colour Picture Printing, 11 & 12, Northampton Square (Entered at Stationers' Hall)."
Although Baxter didn’t claim it as his own design or give an artist’s name Chester Earles has been mentioned as possibly where Baxter got the idea or basis for this print. Earles exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849 and at Suffolk Street in 1850, a painting entitled “A Letter from Australia; A Family Group, shows the Earles family gathered at afternoon tea listening to Charles Earles reading a letter from their sister Penelope who had migrated to Australia with her husband, George Selby, in 1840; Chester himself is standing behind Charles”. We have not seen a copy of this but if Baxter had used this as a basis he must have adapted it to include the £100 note which, prior to the Australian Gold rush finds of 1851 onwards, wouldn’t have been possible?
It will be noticed that although this print is signed within the body of the print it’s companion CL 195 – Australia News from Home - is not and although this has been pointed to as another instance of Baxter's erratic methods it must be remembered that 16 months had elapsed between the publication of the two prints.
Baxter’s versions are stated to be found in various states:
Sunk Stamped Mount, with Gold Line Border (I do not know what they meant in the 1920’s by ‘Sunk’ – can anybody help?)
Stamped Mount, with Title in English.
Stamped Mount, with Title in French.
Unmounted, with or without Title and Marginal Lettering.
It was produced from twelve blocks, and originally sold at 1s. 6d.
Le Blond also printed from Baxter’s plates circa 1868 but he first removed Baxter’s signature so the absence of that sufficiently differentiates the two prints. Fully finished prints are good copies but we have noticed some copies where the seated ladies dress is light brown rather than burgundy showing again Le Blond omitting colour blocks presumably for commercial reasons.
To the left two Le Blond Baxter's (neither have Baxter signature on the hearth) but in some (not fully finished) copies the dress can be brown, as in the top copy, rather than burgundy