# 44160

"AGRICOLA" (ANGAS, George Fife, 1789 - 1879).

Description of the Barossa Range and its neighbourhood, in South Australia

$22,000.00 AUD

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By “Agricola”. Illustrated with maps and coloured plates, from original drawings made on the spot, by George French Angas. London : Smith, Elder, & Co., Cornwall, 1849. Quarto, recent half-calf over original embossed cloth covered boards, original gilt-lettered title label to upper board, marbled endpapers, pp. 20, six fine hand coloured lithographed plates with tissue guards, occasional light foxing, map (Plan of special surveys in 80 acre sections in the Barossa Range, South Australia), a fine copy.

One of the rarest and most beautiful Australian colour plate books. 

A fine copy of this rare illustrated promotional book designed to encourage emigration to the fertile Barossa Valley in South Australia. Authorship has traditionally been attributed to George French Angas’s brother, John Howard Angas, however as mentioned in Philip Jones authoritative recent monograph, ‘there is little doubt that George Fife prepared the text, albeit with assistance from his sons and from George Gawler’ – Philip Jones, Illustrating the Antipodes. George French Angas in Australia and New Zealand 1844-1845 (2021), p. 97. The name ‘Agricola’ is drawn from that of the Roman General who ruled Britain, and whose name conjures up ideals of prosperous agricultural settlement.

“The book was designed to promote South Australia rather than as a vehicle for Angas’s illustrations. Even so, it is a most attractive work. The lithographs are of special interest since for the first time they were drawn on the stone by Angas himself. So much of Angas’s work was reinterpreted by British lithographer that this book is especially desirable as a faithful expression of Angas’s artistic intentions and a more accurately observed representation of the Australian scenery. For this reason, if no other, no serious collector would pass up an opportunity to acquire a copy of this rare 1849 volume’. – Jonathan Wantrup, Australian Rare Books 1788 – 1900, (2023), p. 409.

Some copies of this book include a second map, but as recorded by Wantrup ‘It is possible (but improbable) that the second map may not have been issued with all copies. It is not recorded by Ferguson and was not present in the Edge-Partington copy nor the Quentin Keynes copy (Christies, London, 2004)’ – Wantrup, p. 1114.

Ferguson 4968; Wantrup 238