# 32324


[GOLD RUSH] Printed circular with price list for foodstuffs, building materials, wines and spirits, tea and coffee, tobacco, wool, hides, gold etc.; mailed to Launceston from Melbourne on the day of issue, 8 August 1853.

$400.00 AUD

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Melbourne : Hough & Co., Printers, Elizabeth St., 8 August 1853. Quarto bifolium, 250 x 200 mm, blue wove paper, printed on the first side only and folded for mailing, with manuscript address panel on the last side; sent from Melbourne by Coffey, Hill & Co. to ‘W Johnstone Esq, Launceston’; unframed PAID MELBOURNE AU 8 1853 cancel (with crown) in red; framed circular LAUNCESTON TASMANIA 11 No 11 receiving postmark in black; manuscript rated 3 in red with manuscript 4 (to pay) in black; outer side endorsed in manuscript by the receiver’s employee F. Clarence ‘Coffey Hill Co. Melbourne 7 Nov Recd. 11 Aug 1853’; a little roughly opened and with a short marginal tear to outer side (not affecting print); very clean and near fine.

In 1853, at the height of the Victorian gold rushes, enterprising Melbourne importers and exporters Coffey, Hill & Co. had their regular circulars published in the Launceston, Tasmania newspaper The Cornwall Chronicle. This scarce example of one of their circulars, specially printed for mailing, was addressed to a Launceston customer and is testimony to the flourishing trade between the mainland and northern Tasmania at this time.

Hot off the Hough & Co. press, the circular was posted on 8 August and was received by Mr. Johnstone just three days later. It takes the form of a short bulletin on recent shipping activity in Melbourne, noting the availability or scarcity of particular commodities, and including the rates for staples such as bread and flour, potatoes, bacon, hams, cheese, and butter, for building materials, and also for gold and wool. The bulletin is followed by a Prices Current list which itemises, in tabular form, a wide range of products and has a column for the merchant’s remarks, such as “Scarce”, “Overstocked”, “Fair demand”, “Little offering”, or “Good supply”. At the foot is a summary of Coffey, Hill & Co.’s imports for the preceding month, July 1853.