# 41909

Photographer unknown.

The Devil’s Hands, Nowra (New South Wales).

$250.00 AUD

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Sepia-tone gelatin silver print photograph, printed on postcard stock, 137 x 86 mm; manuscript caption in image lower left ‘The Devil’s Hands, Nowra’; mailed from Nowra to Parramatta on 10 April 1909 by a Shoalhaven tourist who writes: ‘Good walk across scenery worth seeing’; in excellent condition.

Rare early photograph of a painted rock shelter at Mundamia in the Shoalhaven River basin, which is covered with hand stencils. In the early twentieth century these were erroneously interpreted by inventor and aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave as pictographic evidence in support of his ludicrous theory that the Spanish navigator Lope de Vega had visited the area in 1595, discovered gold, and then proceeded to use the local Aboriginal population as slave labour to extract the precious ore.

We have not been able to trace another example of this particular photograph of the rock shelter in Australian institutional collections.