MAZELL, P[eter] (artist); [PHILLIP, Arthur, 1738-1814]
London : John Stockdale, 1789. Copperplate engraving on laid paper, 263 x 190 mm (plate line), 285 x 225 mm (sheet), original hand colouring as issued, signed in the image lower right ‘P. Mazell Sculp.’; a couple of very small ink marks, but a fine example.
The stunning hand coloured image of the kangaroo from the rare deluxe first edition of Phillip, rarely offered for sale.
Originally published in The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay with an account of the establishment of the Colonies of Port Jackson & Norfolk Island; compiled from authentic papers, which have been obtained from the several departments, to which are added, the journals of Lieuts. Shortland, Watts, Ball, & Capt. Marshall; with an account of their new discoveries. London : John Stockdale, 1789.
Published in London the year following the successful arrival of the First Fleet in New Holland, Stockdale’s work is the most detailed early account of the arduous voyage and is considered the foundation book of Australian settlement. Compiled, with an editor’s literary flourish, from Phillip’s official reports, as well as the journals of other officers in the First Fleet, this account describes the voyage from England and the first months at Port Jackson, a period extending from March 1787 to September 1788. It captures the administrative and functional challenges facing the fledgling colony, which were rendered all the more difficult by its remoteness and its spectacularly alien natural environment. The work, which describes the initial exploration of the Sydney region, its indigenous inhabitants, natural history and landscape, is illustrated with several dozen plates, mostly after drawings and specimens sent back to London by Surgeon General John White. The work was published in two states, one with the plates uncoloured, and another in deluxe format, “the rare coloured issue of this classic, only a very few copies were produced in this form” (Hill). In deluxe copies the natural history plates were printed on laid paper, as here, and expertly coloured with watercolours.
“Any copy with contemporary handcolouring is a rarity.” (Davidson)
Mazell’s engraving of the kangaroo is iconic. The marsupial’s features, elegant and fine, are accentuated against a sparse background.
Ferguson 47; Wantrup 5; Hill 1347; Nissen, ZBI, 3158; Kroepelien 1249