ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE IDYLLS OF THE KING. Sophia Sinnett, Adelaide Photograph Company.


By Sophia Sinnett. Adelaide Photo. Comp. [cover title]. Twelve mounted photographic plates (image size 10 cm. x 12.5 cm.) with captions; loosely contained within light brown cloth portfolio, lettered in gilt and decorated in blind, with partial remains of green ribbon tie at centre fore-edge, the cloth very slightly soiled, lightly faded at edges and spine, upper joint starting from bottom edge, the spine a trifle frayed at extremities; the plates faintly soiled, on slightly buckled backing sheets; [Bailliere, Melbourne, n.d.(1865)]. *From the library of the Parliament of Victoria, with their small gilt stamp and shelf label on the upper board. Sophia Sinnett (born c. 1828, date of death unknown), arrived in Australia from England sometime between 1858 and 1862. At that time, her younger brother Frederick (a co-founder of Melbourne Punch) was living in Adelaide, where in 1862 he established the Daily Telegraph, the first evening newspaper to be published in the colony. In 1863 and 1864, Sophia Sinnett exhibited oil paintings with the South Australian Society of Arts. While she was living in Adelaide, she produced this set of illustrations to Tennyson's Idylls of the King, which were photographically reproduced by the Adelaide Photo Company. American-born Townsend Duryea, a pioneer of photography in South Australia, could have been the photographer, as he was associated with the company at that time. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Frederick Sinnett moved to Melbourne in August 1865, to take up a post with the Argus (for which he had reported on the goldrush in the 1850s). Sophia Sinnett could have moved with him, as her illustrations to the Idylls were published in the present album format by Bailliere of Melbourne in 1865. It is one of the earliest photographically illustrated publications produced in Australia. (Robert Holden, Photography in Colonial Australia, dates the first use of original photographs as illustrations in commercially produced books as 1864. The present work, being a portfolio rather than a monograph, is not recorded by Holden, as it falls outside his stated parameters [see Holden, p. 10]). Item #075687

Price: $6,500.00