TAYLOR, James (Major, of his Majesty's 48th Regiment of Foot)
Three panoramic views of Port Jackson, in New South Wales, with the town of Sydney, and the adjacent scenery. After original drawings by … Taylor… drawn from nature… between 1817 and 1822
Three plates, engraved by Robert Havell and son, printed by Edward Egerton-Williams in colours and finished by hand, each with printer's blindstamp.
From an edition limited to 110 copies, printed from the original printing plates in 1988 employing the same techniques as used in 1823. This fine edition was published as a collaborative effort between the State Library of New South Wales and the renowned fine art publishers, Alecto Editions.
"By 1820, Sydney was a town of 12,000 inhabitants, about a third of whom were convicts. It had grown dramatically during the administration of Lachlan Macquarie who was appointed governor of New South Wales in 1810. Unlike previous governors, Macquarie was not content merely to oversee a penal colony. His vigorous building programme changed forever the appearance of Sydney, while his policy of accepting emancipated convicts as respected citizens demonstrated a social attitude strangely out of step with the times. Both these policies earned him criticism. In 1819, alarmed by Macquarie's extravagant public works, the British Government commissioned a lawyer and civil servant, J.T.Bigge, to investigate. The attacks by his critics were met head on by Macquarrie's supporters in New South Wales. Books, pamphlets and paintings luded the governor's undoubted achievements. Almost certainly Major Taylor's drawings were used in, if not commissioned for, this cause. The engraved views of the Panorama present a flattering image of the Australian seat of government and, by extension, of Macquarie's term there...Taylor arranged the engraving and printing of the of the three sheet Panorama.. upon his return to England in July 1822...Havell appears to have worked from [Taylor's].. large watercolours, but amended them with additional details.. and decorative elements...It is most fortuitous that the copper plates...have survived. There is no other example of such a case for 19th century Australian engravings."