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John Arrowsmith: The South Eastern Portion of Australia compiled from Colonial Surveys

Map: AUNZ2870
Cartographer: John Arrowsmith
Title: The South Eastern Portion of Australia compiled from Colonial Surveys
Date: 1853
Published: London
Width: 24 inches / 61 cm
Height: 20 inches / 51 cm
Map ref: AUNZ2870
This is the finest available printed map of New South Wales and the newly established colony of Victoria from the mid 19th century.

This large, impressive map of the new colony of New South Wales was first issued in Arrowsmith’s “London Atlas” in 1838, replacing another more general map of Australia. Over the next twenty years it went through no less than twelve different versions or “states”; these showcase an extraordinary sequence of exploration, cultivation and settlement in the most populated part of the continent. They chronicle the separation of the southern coast of New South Wales into the colony of Victoria in 1851 as well as the position of the southern border of the new colony of Queensland drawn on the 1858 and last edition of this map. This is a curious inclusion as Queen Victoria did not sign the letters of patent granting Queensland its official separation until 1859 but the initiation of this process began as far back as 1851. It is yet another example of the extraordinary access Arrowsmith enjoyed to the highest corridors of power in the Colonial Office that he was able to begin publishing this new piece of information a year before its final validation.

The example offered on this occasion is a rarer variant of this map. It was not included in the “London Atlas” but rather appeared in the Parliamentary Papers of 1852-3 with added locations of the New South Wales and Victorian gold fields first discovered in 1851 and which changed the fate of the continent. These locations are coloured yellow and keyed to a panel on the upper centre. More discreetly, a series of pink sections on the coast are keyed to a smaller list on the extreme right of the map, just above the list of New South Wales Counties. These are areas under agricultural cultivation.

A cornerstone map of any Australian collection.

Original hand colour. [AUNZ2870]