Frederic B. Schell (1838-1902) was born in Philadelphia on 5th March 1838 and died New York 26th May, 1900. An American artist, Schell was brought out to produce views for this series which was made to mark 100 years of Australia’s settlement. He was active in Australia from 1886-1889.
This engraving is from the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia which was the most ambitious publishing venture in Australian history up to the 1900s. It was conceived and financed by American publishers under the name of the Picturesque Atlas Publishing Co Limited, Sydney and Melbourne. Its ambitious aims of using the best artists, the best paper, the finest printing engraving techniques and for it to be the most comprehensive survey of Australia's colonial history ensured that it inevitably was doomed to be a financial failure. The legacy that it left on the other hand was some of the finest engravings and maps printed in Australia in the C19th.
The Illustrated Sydney News, which was published from 1854 to 1889 included a number of high quality engravings to illustrate the accompanying news and articles. It was issued on a monthly basis due to the time consuming process of having to engrave each illustration which would take an engraver between one and two weeks to make each one.
SS.Peter and Paul's R.C. Church, Emerald-Hill. St.Joseph's R.C. Church, Sandridge.
This rare engraving is from the original edition of The Australasian Sketcher, an illustrated newspaper which was published in Melbourne from 1873 to 1889. It was issued on a monthly basis and included a number of high quality engravings to illustrate the news and article. The reason it was issued on a monthly basis was due to the time consuming process of engraving the illustrations which would take one engraver between one and two weeks to make each engraving. This is also coincided with the monthly shipping of mail to England.
The engravings provided a unique glimpse into colonial life, often depicting situations or scenes that were less than flattering, in contrast to the majority of sanctioned views that provided a sanitized portrayal of life in Australia. Increasingly expensive to produce, the few illustrated newspapers that made use of original engravings for their illustrations, and that survived the economic collapse of the late 1880's found themselves competing against the new technology of photographically produced half-tone and lino type processes. By the turn of the century most had disappeared. Many famous Australian colonial artists were employed such as Julian Ashton, Albert Cooke, Oswald Rose Campbell, Alfred James Daplyn, Samuel Calvert and Elizier Levi Montefiore.
Many famous Australian colonial artists were employed such as Julian Ashton, Albert Cooke, Oswald Rose Campbell, Alfred James Daplyn, Samuel Calvert and Elizier Levi Montefiore.
Due to their ephemeral nature few have survived.