POTTER, Charles [Government Printer]. Photographs. New South Wales. Sydney, Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1896.
Oblong large folio (52 by 40 cm). Original red presentation binding of full morocco with bevelled edges, lettered in gilt, all edges gilt, original repaired box preseent; lithographic title-page in red, gren and gilt, 100 rather large original siver gelatine photographs (c. 36 by 27 cm, or portrait format of the same size) with tissue guards, mounted on stiff cardboard leaves, lettered in the negatives; a little foxing in the margins, otherwise the images with good tonal range and well-preserved.
This splendid photobook was presented by the Premier of New South Wales, G. H. Reid to Lady Charles Paulet (lettering on front cover). The 12th Premier of New South Wales, Sir George Houston Reid (1845-1918) later served as the fourth Prime Minister of Australia (1904-05), and is remembered as a witty (if sometimes rude) and efficient public speaker. Lady Charles Paulet was widowed in 1870 and lived for a good while in style with hewr daughters in Adderbury, Oxfordshire, where she acted as a benefactor to the community. 'In 1894 they sailed to Australia where Lady Paulet made numerous friends during her visit there in company with her daughter and son-in-law, General Sir Edward Hutton, Commander of the New South Wales forces … “Endowed with great beauty,” wrote a correspondent of the “Times,” “a saintly mind, and a gracious presence. Lady Charles Paulet was a type grande dame whose whole life was spent in thinking of the welfare of others rather than of herself. It has been said of her that in all her long life she had never been known to say an unkind word nor do an unkind act to man, woman, or child about her. Accompanying her daughter and son-ln-law, General Sir Edward Hutton, in Australia and Canada, she exercised a remarkable influence upon all she met … " (http://historyofadderbury.co.uk/). The Governmement Printer Charles Potter employed several very good photographers and the studio must have been well equipped, as the quality of the images and prints proves. 'The New South Wales Government Printer (NSWGP), a public works department in Sydney, was established in 1859 as an extension of the postage stamp department. The first Government Printer, Mr. Thomas Richards, established the "Photolithographic and Lithographic" department in 1868 and the "Photomechanical" department in 1877. Richards' intention for the photographs was the depiction of natural features and the material progress of the colony; the distribution of the photographs was promotional. 'Photographs were sent to international exhibitions, including the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1888, when the department sent 178 photographs. The main form of presentation, however, was in album format, produced internally by the Printer's binding department. The quality, style and size of the albums were remarkable and produced as gifts for official visitors. Photographs were purchased and commissioned from commercial operators including Henry King, Charles Bayliss and Charles Kerry' (Julia Peck in Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography). The photographs show the main thoroughfares, harbour, parks and public buildings of the boomtown Sydney, other towns and some stunning views of the landscape of New South Wales.