The rare deluxe hand-coloured issue of the foundation book. John Stockdale’s compilation of accounts and despatches from Arthur Phillip, Shortland, Watts, Ball and Marshall of the Scarborough, was a remarkable achievement in so short a time after the arrival back in England of the First Fleet in 1789. Of the six recognised ‘official’ first fleet journals, this hand-coloured issue of Arthur Phillip is certainly the most attractive and most comprehensive. Rodney Davidson considered that as ‘the authentic record of the first settlement the work’s importance cannot be over-emphasised, and no collection can be complete without a copy’.
The text describes early expeditions into the interior around Botany Bay and Port Jackson, and the earliest coastal exploration. The plates and maps illustrate the settlement at Sydney Cove and record the buildings already built by July 1788. The natural history plates are mostly after drawings and possibly specimens sent back to London by John White.
First edition, 4to, portrait and engraved title, seven folding engraved charts and 46 engraved plates, of which the 31 natural history plates are on laid paper with fine original handcolouring; bound with the final leaf of advertisements; first state of the title-page, with ‘H. Webber invt.’ on lower left of the medallion; page 122 with the uncorrected mis-numbering 221, early state of the ‘Kangooroo’ plate at p. 106 (later changed to ‘Kanguroo’), but with the corrected ‘Vulpine Opossum’ plate at p150; handsome period-style half calf, marbled boards, spine richly gilt in compartments.
Davidson, pp. 70-2; Ferguson, 47; Hill 2, 1347; Wantrup 5.
Stock ID: 98497