Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Blue Gum Forest


[September - October 1849]



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From the Collection


"Having heard a good deal of the enormous size of the timber in Van Diemen’s Land, I hired a boat and two men to take me down to Long Bay where the largest trees were said to grow. I measured the trees carefully and wrote down their dimensions. I think these must be the largest in the world, except the trees on the north-west coast of America, which are all of the fir-tribe".
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 268 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.

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Courtesy of a private collector

From the Watercolour World


Wielangta Forest, Tasmania, Australia