Sunday in the Bush
Titled below image
36.5 x 45.5 cm
$4,400.00 including GST
With contemporaneous frame
The condition is very good though not pristine I
llustrated: Town and Country Journal, as a supplement for new subscribers, 10 January, 1874. [A related but not identical engraved image with the same title was previously published in The Town and Country Journal, 8 April, 1871]
Comments: While the primary intention of the Town and Country Journal in publishing the print was to exhort religious observance, the resulting image has also provided a quintessential record of a nineteenth-century Australian bush house and its occupants.
We have not seen another copy of this print, either in a public collection nor having sold on the market over the past 40 years. We have found references to its impending publication being announced in the Town and Country Journal on 20 December 1873 and on 3 January 1874. Announcements also appeared in other periodicals such as the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (on Saturday 3 January 1874).
However, the announcements indicated that only new subscribers to the Town and Country Journal were entitled to a copy of the print:
"In the course of preparation, to be given GRATIS to Subscribers, WITH THE NEW YEAR'S ISSUE, A SPLENDID COLOURED ENGRAVING, ENTITLED, "Sunday in the Bush," A picture which, as a work of art in coloured printing, has never been excelled. All new subscribers from the commencement of the ensuing year will be entitled to a gratis copy of this fine picture."
This ‘exclusiveness’ may explain the extreme rarity of the print. The colour print may be partly based on a small black and white engraving previously published by the same journal on 8 April, 1871: When the smaller black and white engraving was published in 1871 it was accompanied by lengthy text about the nature of Sunday in the bush, commenting on the worthiness of the observance of Sunday as a day of rest.
The bushman, even in his isolation, could render ‘due homage to his Maker’, indeed the solitude of God’s nature could have a ‘more solemnizing effect… than even the Cathedral raised by human art.’
The text accompanying the coloured lithograph of 1874 was shorter than the 1871 text but carried the same message:
"Hundreds of miles beyond the sound of " the church- going bell," there may be found here and there, scat- tered over the wide districts of the bush, such a Sun- day scene as that depicted in the coloured engraving which accompanies this number of the Town and Country Journal… And among the blessings of family life in the interior is the change which often takes place, when the springing up of children around a man's homestead makes him resolve to give up, and to require his sons and servants to give up, the horse-breaking and other objectionable Sunday work, the practice of which was formerly all but general throughout the wide interior… It is with the desire of calling the attention of heads of families to the duties they owe to those of their own household, that we have chosen " Sunday in the Bush” for the subject of our coloured illustration. "
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