Early view of Melbourne – Aus$12,500 (£6945) in the Peter Arnold auction.

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Sold at Aus$12,500 (£6945) on November 29 at the saleroom in Prahan, Victoria, it is based on an original by John Adamson and dates from c.1840.

Melbourne was founded in 1835. By 1851 Victoria had become a separate colony from New South Wales with Melbourne the capital.

Melbourne saleroom

Beneath the image is a small numbered key to some of the modest number of buildings then to be found in what is today the second-most populous city in Australia.

In the line of those that run back from the river at a point just to the left of the two sailing vessels, I was intrigued to see that one is named as the ‘Melbourne Auction Rooms’. Livestock may have been the principal business, perhaps building plots, but could there have been any art sales?

Oz sketches


‘Bushranger’s Flight’, one of eight Colonial Sketches – Aus$15,000 (£8335) in the Peter Arnold auction.

Sold at Aus$15,000 (£8335) was a scarce set of eight tinted litho Colonial Sketches by ST Gill, published in Melbourne in 1853.

‘Bushranger’s Flight’ is shown here but others include ‘Native Corrobboree’, ‘Kangaroo Stalking’, and ‘Native sneaking Emu’ – the term here referring to hunting.