Item #CL198-38 Governor Davey’s Proclamation To The Aborigines, 1816. After George Frankland, 1800–1838 British.
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Governor Davey’s Proclamation To The Aborigines, 1816

c1890s. Watercolour and ink drawing, captioned in image, 40 x 23.4cm. Tear from upper left edge through upper portion of image, stains, slight foxing, old mount burn.

This proclamation “presents a four-strip pictogram that attempts to explain the idea of equality under the law. Those who committed violent crimes in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania), be they Aboriginal Australian or European settler, would be punished in the same way.” Incorrectly attributed to Governor Thomas Davey (1758–1823), this proclamation is in fact by Governor George Arthur (1784–1854) from around 1828. The proclamation first appeared painted on a timber board, designed by George Frankland in 1829, and around 100 copies in oil were subsequently produced to be hung on trees. In 1866 the proclamation board was reproduced as a lithograph for display and sale at the Intercolonial Exhibition held in Melbourne. It was mistakenly attributed to Thomas Davey’s governorship of Van Diemen’s Land from 1812 to 1817. The lithographs were reissued again in 1867 for the Paris Exposition Universelle and are now erroneously known as Governor Davey’s Proclamation.

This hand-drawn copy of the proclamation is believed to be based on the 1866 lithograph, but was likely done in the 1890s when another issue was reportedly released. At least four variant lithographic images are held in SLNSW, NGA, NLA, NMA. Ref: Wiki.

Item #CL198-38

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