1853 John Arrowsmith Large Antique Goldfields Map of New South Wales & Victoria

Cartographer : John Arrowsmith

  • Title : The South Eastern Portion of Australia compiled from the Colonial Sirveys and from details furnished by Exploratory Expeditions by John Arrowsmith....London Pubd. Jan 1853
  • Size: 26 1/2in x 21 1/2in (675mm x 550mm)
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Date : 1853
  • Ref #:  82039

This large incredibly important and rare map of New South Wales and Victoria - with an inset map of Australia - know as the Goldfields map, due to the extensive details of the NSW & Victorian Goldfields (with index) by John Arrowsmith was engraved in 1853 - dated at the foot of the map - published for The Colonial Office Parliamentary Papers, London.

As with all Arrowsmith maps the detail of this map is incredible, the important and numerous goldfields are highlighted in yellow with index, important agricultural lands are coloured pink. The borders of 68 counties are included in New South Wales extending out from Sydney. Also extensive details on towns, lakes, rivers, land routes annotated by explorers and partially dated taken by significant explorers from Oxley to Strzelecki over the period 1817-1840. The Australian Agricultural Company\'s land holdings is shown totalling over a million acres.
Note that part of the intersection between River Darling and River Murray (called Ana Brh.) is uncharted and shown by a hypothetical interrupted line. Relief is shown by hachures and spot heights. Also marked are the localities where gold has been discovered to the beginning of 1853.

Expeditions listed are, 
1. Oxley - 2 expeditions, 1817-18 
2. Hume - 1824-25
3. Cunningham - 3 expeditions, 1825-29
4. Sturt - 2 expeditions, 1828-30
5. Mitchell - 3 expeditions, 1832-36
6. Bourke - 1837
7. Tyers - 1839-40
8. Strzelecki - 1840

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 26 1/2in x 21 1/2in (675mm x 550mm)
Plate size: - 26 1/2in x 21 1/2in (675mm x 550mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - Folds as issued
Verso: - None

The importance of John Arrowsmiths contribution to early Australian cartography cannot be overstated. He was responsible for producing many of the early exploration maps of Australia for the Colonial Offices & Government publications as well as the RGS.
Maps produced after the first settlement and into the 19th century came from varied sources, first published with the First Fleet Journals by Arthur Phillip, John Hunter and Watkin Tench. Numerous European publishing houses produced atlases which included maps of Australia. Many came out in several editions and were updated as new information became available. The Australian Colonies were administered by officials responsible to the British Colonial Office and all events of importance, often illustrated by maps, were published in the British Parliamentary Papers. There a rea prime source of maps from 1830 onwards, although one or two maps may be found in Parliamentary Papers prior to this time, such as one example of a rare map of the Swan River by Captain James Stirling. 
During the 19th century, as the Australian colonies were progressively granted responsible government, Parliamentary Papers for each colony became an important source of maps. These maps sources have been a hidden and untapped resource. Another good source of early maps is published journals of the explorers; the explorers earliest maps often accompanied reports in the 
Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK. Parallel development of Australian scientific institutions along with an interest in exploration was a strong feature of 19th century Australia. The Royal Geographical Society of Australasia was established with branches in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. A number of important maps were published as separate sheets, increasingly by Australian printers and engravers such as Carmichael, Sands & Kenny, and Higginbotham, Robinson & Harrison.
Australian atlases were produced and repeat editions of cadastral surveys and maritime chats became increasingly available. Specialist maps were published from official sources, including geological and mineral maps. Towards the end of the century a plethora of thematic maps were published through a verity of media such as advertisements for land sales, tourists maps and street directories. 

Parliamentary Papers British Parliamentary Papers were a funnel for all significant colonial events in the 19th century. They included over one hundred maps with information on topography, exploration and lad survey published between 1817 and 1890., with two-thirds of the maps being produced by John Arrowsmith. Few maps are found after the early 1860s. The maps accompanying papers relevant to gold discovery (1851-55) are a particularly good resource, documenting an important time in the history of Australia. Perhaps the most neglected source of early Australian maps are those included in the Colonial Parliamentary Papers published locally after 1836. The NSW Parliamentary Papers published between 1836 and 1900 contain over 2700 maps on 129 topics, providing a unique record of events considered important by the colonial administration. Land ownership and land use dominate, followed by maps of services relevant to land use, such as railways, roads, water supply and sewerage. Public health issues are recorded in maps as are maps of gold& mineral leases reflected the expanding diversity of the economy. The first map published in the NSW Parliamentary Papers, of the site of the new Government House, was lithographed by W.R. Baker in 1836. The total number of maps over the same period from other colonies was less than 2000 but again each colonies priorities were reflected by in the subjects covered. Tasmania reflected mainly geological and early convict disciplinary maps; South Australia, land administration and pastoral development; Victoria, maps relating to the development; Victoria, maps relating to the colonies infrastructure, especially railway and harbour development; Queensland, railway and mineral leases; Western Australia, a broad range that included two important technological innovations that shortened the time, and therefore the cost, of printing maps. Firstly , John Osborn in 1859, developed the use of a transfer paper method in photolithography which reduced printing time from days to hours. Secondly, Alfred Selwyn in 1860 used a steam-driven power press to print seven colour geological maps.

Royal Geographical Society published its first journal in 1832. This journal was to become the leading scientific medium available for explorers to publish the first news of their discoveries. However, not all explorers were published here. Between 1832 and 1880, 25 maps recorded of inland Australia, illustrating the journeys of 27 explorers. John Arrowsmith compiled 22 of the 25 maps published by the RGS again illustrating the importance of Arrowsmith to the expansion of early colonial cartography in Australia.