After George William Evans (1780 – 1852)
‘Hobart Town’ c. 1825
Staffordshire earthenware plate with blue and white transfer pattern
23 cm diameter

George William Evans (1780 – 1852) is today best remembered for his role in surveying and exploring the then newly established colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. For his efforts in discovering a passage through the Great Dividing Range into the interior of the former colony, he was awarded 1,000 acres in the Coal River Valley, Van Diemen’s Land. In 1825, Evans was appointed Surveyor General of Tasmania, however did not assume office. Outside his surveying work, Evans was also known as an artist of some repute, and in 1822 published A Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land.1

This transfer printed Staffordshire plate, produced circa 1825, is based on an image of Hobart town by Evans which served as a frontispiece in his publication. Remaining examples of similar works depicting North American coastal cities identify the piece as one of a set depicting world ports. The piece is considered the earliest depiction of Australia on ceramic.

1. Weatherburn, A K, ‘Evans, George William (1780 – 1852)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

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