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The S.S. GOTHENBURG was a steamship that operated on the Australian and New Zealand coasts. She was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef during a cyclone. The picture shows the hard-hat diver, Mr Putain examining the wreck. Putain recovered a large amount of gold from the wreck. Official death toll was 102. twenty two people survived.


Published in The Illustrated New Zealand Herald. 1875.


Artist. Samuel Calvert. 1828-1913.


Wood engraving.


224 x 226 mm.


Wood engravings were first produced in Europe in the fifteenth century. During the late eighteenth century the process was reintroduced and used for inexpensive illustrated books. The nineteenth century publishing phenomena of the illustrated newspaper was made possible by use of the technique. The process allowed for the illustration and the text to be printed by a single pass through the printing press using the letterpress method.  It also made it possible for several engravers or even a team to produce and work on a single illustration at the same time.

All the major artists of the period contributed to the illustrations. Some papers acknowledged the artists on the plates but The Australasian Sketcher appears to have had a policy of anonymity. Where known, we have included the artist’s name.


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