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Gigs were coxed four-oared boats and were the standard racing boats before the advent of coxed eight-oared shells.

The race was on the Yarra River and started at Fisherman's Bend and finished at Queen's Wharf, the centre of maritime activity in Melbourne in front of what is now South Wharf. The six competing crews were Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Geelong, and two crews from Ballarat.


Published in The Australasian Sketcher. 1873.


Wood engraving.


160 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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