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A scene of the doomed ship as recorded by Joseph Cunningham, one of the survivors of this calamitous wreck. The BRITISH ADMIRAL was a fully rigged iron ship of 1808 tons. Off course, she hit the rocks on the west coast of the island with the loss of 79 lives.


Published in The Australasian Sketcher. 1874.


Wood engraving.


228 x 328 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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