Sepia coloured 'Intercolonial Exhibition 1866' photographic card, depicting Governor Arthur's circa1830 proclamation to the Aborigines, published by Thomas Ellis & Co., photographers, Melbourne. The card is in excellent condition and was donated with a red ink type-written sheet describing the scenes portrayed in the proclamation's four vignettes.

In 1830, small huon pine proclamation boards were produced in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) to promote the desire for peaceful co-existence between Aboriginals and non-indigenous settlers. The drawings were based on those produced by the Surveyor General George Frankland (1800-1838), and reinforced the 1829 proclamations made by Lieutenant Governor George Arthur (1784-1854) in which he declare a state of martial law and prohibited Aboriginals from entering settled areas. The panels are often incorrectly described as Governor Davey's Proclamation, being attributed to Lieutenant Governor Thomas Davey who served in that role between 1813-1817.

Alongside photographic cards of the proclamations, lithographic posters of the panels were also produced for Melbourne's 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition by the office of the Surveyor-General in Tasmania, as a means of attracting visitors to the Exhibition to the Tasmanian Court. While the original print run of lithographs was for 500, it is suspected that a second print run may have been made, as the lithographs were also used at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition. Much like the label adhered to the panel in this card, the lithograph posters were incorrectly titled 'Governor Davey's Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1815'.

Physical Description

Sepia-coloured photographic card depicting the early Tasmanian proclamation panel often incorrectly known as Governor Davey's proclamation to the Aborigines, 1815. On the reverse of the card is the monograph of Thomas Ellis & Co., photographers by appointment to the Commissioners of the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition. There is the mark on the verso upper right corner from where a staple originally held the card and accompanying typed descriptive sheet together.

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