This is a collectable / secondhand book.
Ludwig Becker (1808?-1861), artist, explorer and naturalist, was born at Darmstadt, Germany, of a notable family. He arrived in Launceston in 1851. Becker’s scientific knowledge and artistic ability were invaluable qualifications for his selection as a member of the Victorian Exploring Expedition in 1860-61 (Burke & Wills), organized by the Philosophical Institute which in 1860 became the Royal Society. The expedition set out from Melbourne on 20 August 1860 after Becker, as artist, naturalist and geologist on a salary of £300, had received lengthy instructions from Dr John Macadam, honorary secretary of the committee, which stipulated that, apart from the collection of specimens, he should keep a diary under specified headings and produce daily maps of the route and copious illustrations and sections. One of the most enthusiastic members of the expedition, Becker carried out these duties faithfully. He sent his first dispatches from Swan Hill and from Menindee sent a number of specimens, drawings, water-colour sketches and diaries; naturally he became dispirited when these were not even acknowledged. This book, edited by Marjorie Tipping, is magnificent – a reproduction of those maps and illustrations.
Melbourne University Press on behalf of the Library Council of Victoria, Melbourne, 1979.
Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good.
Ludwig Becker (illustrator). First Edition. XIV, 224 pages, Bound in original cloth with blind stamped and filled titles to the spine and front board, prefaced by John Starke, acknowledgements (including acknowledgements of the assistance of a grant from Carlton and United breweries,) this catalogue lists the 1st 40 sketches, which was sent to Melbourne from Swan Hill, Balranald and Menindee, in chronological order. In total 71 full-page plates, most of which are in colour, and most of which are reproduced as near as possible to their original size. Illustrated dustwrapper. Newspaper articles related to the book’s launch have been taped into the back of the book. In a similar way to the Lionel Lindsay books of illustrations, prints from this book have turned up at public auction framed, and so the book has become scarcer with time.