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Panorama view of Circular Quay

Date: January 1871
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mr and Mrs Glassford
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: ANMS1092[220]
Place Manufactured:Circular Quay

User Terms

    The vessels seen in the foreground of this image are, from left to right: CHANCE (far left), ELLEN STEWART, DUNBAR CASTLE, ABERGELDIE and DUKE OF SUTHERLAND (far right at East Circular Quay. In the background, moored along West Circular Quay are the ships (left to right): SOBRAON, PARRAMATTA, CARLISLE CASTLE, ANNIE ROYDEN and HARLAW. A small inscription in the lower left corner reads: 'Circular Quay - Sydney, Jan 1871'.
    SignificanceThis photograph captures the development of Sydney Harbour in the century after European settlement and conveys the increasing importance of Circular Quay as a busy port for both cargo and passenger ships.
    HistoryAfter the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Sydney Cove developed rapidly with increasing traffic and construction of many public buildings. Circular Quay was constructed between 1837 and 1855 with wharves, a stable shoreline and a road added.

    In January 1871 Sydney photographer Charles Percy Pickering, well known for his family portraits, was commissioned by the New South Wales government to produce a collection of photographs of the developing city of Sydney for the London International Exhibition.

    Pickering worked under the direction of Colonial Architect James Barnet to publish a portfolio of images titled: 'Photographs of Public and Other Buildings. Taken by Authority of the Government of New South Wales, at the Request of the Secretary of State for the Colonies' (Sydney 1872). The publication contained 166 of Pickering’s images of Sydney scenes and was shown at the exhibition with the intention of promoting the city’s rapid development and architectural achievements. This panorama of Circular Quay was likely to have been taken as part of Pickering and Barnet's project to document the evolving landscape of the Sydney area.

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