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The GREAT BRITAIN polka

Date: 1852
Dimensions:
Overall: 310 x 235 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00027126
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This piano sheet music was written to commemorate the first arrival of the steamship GREAT BRITAIN to Sydney Harbour. It was dedicated to Captain and Mrs Matthews, by the publishers Woolcott and Clarke. The cover features a wood engraving depicting the GREAT BRITAIN anchored in the harbour.
    SignificanceThis sheet music represents 19th century immigration to Australia and the well known steamship GREAT BRITAIN. It reflects the range of material produced by shipping lines to promote their vessels.
    HistoryThe GREAT BRITAIN was a famous 3443-ton steamship built at Bristol, England in 1845 for the Great Western Steamship Company. In 1846 it was bought by the Liverpool based company Gibbs, Bright & Co. They chartered a number of sailing ships on the Australian run with GREAT BRITAIN being their first steamship. The vessel was originally designed to be used between Liverpool and New York but when gold was discovered in Australian in 1851 GREAT BRITAIN was put on the run to transport immigrants to Australia. It charged an expensive fare of 70 guineas and conducted two journeys before being commissioned to the Crimean War. The ship is now on display at Bristol, England.

    Sheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were sold fairly cheaply, making them popular with the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at public events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatres. In the mid-19th century many middle class families owned a piano, an important part of their social entertainment and recreation at home. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites. The music covered a range of themes including travel, plays and literature, with the launch of a ship being a common reason for composing a piece.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The GREAT BRITAIN polka

    Web title: The GREAT BRITAIN polka

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