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Sailing in the ice and seeking for the whale

Date: c 1720
Dimensions:
Mount: 260 x 288 x 20 mm
Image: 150 x 200 mm
Sight: 185 x 215 mm
Overall: 310 x 340 x 20 mm, 0.7 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00019640

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    Description
    Uncoloured engraving titled 'Sailing in the ice and seeking for the whale' in English, Dutch and German. Engraved by Adolf van der Laan after artwork by Sieuwert van de Meulen.
    SignificanceThis print is part of the Chester Collection which records the ancestry of Australian whaling which followed much the same pattern as that of the northern hemisphere in earlier centuries. It began with bay whaling until supplies ran out, and then moved to hunting the whale at sea on long ocean voyages. Whaling was colonial Australia's first primary industry but whales have since acquired a different but considerable importance in the public imagination and environmental concerns.

    HistoryFrom an edition of the 'Groote Visschery' published by Petrus Schenk, Amsterdam, c. 1720, engraved by Adolf van der Laan after drawings by Sieuwert van der Meulen containing sixteen scenes depicting the different stages of whale fishery, such as searching for a whale, attempting to catch it, butchering it, hunting polar bears, ships being caught in ice etc. It was published ca. 1720 by Petrus Schenck, and it went through many reprints with variations, and with additional German and/or English text. It is believed that Sieuwert van der Meulen made the original drawings for the set around 1720, just after the Dutch entered Davis Strait, opening vast new whaling grounds and bringing new vitality, prosperity, and interest to the industry.The first series (Herring Fishery) with text in Dutch and English. The second series (Whaling) with text in Dutch, English and German.

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