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Corner of the Mint, Sydney / Fred C. Britton
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Corner of the Mint, Sydney / Fred C. Britton
1 print : drypoint etching ; 20.6 x 18.2 cm. (plate-mark)
Titled below print image : "Corner of the Mint - Sydney"; signed and dated '28' lower right with edition statement lower left: Edition 50, No. 32.
This etching depicts an unusual view of the south-west corner of the Sydney Royal Mint front building, clearly showing the enclosure of the southern end verandahs of the building on levels 1 and 2, which have since been removed. The original plan of this building, as the southern wing of the Sydney Hospital indicates that both the southern and northern ends of the verandah were enclosed in some way, with the handwriting 'covered in' written in the northern end. An 1844 plan of the building more clearly indicates that both the southern and northern ends of level 1 were enclosed in this way, each with a 'weather boarded lean-to'. Based on early images and plans of the building in use as the Sydney Royal Mint from 1855, the verandahs appear to have been cleared of these lean-to enclosures. Images of the building from c1890 show that the northern and southern ends of the building were once again enclosed, and an 1896 plan shows that the level 1 room created by the enclosure on the southern end was a pantry, with an entrance into the dining room and kitchen in the rear corridor. A plan of 1927 shows that the room created by the enclosure on level 2 was a smoking room with entrances into two bedrooms at the end of the main building. These enclosures remained in place until removal during the restoration works in the early 1980s. [Fiona Starr, Curator, September 2012]
Fred C Britton was born in London and studied at at the Slade School of Fine Art. He came to Australia in 1911 and settled first in Adelaide but left again at the outbreak of the First World War when he became an official artist for the War Records Branch. He returned to Adelaide after the war before moving to Sydney in 1927 where he worked in the studio of Smith and Julius Ltd. In 1929 he took up the position of teacher in charge of the drawing and illustration section of East Sydney Technical College but died two years later at the age of 42. [ref: Obituary in Sydney Morning Herald 17 Dec 1931 p.11]
Theodore Bruce Auctions, Sydney, 20 September 2012: 'Antiques and Interiors, Collectiibles, Art': lot 443.
Published in:
A pencil drawing version of this picture was published in 'Art in Australia' June 1927 p.31.
Exhibited in:
An etching titled 'Corner of Old Mint, Sydney' was one of 2 drypoint etchings of The Mint by Britton shown in the Xmas Exhibition of the Australian Painter-Etchers' Society held at the Attic Gallery, George Street Sydney, December 1927.
The Mint ; MIN 2012/2
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