'Haunt of the Wild Duck' [Northern Territory, Australia, 1914]. A vintage green-toned carbon print (visible image size, 580 x 427 mm) mounted on the original flush-cut thick cardboard, recently matted, framed and glazed (external dimensions, an impressive 855 x 685 mm)
The original printed label from the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, London, is on the verso of the mount, stating, quite inaccurately, that 'This photograph is enlarged from a negative taken during Dr Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition ...'. The title and catalogue number (with the catalogue reference number 133 crossed out and replaced by 124) are manuscript insertions in ink, and match the details in the catalogue prepared for the 1915 Australian exhibition of Hurley's works, which 'emanates from the Fine Art Society ... London'. The full title of the catalogue is 'Exhibition of Unique Photographic Pictures taken during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Also other Photographic Studies by Frank Hurley' (small octavo, 16 pages plus 8 full-page plates and the title-wrappers; printed in Adelaide by G. Hassell & Son). A small advertisement appeared in the Adelaide 'Advertiser' on Saturday 25 September 1915, announcing a 'South Polar Exhibit.... until October 6. This Exhibition is your only opportunity of viewing Historical Relics of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and Frank Hurley's Unexcelled Photographic Reproductions'. The photograph in fact comes from the whirlwind 6,000-mile trip he made with fellow-adventurer Francis Birtles through northern Australia from mid-April to the end of July 1914. Provenance: from the personal collection of Sir Douglas Mawson, and by descent (with the estate stamp on the verso, signed and dated 1992, attesting to this fact). In all probability, this particular image itself emanates from the stock of that Australian exhibition.