The Olive. Its Culture and Products in the South of France and Italy
Adelaide, W.C. Cox, Government Printer, 1878.
Octavo, 42,  (last blank) pages plus a full-page frontispiece, 24 illustrations (on 11 leaves at the rear) and 5 original albumen paper photographs (each approximately 110 x 80 mm or the reverse) mounted on individual leaves. A correction has been made in ink (page 6, line 27, Riviera for rivers); we have noted this in other copies (including the standard issue) and presume it is in the author's hand.
Quarter leather and ornate gilt-lettered watered cloth (almost certainly the original binding); slight loss to the head of the spine, with a little loss of its treated surface down its length (slightly affecting a few letters); cloth slightly rubbed at the corners and very slightly discoloured around the edges; inoffensive contemporary library markings (namely, a gilt monogram on the front cover and spine, reference numbers in white ink at the foot of the leather near the spine on the rear cover, blind-stamps on the title page and on four of the five mounts for the photographs, ink-stamp on the verso of the title page, ink reference numbers at the head of the title page and on a small label inside the front cover); one photograph has a tiny piece missing from a bottom corner, and the border of the blind-stamp has just caught its top edge; in the scheme of things, these are trifles and the overall condition is excellent.
Ferguson 7285 (not noting this extra-illustrated edition); Holden 7 ('Photography in Colonial Australia. The Mechanical Eye and the Illustrated Book', 1988). The author was Sheriff of South Australia, 'and with a view to provide means of useful employment to the short-sentenced prisoners, it has been my duty to superintend the olive plantations which have been formed near the Adelaide Gaol. [On] holiday, in the years 1876 and 1877, [I visited] the olive countries of Europe, and ... acquainted [myself] with the processes of olive cultivation and manufacture of oil'. The plates are of mature olive trees; on one occasion in the text, he strongly recommends a particular variety and states 'I have brought photographs of this tree'. Offered together with six vintage albumen paper photographs (each 220 x 160 mm) from the same series used to illustrate the book, with only one of them published therein. Several of them are from the Cannes region. These photographs were originally owned by Sir Samuel Davenport, and all carry captions in his hand on the mounts. Sir Samuel Davenport (1818-1906) was an ardent promoter of agriculture and new industries in South Australia and served as president of both the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society and the South Australian branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (Australian Dictionary of Biography). For good measure, a contemporary bottle label for pure olive oil 'from the Corporation olive yards' of the City of Adelaide is included.