Hobart Town Print 1821

Hobart Town 1821

                                                                                                   (c) Irene Schaffer

German publisher and patron of the Arts, Friedrick Justin Bertuch, published a ‘Picture Book for Children’ in 1821 which included a hand-coloured copper plate print of Hobart Town. This is his description of the scene deplicted. The original was in French and German.

Hobart Town Van Diemen’s Land

“Our picture shows the capital of the colony established on the great island of Van Diemen’s Land, situated south-west of New Holland. Although founded in 1804, by 1821 Hobart boasted more than 400 houses and 2.700 inhabitants.

The town features a government building, a church, some barracks and a secure prison-because the population is largely made up of criminals.

There is a hospital, and the town is defended by a battery.  On Mount Nelson there is a signal telegraph station.  The river Derwent on which this is built is navigable by the largest merchant vessels.

The European colony so close to the South Pole already has everything it needs to conduct a thriving trade. With a mild and healthy climate, the land produces an abundance of everything needed for a happy existence.

This will certainly be one of the most flourishing colonies that England has established.”


 Bertuch’s Hobart Town – hand-coloured copper-plate from ‘Picture Book for Children’ published in 1821.


This wonderful find came into my possession when I saw it on eBay. I have used it for as background for some of my books. I have also made them into cards. 



This print is from a sketch by George W. Evans, the Deputy Surveyor- General and was originally in A History and Description of the Present State of Van Diemen’s Land in 1819.


These are two of the paintings from the original sketch.

Cards are also available from John Redeker. I have given John permission to copy this engraving to allow more people to view this historical print.


John has many beautiful cards in his collection – birds, huts, flowers, ships etc.


His collection can be viewed on his website www.johnredekercards.com



  John has more than 350 historical cards available on his website.