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Gold rush watercolours

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 391

Scope and Contents

These small painted figures, animals and scenes illustrating the Australian gold rushes were created by an unknown artist. The donor W.H. Carter recorded in a letter filed with the collection, 'They were given to my mother in Adelaide at the time of an early gold-rush by a local artist about the year 1851.’ They may be the work of George Hamilton (1812-1883), who emigrated to Australia from England in 1839 and became a clerk in the South Australian Treasury in 1848, an inspector of mounted police in 1853 and police commissioner in 1867. He was an accomplished amateur painter, poet and writer, and a founding member of the South Australian Society of Arts. The RCS miniatures are very similar in style to two paintings by Hamilton depicting the arrival and departure of the gold escort from Adelaide in 1852. Gold had been discovered in the Adelaide Hills near Castambul in 1846 and at Echunga in 1852.


  • Creation: 1851

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


2 sheet(s) : art work

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

several of the miniatures are in fragmentary condition or have suffered from water damage

Former / Other Reference

Case A30

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by W.H. Carter in 1933.


This collection level description was created by MJC.

Date information

DateText: The date is approximate..

Includes index.
2015-08-20 12:25:19+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom