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Royal Commonwealth Society : Gold rush watercolours

Hamilton, George (1812-1883)

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'>These small painted figures, animals and scenes illustrating the Australian gold rushes were created by an unknown artist. The donor recorded, '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.</p>

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