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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Christie’s to auction Mary Ann Friend’s autograph manuscript journal of a voyage to Hobart

Christie’s announce the forthcoming sale of Mary Ann Friend’s autograph manuscript journal of a voyage to Hobart, 14 August 1829 – 12 June 1831 (estimate: £100,000-150,000). Of exceptional historical interest to Western Australia, the journal has been consigned for sale by Mary Ann Friend’s heirs. Friend’s journal, illustrated with her own sketches, includes three unpublished views of Fremantle, western Australia, in the first year of its foundation, and two unpublished manuscript maps of the Swan River Settlements, alongside her detailed description of her stay at the Swan River settlements between 30 January and 19 March 1830, capturing them in the very earliest months of their existence (the colony was founded only in early June the previous year, and settlement at Perth began on 12 August). One of the first eye-witness accounts of the settlement on the Swan River, Friend voyaged to Australia on the Wanstead, a merchant vessel taking emigrants to the new Swan River settlements in western Australia. Under the command of her husband, Matthew Curling Friend, RN, the Wanstead embarked from Portsmouth on 14 August 1829, sailing to Australia via Madeira, Bahia and the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived off Rottnest on 30 January 1830. From the Swan River they sailed on in March to Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land, and returned to England via Singapore, Penang, Burma and Ascension Island. After the voyage to Australia, they returned and settled in Launceston in July 1832, where Matthew had been appointed Port officer. They lived at George Town until Mary Ann’s death there on 27 December 1838. Matthew remarried in 1840 and returned to England due to ill health in 1852. A portrait miniature of Mary Ann Friend (c.1832) is in the National Library of Australia (nla.pic-vn4835935) and her hitherto sole known work was the lithograph she made after her own drawing (View at Swan-River. Sketch of the Encampment of Matw. Curling Friend, Esqr. R.N. Taken on the Spot & Drawn on Stone by Mrs. M.C.F., March 1830), the drawing not included in the present journal but possibly one of those excised from it.