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Lot 39: CARLETON, Caroline: The cover for the music to 'The Song of Australia' (c. 1880s)
August 28, 2016
Adelaide, AustraliaLive Auction
[The Song of Australia] CARLETON, Caroline J.: The colour pictorial cover for the sheet music to 'The Song of Australia. To which the Prize of Twenty Guineas was awarded by the Gawler Institute. Words by Mrs. C.J. Carleton. Music by Carl Linger'.
Adelaide, S. Marshall and Sons (and printed by Stannard and Son, London), [circa 1880s?]. An attractive chromolithograph ornately printed in black and gilt, featuring a large emu and kangaroo on either side of a coat of arms, above the words 'Advance Australia' (visible image size 320 x 220 mm); original ink ownership (address) details are a faint presence in a top corner; a very presentable item, now matted, framed and glazed.
'At the second anniversary of the Gawler Institute in October 1859 a "Song of Australia" competition was held with prizes of ten guineas for the best words and the best music. Of the 96 poetic competitors, Mrs Caroline Carleton (1819-1874) won the prize for her five verses; in 1923 her admirers placed a granite memorial in the Wallaroo cemetery. Linger won ten guineas for the music and the "Song of Australia" was sung in public for the first time on 12 December 1859. Although used widely in South Australia, it did not displace "God Save the Queen" as the national anthem or "Advance Australia Fair" first published in 1878' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). Trove gives the date of publication [1883?].