ABOUT THIS ITEM
In 1853, the lieutenant-governor of Victoria, Charles La Trobe (1801–1875), relinquished 10 acres of the police paddock in Yarra Park to the Melbourne Cricket Club for the construction of a new cricket stadium, as the club’s original ground was in the path of a planned steam train route. By the time the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was built, the club was still only 15 years old, and the city of Melbourne itself only 20.
Produced 11 years later for The Melbourne album, this lithograph depicts a cricket match between England and Victoria, held on the first day of 1864. The ground has a small grandstand on one side, box seats for important guests, and an open area for the less-wealthy members of the public (some of whom can be seen climbing trees to obtain a better view!)
The Melbourne album, a series of 24 lithographs published by Charles Troedel in 1863–64, is considered ‘perhaps the finest work of urban topography produced in Australia in the nineteenth century’ (Jonathan Wantrup, Australian rare books). The album features several significant artists, in this example lithographer François Cogné, while there are others created after designs by artists Eugène von Guérard (1811–1901) and Nicholas Chevalier (1828–1902).