‘Mount Clare Estate Penrith’ Advertisement Flyer #2015-0023
Advertising flyer for Mount Clare, Penrith land auction, black ink on pink paper, dated 20 December 1882.
This 1882 flyer advertises a land sale in Mt Clare, Penrith. Land ownership is tied to the broader themes of democracy: the right to safety, security, personal independence and the freedom to pursue one’s own interests. The ownership of land is a key to the cultural and spiritual identity, economic circumstance and political consciousness of the Australian people.
The flyer visually encapsulates the concept of land ownership providing the means to scale the social and economic ladder. Its targeting of married women, with its text ‘Married Women’s property bill has become law, whereby it is enacted that married women can purchase land & hold the same independent of their husbands’ is an interesting example of the market taking advantage of a social reform, although it seems to be referring to the British legislation enacted in 1882.
The flyer also indicates that for Indigenous Australians, settlement in hitherto rural areas like Penrith and what is now Greater Western Sydney post-1830 intensified their dispossession of traditional Country. The increasing non-Indigenous population also created corresponding demand for suburban subdivisions like the Mount Clare Estate. The driving of Indigenous people from their land is alluded to in a cruel caricature in the bottom left corner of the flyer’s main illustration: an Indigenous man is depicted saying to his partner and baby, ‘If we had only stayed at Mt Clare’. The trio have been drawn standing at the bottom of the ‘property ladder’, separate from the thronging crowd.