For Sale, Dangar Island! Exhibition of Posters from the 1920s, Saturday 22nd April 2017

The launch on 22nd April at the Dangar Depot cafe of posters used in the early 1920s to advertise the subdivision and sale of Dangar Island was a great success.  The exhibition is still on display till 15th May 2017, so come and see the original advertisement for your block, purchase a commemorative tea towel or order a reproduction of the poster/s you like.  Can’t make it to Dangar?  You can make orders directly by contacting the DIHS secretary before 15th May via our web contact page.  A3 size unframed posters are available for $50 each, A2 size unframed posters are $25 each.  There is also an A3 size poster that shows all four images.  20% discount if you buy more than one poster, $12 for postage.  This is a limited offer, so if you want a poster … Act Now !

Tea Towels printed with the Island Gem / Dudley poster (the one showing the full island map) are available at the Dangar Depot cafe, or can be ordered for $20 each.  Raine and Horne have purchased a bulk order of the Easter Monday 1922 (Subdivision 2) Tea-Towels, with the result that there are only a very few of these left … contact the DIHS secretary promptly if you would like one of the Easter Monday tea towels.

Dangar Island was Crown Land until 1864 when it was purchased by Henry Cary Dangar. When he died in 1917, he left his large estate to his children. Dangar Island was left to his second son Reginald Neville Dangar. Reginald sold the Island to solicitors Lindsay Thom Crouch and John Stuart Thom in June 1921 for £7,500. The Island was then subdivided.

The first three subdivisions were auctioned by Raine and Horne between October 1921 and November 1922. The response was enthusiastic. At the first auction, practically every lot was sold on the day of the sale. Newspapers reported there was a large attendance, and 70 allotments were sold at 25 shillings to £9 per foot per frontage. Sales totalled over £11,000. The fourth subdivision was not put to auction. Lots were sold by H. Dudley Auctioneers and Estate Agents between 1923 and 1930.

After the first auction the Sydney Morning Herald reported: ‘It is the first time that an island in the middle of a river has been subdivided and sold in allotments. Some of this land brought up to £9 per foot [per frontage]. A few years ago such a figure would have been considered extortionate’. It seems there is nothing new when it comes to Sydney property prices!

The developers named four of the roads on the Island after the Dangar family’s properties. Neotsfield Avenue was named after their property in Singleton which in turn was named after St Neot in Cornwall, England – the Dangar family’s ancestral home. Grantham Crescent was named after the Dangar family’s mansion in Potts Point; Yallaroi Parade after Yallaroi Station, near Warrialda; and Baroona after the Baroona homestead at Singleton. Riverview Avenue was an attractive advertising descriptor for the second subdivision of April 1922.

The large posters advertising the sales were typical of real estate agents’ advertisements created between the 1880s and 1930s as large estates were broken up and sold. The posters were pasted onto telegraph poles and placed in shop fronts around the city to entice prospective buyers. They had to be striking to stop passers-by and encourage a second look. The posters of Dangar Island are beautiful works of art as well as pictorial records of the subdivision.   They were successful. Blocks sold quickly for good prices.

The poster for the second subdivision is particularly notable as Raine and Horne commissioned the artist David Henry Souter (1862–1935) to create the poster. They had to build on the success of the first auction by commissioning a well-known artist to design the poster for the second. Much was made of the artwork. It was described as depicting the Island in a hazy blending of colours, with the hills of the mainland as a background with a black spiderweb outline of the Hawkesbury Bridge cutting across the foreground corner balancing the design. The poster for the fourth subdivision by H. Dudley Auctioneers and Estate Agents heralded “Dangar Island – Hawkesbury River- ‘Australia’s Island gem’.

(Research by Rosemary Curtis, Image Source: State Library of New South Wales)