Augustus Earle was born on 1 June 1793 in London, son of James Earle, an American artist and his wife Caroline. Augustus was the nephew of Ralph Earle, the well-known American portrait painter. His father, who had studied at the Royal Academy, returned to America in 1794, but died of yellow fever at Charleston in August 1796.
Sixteen works survive from the stay on Tristan da Cunha a number of which appeared on their 1988 Definitive set.
This new set, marking the 190th Anniversary of his enforced visit, depicts paintings that he made during the voyage and just after arrival at Tristan. Only one of the designs, the poignant image of Earle and his dog looking out to sea in the unlikely hope of spotting a vessel, has appeared on a stamp before, but the image clearly chose itself for inclusion in this set.
The set of stamps which are produced in sheets of 10 consists of two 50p stamps 'Scudding before a heavy westerly gale off the Cape, lat. 44 deg. 1824' (National Library of Australia) and 'On board the Duke of Gloucester, Margate hoy, between Rio de Janeiro and Tristan De Acunha 1824' (National Library of Australia) as well as two 70p stamps 'Tristan Da Cunha, 1824' (Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University) and 'Solitude, watching the horizon at sun set, in the hopes of seeing a vessel, Tristan de Acunha in the South Atlantic 1824' (National Library of Australia).