- Museum number
Drawing; chalk and crayon, depicting the upper body of a Tasmanian Aboriginal man. There is a bluish tinge on the face below the eyes.
- Production date
Height: 13.80 centimetres
Width: 11.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
In discussion with Cassandra Pybus 17/5/2019 and comparison of a portrait by Thomas Bock of Timmy (Maulboyheener), it is suggested that the sitter in this portrait is also Timmy. This is suggested particularly on the basis of his youth and short hair (as seen in Bock's portrait).
Work attributed to Thomas Lempriere by G. Sculthorpe in August 2018, based on references in journals of George Augustus Robinson on 11 October 1833 at Port Arthur where he wrote that 'Mr Lempriere promised to take the portraits of the aborigines for my benefit'; and in the 1839 publication by Thomas Lempriere on 'The Penal Settlements of Van Diemen's Land' where the artist referenced the sketches. Plomley (2008:854) wrote that these drawings were unlocated.
Comments from Ian Coates at National Museum of Australia, November 2012: This drawing is part of the collection of drawings. prints, paintings and ethnographic objects relating to Tasmania and Victoria which JB Davis (q.v.) purchased from the widow of GA Robinson (q.v) in 1867. These drawings were probably amongst the portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people which Robinson had acquired during his time in Hobart, between 1824 and 1839.
The drawing is one of a set of five drawings on reddish brown paper, all apparently done by the same artist. The related works are Oc2006,Drg.45, Oc2006,Drg.46, Oc2006,Drg.47, and Oc2006,Drg.48.
It is likely that this set was amongst the Australian material A.W. Franks (q.v) acquired at the auction sales of Davis’s estate in early 1883. Franks acquired some of this material for the British Museum, and some for his personal collection. Some, possibly all, of the material in his personal collection was later transferred to the British Museum. It is not know exactly when this drawing came to the British Museum.
Davis described this series of portraits, in an 1867 inventory of the material he acquired from GA Robinson's widow, as follows:
‘17. Larger Drawing of a Tasmanian ♀ [female] on a reddish tinted paper. She has a skin girdle tied around her chest, above her breasts - [Oc2006,Drg.48]
18. 2 Drawings of a Tasmanian ♂ [male] and a ♀ [female] on same paper. Both have the hair ochred and clotted. - [Oc2006,Drg.46 and either Oc2006,Drg.44 or Oc2006,Drg.47 – although Davis appears to have mistakenly described Oc2006,Drg.46 as a female,]
19. Drawing of a Tasmanian ♀ [female] on same paper. The upper parts of her head is whitened. A mourning custom among Australians. - [Oc2006,Drg.45]
14. [inserted in the inventory after 19] Drawing of a Tasmanian ♂ [male] on the reddish tinted paper. - [Either Oc2006,Drg.44 or Oc2006,Drg.47].’
From ‘Catalogue of Drawings, Paintings and other objects of an Ethnographical nature’ - MS 145, Royal Anthropological Institute Archives.
The first image attached to this record is the original photograph of the drawing. The second is enhanced using auto-correct, which shows the face more clearly.
- Not on display
- good condition
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- JB Davis (q.v.) purchased a set of 5 drawings from Rose Robinson, the widow of G.A Robinson (q.v) in 1867. It is likely that they were part of a collection subsequently purchased by A.W.Franks in 1883 after Davis' death in 1881, who then later donated them to the Museum.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Oc2006-Drg44-Ano
Previous owner/ex-collection number: 14 (Davis Catalogue MS 145 RAI 1867)