- Museum number
- Object: Wurati (Woureddy)
Drawing; graphite and watercolour, from a collection of nineteen Thomas Bock portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, held by the British Museum. It depicts Wurati (aka Woreddy, Woureddy or Woorrady), a Tasmanian Aboriginal man from Bruny Island. He is wearing a neck-ornament and a skin garment over his right shoulder. He has scarification on his upper left arm, and has dressed hair and beard.
- Production date
- 1833 (late (see curatorial comment))
Height: 24.40 centimetres
Width: 20.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
From J B Davis Catalogue, RAI MS145: "4. Fine coloured drawing of “Woreddy”, [male symbol]. By T. Bock, of Hobarton, who made this series of Drawings with very great care and exactness for G.A. Robinson, who was much displeased that Bock subsequently supplied Lady Franklin with copies of some of them." From MS145 'Catalogue of Drawings, Paintings & other objects of an Ethnological Nature', Royal Anthropological Institute Archive.
In 1963 NJB Plomley published a paper which attempted to untangle the complex provenance of the different collections of Thomas Bock’s (1790-1855) portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, including those held by the British Museum. The British Museum’s seventeen Bock portraits was acquired from Dr J Barnard Davis’ collection in 1883. Plomley (1963:15) argued that Davis acquired this set of portraits before 1867 from Thomas Bock’s son, Alfred Bock (1835-1920), and that they are copies of Thomas Bock’s work, executed by Alfred. However, based on a close study of the surviving documentation and its relationship to the inscriptions on many of the British Museum’s Bock portraits, it is clear that the British Museum’s collection of Bock portraits derive from a larger assemblage of prints, paintings and ethnographic objects collected by Robinson before his return to England in 1852, and which Barnard Davis purchased from GA Robinson’s widow in 1867. Davis’ descriptions of this material clearly identify the works as having been executed by Thomas Bock.
Plomley 1991:35 wrote that the paintings of Woureddy and Truganini were painted about October 1831. Historian Cassandra Pybus, in advice by email June 2018, advises that Plomley decided these were done by a convict at the Prisoners Barracks in Launceston. Instead she believes that they belong to a set probably done by Bock some time late in 1833 after Robinson and his guides returned from Macquarie Harbour and were in Hobart for about three weeks.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018 06 Dec– 11 Mar, Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, Thomas Bock
2018 17 Aug- 09 Nov, Hobart, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Thomas Bock
- Window mounted, in good condition.
- Acquisition notes
- This was probably part of the collection of artworks and ethnographic objects which Joseph Barnard Davis (q.v.) acquired from Robinson's widow in the 1860s, and which AW Franks (q.v.) later purchased for the British Museum at the auction sale of Davis's estate in 1883.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 4 (Davis Catalogue MS 145 RAI 1867)
Miscellaneous number: Oc2006-Drg55-Boc