- Museum number
Drawing; graphite and watercolour, from a collection of nineteen Thomas Bock portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, held by the British Museum. It depicts a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman wearing necklaces and a skin garment. She also has scarification on her upper left arm. Until 2017, it was thought this image depicted Trukanini (Truganini) but is now believed to be of Wutapuwitja (Wortabowidgee), see curatorial comments.
- Production date
Height: 29.20 centimetres
Width: 22.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Until 2017 there was a mix up between this work and Oc2006, Drg.56.
Written on back of mount in pencil is 'J B Davis Framed Drawing No. 6'. J B Davis Cat. # 6 states: 'Fine Coloured drawing of "Wortabowigee". By Bock. Native of Port Dalrymple. Has Kangaroo skin dress, and weald in the arm, but is not ochred.' See Sculthorpe 2017.
The later image by Bock of this woman at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, is inscribed 'Truggernana. Native of the Southern Part of Van Diemen's Land'. See Plomley (1991:35).
Plomley (1965:4) writes (mistakenly) of this woman: 'Truggernana Plate 2. The Oxford portrait is inscribed in type A1 - "Truggernana/Native of the southern part of/Van Diemen's Land". The portrait in the Tasmanian Museum has a similar inscription. The notes on the Oxford portrait read: "Lalla Rook, wife of Woureddi aged 27. partly good. saved Mr R's life at Arthur river by pulling log/2 spars/of wood across river on which Mr R was" '. ['Mr R' refers to George Augustus Robinson]
Oc,2006, Drg.78 is a copy of this drawing done by G. Gray for J. Barnard Davis.
In 1965 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 were acquired from Dr J Barnard Davis’ collection in 1883. Plomley (1965:15) 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.
The production date is based on Plomley (1991:35).
- 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: 5 (Davis Catalogue MS 145 RAI 1867)
Miscellaneous number: Oc2006-Drg58-Boc