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Numbloote (aka Jenny)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Numbloote (aka Jenny)
  • Description

    Drawing; watercolour, from a collection of nineteen Thomas Bock portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people held by the British Museum. It depicts the right profile of Numbloote (aka Jenny), a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman from Port Sorell.

  • Producer name

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 1831-1835
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 21.5 centimetres
    • Width: 16.5 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

        J.B. Davis Coll. Framed drawing No. 26 (written on old mount)
      • Inscription Comment

        "26. A drawing of Tasmanian [female symbol]. Head. [One of] ... five drawings [22-26] ... executed in a bluish sepia." From MS145 'Catalogue of Drawings, Paintings & other objects of an Ethnological Nature', Royal Anthropological Institute Archive.
  • Curator's comments

    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.The production date is based on Plomley 1991:35.


  • Bibliography

    • Buscombe 1978 bibliographic details
    • Plomley 1991 bibliographic details
    • Plomley 1965 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    Window mounted, in good condition.

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • 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.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 26 (Davis Catalogue MS 145 RAI 1867)
    • Oc2006-Drg64-Boc
Drawing; from a collection of nineteen. Profile, head only, facing right. Port Sorell, Tasmania.  Watercolour.

Drawing; from a collection of nineteen. Profile, head only, facing right. Port Sorell, Tasmania. Watercolour.

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC83297

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