# 15297

Artist unknown [after ANGAS, George French; HAINSSELIN, Henry]

Four early watercolour portraits of Australian Aborigines after lithographs by George French Angas and Henry Hainsselin.

$4,850.00 AUD

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[Australia? : c.1846]. Four individual watercolour head-and-shoulder portraits, each approximately 110 x 90 mm, on sheet 400 x 325 mm, paper watermarked J. Whatman Turkey Mill 1846; the artist’s captions in pencil beneath each portrait read (anti-clockwise from top right): Kertamaroo / King John; Mocata (his wife); Native of Gipps Land, Victoria; Yonki Yonka, Native of Western Port tribe; unmounted; in fine condition.

Although unsigned, this quartet of portraits of indigenous Australian subjects was made by a reasonably accomplished artist, in all likelihood within a few short years of the first publication of the images as lithographs.

The top pair of portraits, depicting the South Australian Aborigines Kertamaroo (King John) and Mocata, are after a lithograph by George French Angas. Angas’ lithograph was first published in 1840 as the frontispiece to the Fourth Report of the Directors of the South Australian Company (Ferguson, 3086). The lithograph appeared again in 1843 as one of the plates in South Australia in 1842. By one who lived there nearly four years (Ferguson, 3721), with the notice that the portraits had originally been “Model’d from life by Mrs Walker.”

The two bottom portraits depict Victorian Aborigines from the west Gippsland district. Both are after lithographic plates by Henry Hainsselin (which in turn were created from sketches made “on the spot” by G.H. Haydon), published in 1846 in Haydon’s Five years’ experience in Australia Felix (Ferguson, 4305).

While the watercolours after Angas are relatively early for South Australian subject matter of this type, the portraits of the two Victorian Aborigines – which also happen to be more striking and more successfully executed – are significantly early in terms of the history of the settlement of Port Phillip.