# 42240


Studio portrait of Signor Battista Antonio Borsa, brewery and guesthouse owner and prominent member of the Swiss-Italian community in the Daylesford area, Victorian goldfields. Melbourne, 1870.

$300.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 105 x 62 mm (mount); bottom margin with studio wet stamp of ‘Paterson, 8 Bourke St. E., Melb.’; verso inscribed in pencil by the sitter: ‘Presented to Wm. Jervis by Signor Borsa Antonio, Bellinzona, Switzerland. Sepr. 25th 1870’; a very strong print in excellent condition, the mount with a few insignificant marks.

Battista Antonio Borsa was a prominent member of what was a significant community of Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants from Ticino who settled in the Daylesford-Hepburn Springs area during the gold rush era. Antonio hailed from the town of Bellinzona, and arrived in Port Phillip in 1852. One of the first cohort of Ticinesi to seek their fortune on the goldfields, he later opened a butcher shop at Forest Creek, before establishing in the early 1860s a more major enterprise – a brewery in Bridport Street, Daylesford. Antonio was declared insolvent in 1866, but his entrepreneurial spirit would not be dampened and he eventually opened a guest house for tourists in Hepburn Springs, aptly named Bellinzona. The original building burned down in 1906.