Alfred Ross, Melbourne. C. Blair LEIGHTON.

Alfred Ross, Melbourne.

London: Leighton Brothers, n.d., but circa, 1855.

Engraving, 545 x 400 mm. (sheet size), laid down on publisher's light card, mounted.

Australia Felix: fine portrait of Westgarth's partner Alfred Ross.

Fine and rare large format engraving of Alfred Ross, Australian merchant, partner of William Westgarth, and eminent member of the Royal Society of Victoria.

Fine and rare large format engraving of Alfred Ross, Australian merchant, partner of William Westgarth, and eminent member of the Royal Society of Victoria.

Alfred Ross (1816-1896) started his career working for the merchant Duncan Dunbar, and in March 1842 arrived in Sydney to work as a representative in Australia. He soon went into business with the Sydney trader Alexander Campbell, but just as quickly dissolved the partnership, setting up on his own in both Sydney, Launceston, and later Melbourne (see his obituary in the Argus, 20 July 1896). Ross was for many years an associate of William Westgarth, and it is therefore particularly significant to note that Ross is here seen seated with a copy of Westgarth's Australia Felix in hand (1848).

Ross was also very proud of his involvement with the Royal Society, a private association which encouraged scientific research and the dissemination of new information. Its members included scientists, self-educated enthusiasts, and professional men interested in the advancement of knowledge. The Society funded the the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, and also convened the first Australian Antarctic Exploration Committee in 1885.

The lithograph is by Charles Blair Leighton (1823-1855), a noted early Victorian portrait and landscape painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy, and a partner in the firm Leighton Brothers of Lambs Conduit Street in London. This is a particularly rare image: we have certainly never handled another copy, and it does not appear to be recorded in any Australian collection. Intriguingly, it is not clear why the lithograph was printed, but given that Westgarth was in England from 1853 until 1855, it is quite possible that he was involved in the production of this image.

not in Nan Kivell and Spence.

Price (AUD): $2,250.00  other currencies     Ref: #3111124