Fine watercolour portrait believed to be Harriette Ann Simson (1858-1942) of Launceston, Tasmania. COLONIAL PORTRAIT, ARTIST UNKNOWN.
Fine watercolour portrait believed to be Harriette Ann Simson (1858-1942) of Launceston, Tasmania.
Fine watercolour portrait believed to be Harriette Ann Simson (1858-1942) of Launceston, Tasmania.

Fine watercolour portrait believed to be Harriette Ann Simson (1858-1942) of Launceston, Tasmania.

Launceston: Circa 1875.

Watercolour portrait, 18 x 14.8 cm (mount size), very fine; preserved in a handsome folding travelling folder of burgundy roan, lined with green moire silk, gilt, the picture surround with gilt fillets and blind-embossed.

A fine Colonial portrait with Tasmanian interest

A remarkable portrait in fine original condition, in an elegant travelling case. Both the dress, composition and furniture suggest this to be a mid-Victorian portrait, circa 1875, painted prior to Jane Eddie's marriage in 1881 to the prosperous businessman and merchant Augustus Simson.

A remarkable portrait in fine original condition, in an elegant travelling case. Both the dress, composition and furniture suggest this to be a mid-Victorian portrait, circa 1875, painted prior to Jane Eddie's marriage in 1881 to the prosperous businessman and merchant Augustus Simson.

Born in 1858 in Launceston Jane Harriette Eddie was the second of five children born to George McKenzie Eddie and Charlotte Martha (née Fogg). Little is known of her early life, but the portrait suggests a background of some comfort and wealth. In 1881 she married Augustus Simson–a successful merchant and businessman and (noted keen amateur naturalist) – at Holy Trinity Church Launceston on 7th October 1881. They had three sons and two daughters between 1882 and 1891. Augustus died aged 81 on 21 May 1918 and was buried at the Carr Villa Cemetery in Section B1 No. 210. Jane died aged 84 on 12 Sep 1942 and her remains were interred with her husband. Their two unmarried daughters, Dora and Janie, were also interred in the same plot (see The Examiner 14 Oct 2006, p. 35).

Augustus Simson came to Australia in 1863 and spent some time in North Queensland engaged in pastoral and mercantile pursuits before leaving for Tasmania in 1874. He was involved in tin mining and ore buying on the East Coast before starting a business in Launceston in 1879 purchasing and exporting wool and tin. Augustus became manager, local secretary and agent for a number of mines and was a founding member of the Launceston Stock Exchange in 1881. He was one of the original members of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Royal Society of Tasmania, and a board member and president of the Mechanics' Institute. He was well-known as an amateur naturalist and was consulted as such by Henry Button and was a member of advisory committee to develop the Launceston Museum.

Provenance: From the family, by descent.

Price (AUD): $6,500.00  other currencies Ref: #3809895

Condition Report