Unsigned ink caricatures of three men from "Botany Bay", "New England" and "Sydney" NEW SOUTH WALES.

Unsigned ink caricatures of three men from "Botany Bay", "New England" and "Sydney".

[Sydney?]: circa 1840s.

Three ink caricatures on a single sheet of laid foolscap paper, 215 x 340 mm.

Unsigned caricature of three men in mid-century New South Wales

A charming naïve ink sketch executed in mid-century Sydney. The three figures make an interesting tableau and would seem to illustrate a story of life in New South Wales, the precise details of which are unknown.

A charming naïve ink sketch executed in mid-century Sydney. The three figures make an interesting tableau and would seem to illustrate a story of life in New South Wales, the precise details of which are unknown.
Even without knowing the back-story, it is possible to get a strong sense of the gist of the scene, and how the three men were known to each other. On the left, in ragged trousers and smoking a thoughtful pipe, is the sturdy "Botany Bay Bullock Driver", with the secondary caption this "is the gentleman what used to drive the Tandem but now drives Bullocks."
In the middle, staring off into the middle distance is an apparently disappointed "New England Settler", and evidently the bullock driver's former employer, given the note that "this is he who owned the Tandem."
Clearly the loss of this mysterious tandem had ensnared a third party, and the most posh of the three, a rather dandy looking man who is described with the cryptic comment that he is "Insolvent or doing it in Sydney", and that the man "is he who has passed the insolvent Court."
The common thread linking these figures would seem to remain the artist's secret. It is not apparent, for example, how a lost tandem-gig could have rendered the top hat wearing chap on the right insolvent. Given the old folds to the paper, it may be that this was originally included in a letter which must have explained the tale, but if so, that letter is now lost. Whatever the case, the illustrations are a charming sketch of three New South Wales men, and add a little to our knowledge of the visual history of colonial Australia.

Price (AUD): $1,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504781

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