A fine portrait of Admiral John Hunter

A most remarkable discovery: this previously unknown original portrait on ivory of Australia's second Governor, Vice Admiral John Hunter (1737-1821), was painted by William Minehead Bennett in I819, and has remained in the possession of Hunter's family and descendants until modern times. A new discovery, it extends the series of portraits of this distinguished figure in Australian history to just four, of which it is the last, portraying Hunter a few years before his death in 1821. The series of portraits, two of which are in the collection of the National Library of Australia and one in the Dixson collection at the State Library of New South Wales, are all by the same artist, and depict the governor at different ages.

With its exceptional provenance from the Hunter and related Kent families, this portrait and its history of ownership are closely entwined with both the First Fleet; one of the more remarkable voyages of colonisation in the world's history, and with the subsequent foundation of the English settlement of New South Wales.