Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection
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Mrs Mary Ann Turner, Sydney, taken May 1835 / Edmund Edgar
Edgar, Edmund, c1802-
1 framed miniature : watercolour ; 5.7 x 4.5 cm; 10.5 x 9.5 cm (framed).
Signed and dated on verso: "Painted by / Edmund Edgar / taken May 1835 / Sydney / N/S.W." Identified on backing paper: "Mrs Turner / mother of J.A. Turner / my maternal great-grandmother (G.V.D.R.) / Dates unknown / mother of John Andrew Turner born ?1827". One of a pair of portrait miniatures, the other being of Mary Ann Turner's youngest child, John Andrew Turner (1829-1874).
Turner, Mary Ann, 1804-1856.
The small watercolour is one of a pair of portrait miniatures painted by convict artist Edmund Edgar in Sydney in May 1835. Edgar, also known a Edmund Edgar Bult, was convicted of robbery at London's Old Bailey in September 1825 and sentenced to death. He was described in the London and county press as a respectable looking young man, an engraver and miniature painter who was 'very clever in his profession'. His sentence was respited to transportation for life and he arrived in NSW on the Marquis of Huntley in September 1826 - erroneously listed on the ship's indent as a house painter and engraver, aged 24. Edgar received a ticket of leave in 1838 and a conditional pardon in 1843. He was listed in Low's Directory for 1847 as an artist in Argyle Street, The Rocks. His place and date of death has not been established and the details of his birth are also uncertain.
This sitter in this portrait is Mrs Mary Ann Turner, nee Chapman (1804-1856). She was born in Sydney, the daughter of emancipated convicts. Her mother, Ann Marsh, transported on the Lady Juliana in 1790, was an enterprising woman who operated a licensed passage boat service between Sydney and Parramatta. In 1821, Mary Ann married George Turner, a sergeant in the 48th Regiment of Foot, on garrison duty in NSW before being posted to India in 1824. Mary Ann and their young children travelled with the regiment, eventually returning to Sydney in 1827 when Turner volunteered for service in the NSW Veteran Company. Their youngest child, John (the subject of a second Edgar miniature), was born in Newcastle in 1829. He became a prosperous stock and station agent and auctioneer, first in Maitland and later in Sydney. Mary Ann died at his house in Maitland in 1856. (MM, January 2018)
Caroline Simpson Collection, Clydebank, 2002-2003; J.B. Hawkins Antiques, July 2002; George Victor Dalton Rybot (1901-1977)
Megan Martin "A talented convict artist' in Unlocked, Winter 2018 pp.30-31
Museum of Sydney ; MOS2007/98-1
You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purposes, you must contact
Sydney Living Museums
to request permission.