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Silhouette likenesses of (left) Miss Louisa Blomfield (1828-1858) and (right) E... King / by Marianne Collinson Close
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Silhouette likenesses of (left) Miss Louisa Blomfield (1828-1858) and (right) E... King / by Marianne Collinson Close
silhouettes cut from fine brown holland, pasted onto pages of a scrap album; 42.5 x 34 cm (dimension of each page), image dimension apparently life-size.
Pages numbered: on top left hand corner '137' in ink [changed from 138] and top left hand corner on right-hand image '150' in pencil. Silhouette on left hand page identified and dated in pencil and ink below image: Louisa Blomfield / Mrs L Tyrrell / Vermont / 8th August 1848. Silhouette on right hand page identified in pencil below image: E .... King. 'Please pay the printer' lettered above image right. Listed in index as: Miss Louisa Blomfield / 1848; Not indexed.
Silhouette numbers 137 & 150 from an album created by Marianne Collinson Close (1827-1903). Close was a member of one of the most prominent families of colonial New South Wales. She was born at Morpeth in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, daughter of local landowner and magistrate Edward Charles Close and his wife Sophia Susannah Palmer. In 1854 she married her second cousin George Palmer Campbell, and from that time lived mostly at Duntroon, the Campbell family property in present-day Canberra. Marianne was educated in the drawing-room accomplishments of her class and era, learning to paint flowers, butterflies and watercolour views as well as learning embroidery, lace-work and knitting. In the 1840s she had painting and drawing lessons from Sydney’s best-known professional artist, Conrad Martens. In the 1860s she added architectural drawing to her repertoire, making sketches and plans for cottages and farm buildings on the Duntroon estate and for improvements to Duntroon house itself.
Between 1848 and 1853 Marianne made a large number of silhouette likenesses of members of her extended family – Campbells, Palmers and Closes – and of family friends, including Blomfields and Windeyers. This collection of silhouettes, bound together in a hand-made album, forms a kind of private family document of Marianne’s social network on the eve of her marriage.
The identity of the women in the silhouette on the right hand page has not been firmly established. She may be Eliza Elfleda King, wife of James King of Irrawang, Raymond Terrace. She married for a second time in 1866, William Roberts of Penrith.
The album is inscribed “Mrs Donald Campbell, London, 1928”. It remained in Campbell family ownership until sold at auction in 1996. In 2004 the album was part of a collection given to the Historic Houses Trust by the children of the late Caroline Simpson OAM (1930–2003).
Museum of Sydney ; MOS2007/10
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