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John Andrew Turner, Sydney, taken May 1835 / Edmund Edgar
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John Andrew Turner, Sydney, taken May 1835 / Edmund Edgar
1 framed miniature : watercolour ; 5.7 x 4.5 cm; 10.5 x 9.5 cm (framed).
Identified on backing paper: "J.A. Turner / John Andrew Turner* / of / Sydney, N.S.W. / my maternal grandfather / G.V.D.R. / * 1827 (?) to / 1874". One of a pair of portrait miniatures, the other being of John Andrew Turner's mother, Mary Ann Turner (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.
The sitter in this portrait is a young child, John Andrew Turner (1829-1874) born in Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1829, youngest of four children of George Turner and his wife Mary Ann, nee Chapman. George Turner was a sergeant in the 48th Regiment of Foot when he married Mary Ann Chapman in Sydney in 1821 while the 48th was on garrison duty in NSW. When the regiment was posted to India in 1824, Mary Ann and their first born children (George jun and Mary Ann jun) travelled with the regiment, eventually returning to Sydney in 1827 when Turner volunteered for service in the NSW Veteran Company. A third child, Eliza Andromeda was born on the return voyage. John Andrew Turner became a prosperous stock and station agent and auctioneer, first in Maitland and later in Sydney. His mother Mary Ann died at his house in Maitland in 1856. Following his own death in 1874 John Andrew's widow Kate relocated to England with their nine children, taker Edgar's portrait miniatures with her. (MM, January 2018)
Caroline Simpson Collection, Clydebank, 2002-2003; J.B. Hawkins Antiques, July 2002; George Victor Dalton Rybot (1901-1977)
Published in:
Megan Martin "A talented convict artist' in Unlocked, Winter 2018 pp.30-31
Museum of Sydney ; MOS2007/98-2
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