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  • Title
    Pair of miniature portraits probably of Captain George Bunn and Mrs Anna Maria Bunn, 1829?
  • Call number
    MIN 442
    MIN 443
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    2 watercolours - oval image 8.2 x 6.6 cm, in frame 14.0 x 11.6 cm

    Captain George Bunn (d. 1834), a master mariner, merchant and magistrate, was principal of the merchant firm Buckle, Buckle, Bagster and Buchanan, and Director of the Bank of Australia.

    His wife, Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889) nee Murray, a novelist and amateur artist, was born into an Irish Catholic family at Balliston, County Limerick. The only daughter of Terence Murray, paymaster in the 2nd Brigade of Foot Guards and later the 49th Regiment of Foot, and his wife Ellen (nee Fitzgerald), who died when she was six, she was sent as a boarder to the Ursuline Convent in Cork for at least ten years. Anna Maria and her father, who had retired from the army in 1827, arrived in New South Wales on board the ship Elizabeth. They went to live at Erskine Park, near Penrith, N.S.W., where she met Captain George Bunn, the agent for the property.

    Captain Bunn and Anna Maria Murray were married on 5 May 1828. They lived at Newstead at Darling Harbour where they had two sons John William and George, and a daughter who died as a baby. Captain Bunn died suddenly in 1834 leaving Anna Maria with a large debt on his estate.

    Anna Maria Bunn was the author of the first novel published on the mainland of Australia, when in 1838 “The Guardian. A tale by ‘An Australian’” was printed by James Spilsbury of Jamison Street, Sydney. It was also the first novel by a woman published in Australia. In later years she lived with her brothers Sir Terence Aubrey Murray at Yarralumla and Dr James Murray at Woden. In May 1852 Anna Maria and her son John William moved permanently to St Omer at Braidwood, N.S.W., the property left to her by her husband. She died on 23 September 1889, aged 81 years.

    Clarke, Patricia, “Anna Maria Bunn and The Guardian”, Margin: life & letters in early Australia, 73, Nov. 2007, pp. 18-21.
    Design and Art Australia Online (DAAO). http://www.daao.org.au/ (accessed 30 May 2011)
  • Collection history
    Presented to donor by a friend descended from George Bunn
  • Scope and Content
    A pair of head and upper-body profile portraits probably of Captain George Bunn (MIN 442) and his wife Anna Maria Bunn (MIN 443).

    The portraits, drawn in watercolour on card, are housed in separate frames. The rectangular wooden frames have an oval window at front with glass cover and raised metal rim. At the top centre of the frames is a metal clasp shaped like an acorn with leaves with a loop for hanging.
  • Access Conditions

    Access via appointment
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955.
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • Description source

    Title and date taken from inscriptions on backing paper of frames
  • General note

    Packing card behind miniatures cut from paper with attached printed label partially inscribed 'From / Mess..., Vonwiller & [?] / [M]arket Street, Sydney, / Cor [i.e. Corner] of York Street.'. Partial inscription handwritten in ink on label '...Lawrence...'
    Digital order no:Album ID : 957561
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    MIN 442 inscribed in ink on backing paper of frame 'George Bunn'.

    MIN 443 inscribed in ink on backing paper of frame 'Mary Bunn / mother of Ann / who[?] married William / Lavender / in 1829[?]'
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