Historical information

Ernest Leviny (1818-1905) was born in Georgenberg (Szepes-Szombat) Hungary. He went to Budapest as a youth to become an apprenticed silversmith, then travelled as a 'journeyman' across Europe living and working in Vienna and Paris between 1843-1846. He then set up business in London for six years before embarking on journey to the Australian goldfields arriving in 1853. With a lack of success mining for gold, Leviny established business as a jeweller and watchmaker in Castlemaine and between 1854 and 1862 found time to create major decorative works in gold and silver for which he is best remembered. After retiring from business in 1863 he purchased the house, Delhi Villa, married Bertha Hudson (English-born Tasmanian) in December 1864 and together they had ten children, later renaming the family home Buda (after Budapest). He died in 1905 purported to be the wealthiest gentleman in Castlemaine at that time. Two works made by Leviny are held in the collection at the National Gallery of Victoria: the Silver Standing Cup with Cover c1859 (or Saint Cup), and a Gold Bracelet with inset garnet and diamonds c1860.

Physical description

Albumen, sepia toned 'carte-de-visite' photograph of Ernest Leviny in 1866. Black and white, full length, studio portrait of a gentleman wearing a dark jacket with light coloured pants,with a moustache and mutton chop side burns, standing with his right hand on the back of a chair.

Inscriptions & markings

Verso, photographer's details printed in the centre "Batchelder & O'Neill, 41 Collins Street, East. Melbourne" Handwritten in pencil: "Ernest Leviny 1866"

References