Historical information

This photograph of John Pascoe Fawkner was commissioned by artist William Strutt in 1857. In 1907 Strutt gave the photograph to Victoria's London agent, Mr. Lake, to be presented to the Victorian Parliamentary Library. In a letter to Mr. Lake now in the library's archives, Strutt describes how he had planned to make use of the photograph in his artistic practice, and when finished with it, had promised to give the photograph to the Victorian Parliamentary Librarian Charles Ridgway (c.1801-1865). "That time then has come, late it is true, but alas Mr. Ridgeway [sic] is dead, so is Fawkner, but the old patriot will ever live in this portrait".

Physical description

Framed ambrotype portrait photograph of John Pascoe Fawkner seated and wearing a smoking cap. Note from William Strutt adhered verso.
The ambrotype is a positive photographic image on a glass plate mounted inside a glazed frame with a gold-coloured inner-frame/preserver (possibly celluloid) and black velvet-covered backing board.

Inscriptions & markings

Handwritten black ink verso: "John Pasco [sic] Fawkner/ This admirable portrait/ of the Founder of Melbourne is now presented in/ fulfilment of my/ promise (made years/ ago to the late Mr/ Ridgeway) to present it/ to the Parliament House/ Library of Melbourne./ William Strutt./ Wedsmnt [?] Dec' 18.1007."