Historical information

The Henty family and their descendants were notable settlers in Australia, initially in Western Australia, then in Launceston and finally in Victoria. While most family members settled in Victoria from 1834, others remained in England and in Tasmania. The identity of the sitters in this mid 19th century pair of portraits is as yet unidentified. The locket was purchased by the Society as part of a small collection of Henty memorabilia and portraits from the owner of Moorabool Antiques, Geelong in 2021, which had in turn acquired the item from the estate of Dennis Alston of Alston's Antiques in Hamilton, Victoria.


Members of the extended Henty family were notable British settlers of southeastern and southwestern Australia. The connection to Kew (Vic.) is that members of the Henty family owned important mansions in Kew in the 19th century. Stephen George Henty's family lived at 'Findon', and Francis Henty of 'Merino Downs' in the Western District lived in his final years at 'Field Place', Kew. Numerous members of the Henty family are buried in the Boroondara General Cemetery.

Physical description

Small hinged locket made of tortoiseshell inlaid with mother-of-pearl, silver and gold. The locket is designed to be worn as a pendant. The two hand-tinted encased oval portraits are of an elderly woman on the left and an elderly bearded man on the right. The inlaid locket is probably Indian given the style of the floral inlay on the front and reverse. The portraits do not appear to be daguerreotypes, ambrotypes or tintypes and require further technical investigation.