American School (circa 1800) View of Mr Slaney's house on Norfolk Island
Lot 15
English Naive School, circa 1800 View of Mr Slaney's house on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific
Sold for £25,200 (US$ 42,356) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
English Naive School, circa 1800
View of Mr Slaney's house on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific
inscribed 'View of Mr Slaney's House Norfolk Island Lat. 29.1 - South Long. 168 East' (lower left to right)
oil on canvas
48 x 63.5cm (18 7/8 x 25in).

Footnotes

  • The present lot dates to the earliest period of European settlement on Norfolk Island, a British penal colony from the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century. It is one of the earliest known oil paintings from the colonial era of the Antipodes.

    The house pictured belonged to Richard Slaney, who was transferred to the island on 7th August 1790, six years into a fourteen-year sentence for an unknown crime. Prisoners were encouraged to farm and be self-sufficient, and by 1796 Slaney was farming some 60 acres with his wife Elizabeth Barker, a fellow convict whom he married in 1794. Slaney's sentence officially ended in 1798. It is likely that he commissioned a convict on the island, or possibly a travelling British or American artist, to mark the expiry of his sentence. He departed from the island between 1797 and 1801, a time for which few records of departing convicts have survived. The establishment of a charity in Slaney's name in Lichfield in 1827 suggests he returned to England and lead an honourable life.

Saleroom notices

  • This work will be offered described as "Naive School, circa 1800". The work is by an itinerant naive artist whose nationality cannot be determined.
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