Wrigglesworth & Binns (active c.1870-1900; New Zealanders), after?
Captain John Stewart Spotswood, Settler in 1839, near the present site of Spottiswoode
Chalk, c.56 x 40 cm
Presented by R.H.Seddon, 1887
State Library of Victoria (H239)

This rather awkward-looking image is identified in the inscription at the base of the frame as a portrait of “Capt.John Spotswood settler near present site of Spotswood 1839.” The 1894 and 1905 NGV catalogues confidently call it “a chalk drawing by Eglesworth and Binns”; and the SLV catalogue describes it as by “Egglesworth V Binns.”

In fact, though, as SLV librarian Gerard Hayes has pointed out, the authors were presumably Wrigglesworth & Binns, a photographic partnership documented as active in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin (Spotswood’s family also had connections with New Zealand). Hayes suggests that the drawing was probably made over a photographic matrix, and that a monogram at the lower right, next to the photographers’ names, comprising the initials THP (?), may be that of the pastellist.

The sitter (1809-51) settled the Melbourne suburbs of Williamstown and Spotswood. Seddon, named as the donor in NGV 1894 and 1905, was apparently his son-in-law.


Not listed in AR 1887; NGV 1894, p.126 and NGV 1905, p.150 (in each case, V.Buvelot Gallery, south wall, no.2; title as given above; as by Eglesworth & Binns; size given as 22 x 16 inches)

See SLV online catalogue (as by Egglesworth V.Binns; not reproduced); ID photo shown here taken by the author (July 2019). Gerard Hayes makes the points noted above in an email (also July 2019), and compares a studio photograph of a child by Wrigglesworth & Binns (SLV H86.98/51, dated c.1871-1890)

For further information on Frederick Binns (1844-1915) and J.D.Wrigglesworth (c.1836-1906), see http://canterburyphotography.blogspot.com/2008/09/wrigglesworth-binns.html and http://canterburyphotography.blogspot.com/2008/12/wrigglesworth-binns-part-one-wellington.html (both accessed 20 July 2019). The New Zealand section of the 1880-81 Melbourne International Exhibition included photographs and “mezzo-tint portraits” by Wrigglesworth & Binns (refer catalogue, Vol.I, p.292, cat.no.112: see http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/298690)

For Spotswood and his family, see e.g. http://www.geni.com/people/John-Spotswood/6000000006360238067 and http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc01Cycl-t1-body-d3-d5-d3.html