May, Phil (1864-1903; English)
The Diamond Doctor: ‘See how it sparkles’ [Dr James Beaney] 1888
Pen & ink on white paper laid down on board, 31.2 x 20.5 cm
Purchased, 1903 (advice of Bernard Hall)
State Library of Victoria (H30383)

This drawing, published on the front page of The Bulletin, 29 Sept.1888 (reproduced below), depicts Melbourne surgeon and politician Dr James Beaney (1828-91), who migrated to Australia from England in 1857, and took over the practice of Dr John Maund after the latter’s death in 1858; see Chevalier Dr Maund 1863 {1863} NGV [PA].

Beaney, later a member of the Victorian Legislative Council (1883-91), pursued an energetic, sometimes controversial career, and apparently had a flamboyant life-style, with a taste for diamond rings and other lavish jewellery.

This is one of several caricatures by May bought on Bernard’s Hall’s advice in 1903, but not listed in NGV 1905, possibly because they were not on show.

[photo: drawing as published]


Not listed in AR 1903 or NGV 1905 

See SLV catalogue for details (not reproduced). For Dr Beaney, see (biography by Bryan Gandevia, published in ADB vol.3, 1969)