1828 – Mrs Jane Penelope Atkinson

What we see in this image

This front facing ½ length miniature portrait shows the young Mrs Atkinson (1807-1854) at about 21 years of age. She wears a rather informal style of dress which is an unusual choice for a portrait.

Her dark blue day dress (perhaps a type of riding habit) has a plain high-necked bodice fitted with a wide, contrasting turn-back collar of cream fabric bordered with a narrow red stripe and tied in a soft bow at the neck like a scarf above long, full sleeves making it a practical and comfortable garment for more active pursuits. Her dark curly hair falls in ringlets around her face, either side of a centre part and below a ring of plaited hair supporting a [tortoiseshell] comb in the shape of a crown. She also carries a gold watch and fob, linked by a heavy gold chain, across the front of her gown at the natural waistline.


What we know about this image

Jane Penelope Atkinson, nee Reibey (1807 – 1854), was born in Sydney, the 3rd daughter of Thomas Reibey (1755 – 1811) and emancipist merchant Mary Reibey, nee Haydock, (1777-1855). On 11 Sep 1824, aged 17, Jane (known as Penelope) married merchant and auctioneer John Atkinson (1795 – 1893), in Sydney. Between 1826 and 1832, the couple settled on one of Mary Reibey’s properties in Wilberforce, NSW, and had 6 children and before their departure for Launceston, Van Diemens Land in mid-November 1834. Jane Atkinson died (aged 47) at Launceston, Tasmania, on 9 October 1854.

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1828 – Mrs Jane Penelope Atkinson

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Read, Richard jnr (1796-1862) attrib.
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Watercolour on Ivory
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