Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Portrait of Reginald Faithfull, by Myra Felton, 1870s

2008.0053.0005

Portrait of Reginald Faithfull, by Myra Felton, 1870s

Object information

Physical description

Head and shoulder portrait of man with full face, moustache and side burns, and hair brushed back from his face. He is dressed in black jacket with lapels and white shirt with black tie. This picture is unframed. The painting is stretched onto a wooden frame and attached with metal pins. Signature in red at proper right 'Myra Felton / Pinx'. On reverse side at the centre of the canvas is printed 'Prepared by / WINDSOR & (sic) NEWTON, / 38, RATHBONE PLACE, / LONDON'. Two handwritten stickers have been attached to the top of the frame. The first reads 'Reginald FAITHFULL / SON OF W.P. FAITHFULL DIED of T.B', while the second tag reads 'Reginald FAITHFULL / BORN 4/1/1850 / DIED 9/6/1882 / AT BREWARRANNA STN / NERANDERRA. OF T.B. AGED 32.'.

Statement of significance

The Robert Faithfull Collection comprises objects relating to the Faithfull family of Springfield, near Goulburn. There are five portraits: William Pitt Faithfull's sister Alice Gibson of Tirranna, his wife Mary and her sister Ann Deane, also his sons William Percy and Reginald. The accounts, letter books and detailed paddock book kept by George give a picture of the work, and expenses, of Springfield. There are also six medical degrees from two generations, Commissioning and Demobilisation documents from the First World War as well as programmes from the Tirranna Picnic Races and Mary and William's 1844 marriage certificate.

The portraits add to the visual holdings and bring to life the family that inhabited Springfield, a highly significant wool property. Alice Gibson also relates to the Tirranna property where the annual Picnic Races were held. Reginald Faithfull, who died of tuberculosis aged 32, illustrates the sadness at the centre of the family and relates to the health scourge of that time that afflicted so many young healthy adults. One of the properties mentioned in the paddock book, Inveralochy, was inherited by Dr Robert Lionel Faithfull, great-grandfather of the donor. Robert Lionel's medical degrees, ledgers and letters from overseas provide some 'missing links' as well as insights into his medical career. His medicine chest is already part of the National Historical Collection. The Army certificates issued to Robert Lionel's son Geoffrey, and the summary of the diary he kept on active service in France is yet another window to this extended family.

This collection highlights different family members and the detailed record keeping that contributed to the property's success for so many years.

Object information

Back to top