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Capt. Francis Rossi / of Goulburn [member of the Rossi family, possibly Alexander Philip Rossi, ca. 1845-1855]

About this item: 

Full title: Capt. Francis Rossi / of Goulburn [member of the Rossi family, possibly Alexander Philip Rossi, ca. 1845-1855] - miniature portrait

Administrative / Biographical Note

The inscription "Capt. Francis Rossi" found on the reverse of this miniature has been understood to mean Francis Nicholas Rossi (1776-1851) or his son Francis Robert Louis Rossi (1823-1903), but costume and dating suggest the subject could be Francis R. L. Rossi's brother, Alexander Philip Rossi (1825-1855). The bugle design visible on the shoulder belt plate or epaulette indicates that the uniform is that of the 51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Light Infantry Regiment, which served in Australia 1838-1846. Alexander Rossi joined the regiment as an ensign in May 1842 and retired upon the sale of his commission as lieutenant in October 1851. That he was never a captain is at odds with the inscription. Francis Rossi, father and son, held the rank of captain but were never in the 51st Regiment. For Francis Nicholas Rossi to have been the sitter's age would imply too early a dating of the miniature. His son Francis Robert Louis Rossi had no military career before purchasing his commission as captain in the Goulburn Volunteer Rifle Corps in 1869. If Alexander is the subject, the wedding ring on his left hand dates the miniature between 1854, when his marriage to Catherine Smith is registered in Victoria, and his death in February 1855. It would also mean he posed or was depicted in uniform some 3 years after retiring from the army.