Frances Cory (Mrs Edward Gostwyck)c 1820s

by Unknown artist

This rare early colonial likeness shows Frances ‘Fanny’ Cory at about 28 years of age. She is dressed in the fashions of the late 1820s which saw the addition of fussy Elizabethan-style ornamentation to the previously uncluttered Empire line. 

The Corys arrived as free settlers in 1823 and, in 1828, were raising cattle and horses on a large holding at Paterson, in the lower Hunter district. The couple had no children of their own but raised Emma Chapman, the eldest child of their servants Mary and William Chapman, as their adopted daughter. Emma passed the portrait on to her daughter, from whom the Library acquired the work.