Thomas Bunbury (1791-1862)
Portrait of George Dean-Pitt (1823-1883), standing small full length in an archway, with his spaniel, a Grenadier Guard preparing his horse beyond
signed, inscribed and dated 'Painted/1837/Major Bunbury/80th. Regt' (lower left)
oil on canvas laid down on board
24 x 19¾in. (60.9 x 50.2cm.)
By descent from the sitter to Colonel C.J. Deedes.
A typed label ('Lieut-General George Dean-Pitt C.B., who died at the Tower, when Keeper of the Crown Jewels. Painted as a boy by a brother officer of his Father's.') and manuscript label ('Lieut-General George Dean-Pitt C.B. Keeper of the Jewel House Tower of London as a boy. 80th Regiment son of General George Dean-Pitt K.H. Governor of New Ulster N. Zealand and Grandfather of Lady Deedes.') on the reverse identify the sitter.
George Dean-Pitt, served in New Zealand as private secretary to his father (also George Dean-Pitt) who was appointed governor of New Ulster, New Zealand in 1847 and who served in New Zealand as First General Officer Commanding, 1847-51. Dean-Pitt junior was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel 'for special service' in the 1st Batallion Auckland Regiment of Militia and became prominent in Australia in the enlistment of military settlers for the New Zealand government in Australia in 1863-64. His service in New Zealand ended in 1874.
The artist, Col. Thomas Bunbury, was a fellow officer in the 80th Regiment of the sitter's father, and was himself sent out to New South Wales with his regiment in 1837. The present portrait dates prior to the artist's departure.