Local News

Victor Harbor Woman Stumbles on Masterpiece


A woman from Victor Harbor is likely to earn a small fortune later this year for a rare colonial painting.

The artwork by Colonel William Light is one of the earliest illustrations of Adelaide by its founder and depicts a farmhouse surrounded by tents, campfires  and colonists, with the Mount Lofty Ranges in the distance.

The woman found the 182-year-old artwork in her garage when going through her late husband’s belongings after he died in February.

At the time it was valued around $1,000 as experts were unable to confirm the artist's identity, however local art dealer Jim Elder told 10 daily that it is far more valuable.

"If Donald Bradman's baggy cap can bring $100,000.. this work is far more important than Donald Bradman to the city of Adelaide and the people of Adelaide," Jim Elder said.

"It took a lot of research and close examination to confirm Light as the artist. Elder says he couldn't resist waking his wife to share the news - even though it was 2am!"

The painting will be up for auction in late November or December 2019.

Image at top of Colonel William Light's painting, 1837, The Commencement of Colonisation in South Australia. Supplied by Elder Fine Art.