This portrait miniature painted on ivory depicts Richard Rouse (1774-1852), builder of Rouse Hill House in the Parramatta district of New South Wales. The portrait is encased in an engine turned 18ct gold case, similar to a pocket watch case. It seems to be a mourning object, a variant on the more usual mourning brooch, and relates to an 1847 crayon portrait of Rouse by William Griffith, a local Parramatta artist who in the 1840s enjoyed a reputation as 'an excellent likeness painter'. Richard Rouse was born in Oxfordshire, England, the son of a joiner and cabinetmaker. He emigrated to New South Wales in 1801 on board a ship called the Nile, with his wife Elizabeth, a young daughter, and a son born on the voyage. He became a substantial landholder in the Parramatta and Hawkesbury districts and also had extensive pastoral interests in the central west of New South Wales. He is described in the Australian Dictionary of Biography as the 'type of pioneer that the colony needed, a devoted family man, a loyal member of the Church of England, a hard-working and honest public servant and a very efficient grazier'.