Catenicella Fusca


James Ripper (1840 - 1916)

Fig 1. Catenicella Fusca Fig 2. Catenicella Umbonata  From McCoy, Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria.

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Full Title:

Catenicella Fusca




James Ripper (1840 - 1916)


In good condition


Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

x 230mm
Catenicella Fusca - Antique Print from 1884

Genuine antique



Fig 1. Catenicella Fusca
Fig 2. Catenicella Umbonata 

From McCoy, Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria.


James Ripper (1840 – 1916)

James Ripper was described as one of Bendigo’s most talented Cornish-born citizens. Although he made his living from tuning instruments he was also a gifted bassoonist, vocalist and recognized authority and exponent of the arts Little is known of his lithographic and drafting training and yet, his work in the Prodromus is his most lasting legacy.

Ripper’s Prodromus contribution was limited to the Bryozoan plates, as he worked exclusively for Paul Howard McGillivray. It is unclear whether this professional arrangement was due to anything other than geography. The arts-centric Ripper would likely have crossed paths with McGillivray at the Bendigo Institute, where the latter was both founder and an influential member.

James Ripper was first employed in the lithography of the Bryozoan plates for decade five, published in 1880. Within five years this had developed to the stage where he and McGillivray co-drafted the illustrations for decade ten, but Ripper ceased drafting for the final six decades, although he continued the lithography.

This may have been due to the rather simplistic nature of Ripper’s drafting, or simply McGillivray’s frugality in the economic climate of the late 1880s. But as has been noted, Ripper’s rendering, whilst simpler than earlier works, was much larger and clearer2.

While it appears Ripper did no other lithographic or drafting work in his lifetime, he had a lucrative career as an instrument tuner. At the conclusion of the Prodromus, he returned to an amateur interest in art.

Ripper died in 1916 at the age of 76, the head of a prodigiously large family. Although no photos survive, his great great nephew Don Ripper provided a vivid description: ‘James, like all Ripper men would have been a short man – 5’8″, relatively rotund, a bit ruddy in the cheeks, and definitely a Methodist.’

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