Painting behind "Bendigo" up for sale

Peter Valentine with the painting of William Abednego Thompson, the man behind the name "Bendigo".

Peter Valentine with the painting of William Abednego Thompson, the man behind the name "Bendigo".

A PAINTING of the bare-knuckle boxer behind the naming of Bendigo is back on the market.

Owner Peter Valentine announced he was seeking to sell the painting of William Abednego Thompson at a gallery opening on Thursday night.

He said the painting deserved to be kept in the area.

"I would love it to stay in Bendigo, it has a real relevance to the city and area," he said.

"I've had it for four years, I've enjoyed it as part of my collection, and I'd like to see it stay in Bendigo."

Believed to have been painted in 1850, the painting depicts the Nottingham-born southpaw boxer whose agile style gave him the nickname "bendy", which when combined with Abednego became "Bendigo".

An early shepherd at Ravenswood Run was given the nickname "Bendigo" due to the similarities between his boxing style and Thompson.

The name was then applied to Bendigo's Creek, which eventually led to the naming of the city.

Mr Valentine said he had contacted the Bendigo Art Gallery to see whether it would be interested in obtaining the painting.

He said he would likely market it at $12,500.

Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan said the gallery's board would decide on acquisitions.

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