Allenby (McKechnie Section 2)

See also Section Six

Known from two advertisements in the Limerick Chronicle (27 June and 12 August 1840). Since Allenby mentions in the first of these that he has worked as a portraitist for thirty-three years, and that his sitters include seventeen royal persons as well as members of the nobility, it is surprising that he has not hitherto been recorded and that no silhouettes are known. The first advertisement reads as follows:

Purposes for a Short Time Taking 


In Black Os. 6d.

In Colours 2s. 6d.

A Front Face 5s. Od.

On Ivory 20s. to £10

ALL the above LIKENESSES are taken by a newly invented Patent Machine — and every Likeness warranted. Mr. A's rooms having been crowded by the first Families in Wexford, Waterford, and Clonmel, he hopes to meet with a similar encouragement in this City. Specimens of 17 of the ROYAL FAMILY. Mr. A. has had the distinguished honour of taking several of the Nobility, and a great variety of other Specimens may be seen at Mr. A's apartments, also Public Characters in this place. The above machine will be exhibited to any Lady or Gentleman, which will be found to far surpass any thing of the kind ever invented. Mr. A. having had 33 years experience flatters himself that he can give universal satisfaction. The Ivory Miniatures require only two short sittings, 15 minutes each sitting.


Persons writing bad hands are taught in Six Lessons to write a good hand. Terms — 10s.

N.B. - Those persons who cannot write are taught in a few Lessons, on moderate terms, at Mr. Cooke's, No. 37, Patrick-Street.

June 27

According to this advertisement, Allenby must have been at work at least as early as c. 1807, and had worked in London before visiting Ireland. The offer of work at 'reduced' prices (in both advertisements) may have been prompted by the circumstance of Allenby's arrival in Limerick at the same time as the Royal Victoria Gallery, managed by the Friths. Both advertisements appeared in the same editions of the same newspaper as advertisements by the gallery. Since Allenby also offered lessons in handwriting, it may be that he did not achieve as much success with his silhouette work as this advertisement appears to promise and the second advertisement (which reads as follows) appears to claim:


Wonderful Reduction 
For Three Weeks only

A Highly Finished Miniature on Ivory, only 7s. 6d.

A Profile in Colours 1s. Od.

A Profile in Black 6d.

All the above Likenesses are taken with a newly invented Patent Machine; and for the Ivory Miniatures only Two Short Sittings, each of 15 minutes, are required.

The Likenesses warranted.


Persons taught to write a good hand in 6 lessons for 10s.

Those who cannot write are taught in a few lessons, on moderate terms, at


8, Patrick Street (one door from Ellen Street)

MR. ALLENBY returns his sincere thanks for the very Liberal success that he has met with in this city.

With regard to the character of Allenby's work we can only assume (in the absence of extant examples) that the 'profiles in black' were painted, since he offered other types of painted work. Evidently the basic outlines were produced mechanically.