Text on the frame says; ‘Bianconi – the poor Italian boy who became Mayor of Clonmel’. The reverse of the frame carries the date 1837

Artist Unknown
Print, 61.2 x 45.5
No items found.
No items found.

The sparkling freshness of this image belies the date 1837 on the back of the frame. That may be explained by the fact that the print was found on the reverse of another picture, in Doncaster, England and so would not have been exposed to light. The owner approached Tipperary County Council in search of information about the subject, and the Museum acquired the print in 1990. No details about the artist are given, and so far, he or she has not been identified. Charles Bianconi (1786–1875) was born near Como, Italy and arrived in Ireland in 1802, in flight from Napoleon’s Italian campaign. He worked in the print-business of a fellow Italian on Essex Street, Dublin, but set up his own print shop in Carrick-on-Suir in 1806. He came to Clonmel in 1815, where, realising the desperate need for an efficient public transport service, he organised a successful stagecoach network that cut the travel time from Clonmel to Cahir from eight hours by boat to two hours in his coaches. The network spread across Ireland with Bianconi Inns added to facilitate travellers. He became a wealthy man and twice mayor of Clonmel. Bianconi settled at Longfield, near Boherlahan, with his wife and three children. He is buried there, in a church for which he had given the land and money to build.His coaches were not only an important and popular hub of public transport, they also became the mainstay of the postal service. The image in this portrait suggests a young man with the charm necessary to persuade people to support his business proposals and the energy to see them through to fruition.