Robert Williams Pohlman, A County Court Judge 1874
31 x 18.7 cm
Inscribed in image: Masks and Faces, no.9, ‘Sober as a Judge’
Robert Williams Pohlman immigrated to Australia from England in 1840. He was admitted to the bar in 1941, before becoming a member of the Legislative Council and, from 1859 intermittently, Judge of the Supreme Court. The sobriety noted in Durkin’s print refers to Pohlman’s active opposition toward alcohol; he was an official of the Merri Creek Northcote Inebriates Home and President of the Early Closing Association.
His clouded glasses reference ‘Lady Justice’ who, with her scales, is often depicted blindfolded – objective and equal: as a Judge, Pohlman was described ‘as sphinx-like but philanthropic with a kindly disposition’.
Pohlman died in 1877, three years after this cartoon was published.