Thomas J. Nevin at William Snelling’s inquest 1875
The original of this photograph of W. Snelling’s family butcher shop featuring five smiling individuals posed out front at the curb may have been taken by commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1872-1874 shortly before former coach maker William Snelling’s death from lung disease in January 1875. The image has been disseminated widely across the internet and even offered for sale, in every instance purloined from the Archives Office of Tasmania’s Flickr collection of photographer James Chandler (1877-1945). Since James Chandler was not yet born when this photograph was taken in the 1870s, its inclusion by the AOT among dozens of his works taken in the 1900s on their Flickr page might suggest the date – 1870s – is incorrect, especially as there is no photographer attribution given to suggest another, earlier photographer. However, a number of works – stereographs as well as cabinet and cdv portraits – which Thomas J. Nevin produced in the 1860s-1880s were not imprinted with his stamp if they were one of several taken in the same sitting or of the same view in the endeavour to obtain the best shot. The fact that Thomas J. Nevin was required to attend William Snelling’s inquest on January 25, 1875, strongly suggests the date given to the photograph is correct, in the first instance, and that William Snelling and Thomas Nevin were closely acquainted. In the second instance, it is the photograph’s provenance which supports Nevin’s attribution. It was in the possession of James Chandler, a distant relative and beneficiary of Thomas J. Nevin’s collections and indeed of his expertise, in the wider family network. James Chandler was related to Thomas J. Nevin by virtue of his mother Mary Chandler nee Genge’s sister’s late marriage – his aunt Martha Genge – to Thomas’ father, John Nevin snr. … More Thomas J. Nevin at William Snelling’s inquest 1875
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