Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio 1876

This photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, the City Photographic Establishment of Elizabeth Allport (1835-1925) is arguably the finest portrait taken of her in her mature years. There is no other photograph – and there were many taken throughout her life – which reveals her sublime grace and character to this extent, a quality due in no small measure to the professional expertise of Thomas J. Nevin. Elizabeth Allport was the elder daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Ritchie, wife of Morton Allport (1830–1878), mother of Curzona (Lily), Minnie, Cecil, Evett and Henry Allport, and a friend to the family of Thomas J. Nevin, his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day and his sister Mary Anne Nevin. … More Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio 1876

Gifts for Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Hobart 1868

Between 1865 and 1868, the partnership advertised the firm  Nevin & Smith with three types of verso stamps. The most rare and unusual is this one printed for the visit to Hobart Tasmania of Alfred Ernest Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, in command of his yacht HMS Galatea, a steam-powered sail-equipped frigate arriving on 6th January and departing on 18th January 1868 for NSW where, on his return to Sydney, he survived an assassination attempt at Clontarf (12th March 1868). The Children’s Song of Welcome to Prince Alfred. a choral march, was written with lyrics by Louisa Anne Meredith and music by Frederick A. Packer for the occasion. The score was printed with a cover illustration depicting a laurel wreath in green ink encircling the name “Alfred of England”, L.A.M. Del. et Lith. and marked with L.A. Meredith’s monogram. The inside page was printed as a direct address to Queen Victoria. Prince Alfred was presented with an album containing “eighty-three photographs illustrative of the scenery of Tasmania, forty-eight portraits of children born in the colony, and nine plates immediately connected with the Prince’s visit” at his final reception, 18 January 1868. … More Gifts for Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Hobart 1868

Alfred Hope and his landau with Albert Nevin early 1900s

This tattered – and therefore much loved – photograph was found among the family memorabilia of Albert Edward Nevin (1888-1955), the youngest child born to photographer Thomas J. Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day in 1888 at 236 Elizabeth St. Hobart. One of Albert’s children – a grandchild of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin – wrote the inscription on the verso in capital letters: “HOPES CARRIAGE WITH MY DAD ON HORSE BEHIND” – identifying the man on horseback behind the carriage as Albert Nevin. As to the identities of the rest of the group in this photograph, including the identity of the photographer, all is open to speculation. The more senior man seated centre may have been William Hope, owner of the carriage; the younger driver holding the reins his son Alfred Hope who took over his fathers’s horse-drawn cab business in 1913. As a group dressed for a semi-formal occasion in the fashions of the Edwardian period (1890s -1920), their destination might have been the Northall Park race course at Moonah or the Risdon Park race course in Bell Street, New Town, which would explain why Albert Nevin was on horseback accompanying the group. He trained pacers and rode several horses at both tracks: on Saturday 20th February, 1915, at Northall Park, for example, Albert Nevin the rider was reported to make a splendid recovery in the saddle when his mount Dinah Rose’s “gear went wrong” during the second round of the February Cup. … More Alfred Hope and his landau with Albert Nevin early 1900s

Sarah Crouch at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

“SEVERAL Ladies having been long impressed with the desolate state of females occupying the sphere of domestic servants on leaving their situations while seeking others, the following ideas have been suggested: –
“That a society of ladies be formed, the design of which shall be to protect ALL lone female servants, and afford such advice as experience dictates and by judicious care and oversight prevent exposure to many evils which strangers in the colony are subject to; and also to provide a “Home” to ALL female servants willing to avail themselves of its privileges at a rate within the reach of their limited means. The “Home” will be conducted as much as possible in accordance with similar Institutions in London. Such a home will preclude the necessity of the well-intentioned taking up their abode with persons whose object is gain to themselves, though it should be the destruction of their supporters. With this view the ladies have taken a house in High-street, near the New Town Road (a respectable neighbourhood) at a very moderate rent, in which there is a sitting-room, with table requisites for the use of the inmates, and all necessary utensil for cooking, washing, &c – the dormitories furnished with beds, bedding, and everything necessary to the comfort of those desirous of placing themselves under the guardianship of the ladies….” … More Sarah Crouch at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio ca. 1872

James McEvoy’s fine fabrics ex Captain Goldsmith’s “Parrock Hall” Sydney 1845

“ALBERT HOUSE,
PITT-STREET.
JAMES M’EVOY, in returning thanks to his friends and patrons for the very liberal patronage bestowed upon him since his commencement in business, hastens to inform them that he has just opened, ex Parrock Hall, a splendid description of goods, consisting of – First rate West of England blue and black cloths; Buckskins, black and white check cassimeres; The most splendid description of shawl pattern vestings; Washing satins, and silk velvets; Figured and plain satins, for scarfs or waitscoats; Corded silk ditto, buff cassimeres. An immense assortment of ducks and drills, unequalled in the colony for strength and durability. And a most splendid assortment of cloths and trimmings for ladies’ riding habits. J. M. also begs to inform the aristocracy and gentry of Australia, that he has in his possession a collection of
LIVERY BUTTONS, With crests belonging to the leading families in New South Wales; and being the only holder of the above in Sydney, he feels proud in asserting that no other house can furnish them. He also respectfully offers his services in procuring from England any crest button which may be attached to a family, at a trifling expense… ”
More James McEvoy’s fine fabrics ex Captain Goldsmith’s “Parrock Hall” Sydney 1845

Captain Hector Axup at the farewell to “S.S. Salamis” Sydney 1900

“In moralising as I paced the deck, sad thoughts would intrude connected with regard to devastating war, and how few of those noble fellows might be spared to come back to their homes and families. However, it is better to keep such thoughts in the background, for wherever our great Empire wants her sons, I am proud to think there are tens of thousands ready, as Kipling puts it, ‘to chuck their jobs and join,’
“Our staunch little bark, the Acacia, of which I am chief mate, completed a splendid run from Sydney to Clarence River in 36 hours, over 300 miles. We load a cargo of iron bark for Lyttelton, New Zealand.” … More Captain Hector Axup at the farewell to “S.S. Salamis” Sydney 1900

Thomas Nevin, his studio carpet, and pauper William Graves

A prisoner by the name of William GRAVE arrived at Hobart on board the convict transport Lady Montague in December 1852. He was already lame when he arrived. His records stated “A cripple walks with a crutch.” When photographer Thomas J. Nevin assisted the New Town Territorial Police police in the arrest of a well-known identity in the Glenorchy area called William GRAVES in May 1875 , the warrant described the man as “lame of right leg, walks with a crutch”. One month later, when he was discharged from Hobart, his left leg, not the right, was recorded by police as “crippled”. So who was this man, photographed standing on Thomas Nevin’s carpet? … More Thomas Nevin, his studio carpet, and pauper William Graves

Youngest daughter Minnie Nevin m. James Drew (1884-1974)

Race horses, draught horses and trotters were the focus of Minnie Drew’s family life and livelihood. Husband James Drew entered a starter “Miss Bobby” in the Spring Handicap, January 1917, and younger brother Albert Nevin, recently returned from Launceston with his new bride Emily, was racing his starter “Rosalind” in the Derwent Handicap at Moonah by August. James Drew also showcased draught and dray horses at the annual Hobart Show, selling them eventually when he acquired a motor van for his parcel delivery business. Minnie’s older brother William Nevin established a carrier and furniture removal business which he partnered with James Drew in the 1910s, operating from Morrison St. Hobart Wharf. When siblings May, Albert, George and William Nevin moved to the property  at 23-29 Newdegate St. in 1923 on the death of their father Thomas J. Nevin (once a photographer, always a photographer – he was buried with “photographer” listed as his occupation on his burial certificate), William Nevin maintained the carrier business there until his untimely death in a horse and cart accident in 1927. … More Youngest daughter Minnie Nevin m. James Drew (1884-1974)

Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

A rare pose, this photograph of Alfred Barrett Biggs, his head down contemplating his next move in a game of chess with his wife Harriet née Burville who observes the photographer almost obliquely under her lashes, was taken about the same time as the full-length portrait of Alfred’s mother Eliza Coleman Biggs. Harriet chose to wear a voluminous dress of  the sheerest ribbed silk, pin-tucked at the bodice and overlain with a transparent gauze shawl across her shoulders. The tall chess pieces were commonly made from ivory. … More Thomas Nevin and Alfred Barrett Biggs 1872-1876

Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Dozens of extant photographs by Thomas Nevin that carry no studio stamp on verso were deliberately kept blank because they were mounted on calico, and delivered by mail to the purchaser with the expectation that they would either be placed intact inside a wooden frame, to be hung on the wall; or indeed, removed from the calico to be placed on an album leaf. Thomas Nevin used calico mounts as a means of saving on costs when posting through the mail. Dozens of his extant photographs with blank versos held in public and private collections bear traces of removal from woven fabric or parchment. Handwritten inscriptions, in many instances, were added subsequently by the client, collector or archivist. … More Thomas Nevin’s photographs mounted on calico 1870s

Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand

Amy Bock and Agnes Ottaway married on 21 April 1909 in Dunedin, NZ. Four days later Amy Bock was arrested at the Ottaways’ boarding house. She was convicted in the Dunedin Supreme Court on 27 May on two counts of false pretences and one of forgery, and was finally declared an habitual offender. The marriage was annulled on 17 June 1909. Was it a bid for “marriage equality” or not? … More Amy Bock’s bid for marriage equality in 1909 in New Zealand

Convict photographs by T. J. Nevin at the Art Gallery NSW Centenary Exhibition 1976

Photographs of Tasmanian “convicts” –  i.e. prisoner mugshots – taken by T. J. Nevin in the 1870s were exhibited at the Centenary of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne in 1976. The Exhibition Catalogue was written by Daniel Thomas Senior Curator and Curator of Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW. The Tasmanian contributor was antiquarian Geoffrey Stilwell, a Trustee of the Centenary Celebrations of the Art Gallery of NSW and Special Collections curator of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania. … More Convict photographs by T. J. Nevin at the Art Gallery NSW Centenary Exhibition 1976

Captain Goldsmith, Captain Clinch, & the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation Co.

“We have the sad duty today of recording the sudden death of Captain John Clinch, of the T. S. N. Co.’s steamer Southern Cross, which occurred on Tuesday, at Sydney. The first intimation of the sad event was received here yesterday morning by a telegram, dated Sydney, 8th June, 1.15 p.m., from the company’s agents. The telegram was as follows :—” We grieve to report the death of Captain Clinch. He fell on the bridge just after the steamer left the wharf. Dr. Alloway saw him within about ten minutes, and pronounced him -dead. Mr. Lewis, chief officer, is to proceed on the voyage, taking charge of the body to Hobart Town, after inquest to-morrow morning.” Another telegram was received last evening, announcing that, the Southern Cross sailed from Sydney at 2 p.m. yesterday with the remains of Captain Clinch on board, the inquest having been dispensed with. The steamer may therefore be expected here on Saturday morning….” … More Captain Goldsmith, Captain Clinch, & the Tasmanian Steamship Navigation Co.

Prisoners William SEWELL and Ralph NEILL 1867-1874

Two soldiers of the 2nd battalion, H. M. 14th Regiment, William Sewell and Ralph Neill arrived at Hobart, Tasmania, in November 1866 from service in the New Zealand wars on board the military ship Siam. Within a year they were were charged with burglary of a hotel in Watchorn Street, and sentenced to 10 years at the Hobart Criminal Court. They served seven years, some of that time at the Port Arthur prison and were relocated to the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 25th October 1873 when they were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin prior to release. They were discharged to freedom on 6th February 1874. … More Prisoners William SEWELL and Ralph NEILL 1867-1874

Captain & Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith: Rattler’s maiden voyage 1846

Elizabeth Goldsmith (nee Day, 1802-1875) sailed on the Rattler’s maiden voyage with her husband Captain Edward Goldsmith in command, departing London on 24th July 1846, arriving at Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 11th November 1846. General cargo included a consignment of equipment and uniforms for the 65th Regiment for government Ordnance Stores, fine clothing and furnishings for sale by local merchants, two pianos, alcohol and foodstuffs, stationery, personal effects etc etc. The Goldsmiths stayed two months during a glorious summer in Hobart, departing on the Rattler, 21st January 1847, with nineteen passengers and a cargo of whale products and wool destined for London. … More Captain & Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith: Rattler’s maiden voyage 1846

Elizabeth Bayley at Runnymede, New Town 1874-1875

Captain James Bayley’s first marriage to Emma Elizabeth Butchard, daughter of Captain Tom Butchard, on December 30th 1856 ended at her death ten years later, on 4th December 1866. She died of pulmonary consumption, aged 27 yrs at Battery Point. Witnesses at the marriage were his brother-in-law Alexander McGregor and his brother Charles Bayley. Her daughter Harriet Louisa Bayley, named after the Bayley brothers’ sister, was motherless at just 5 years old. Her widowed father took her to England and when they returned on the Harriet McGregor in 1872, he was accompanied by a prospective new wife and stepmother to Harriet, his distant relative Miss Elizabeth Bayley. … More Elizabeth Bayley at Runnymede, New Town 1874-1875

A supine “selfie” by Thomas J. Nevin 1870

‘Self-portrait’ shutters were not introduced until the early 1900s so this photograph, or indeed many taken in the 1860s-70s, cannot strictly be termed a “selfie”. The supine pose in these outdoor photographs of the period, of men in particular, was due partly to the size, the focal length, width and aperture of stereo lens types available and partly because a standing rather than reclining figure in the foreground deflects the eye from a distant focal point, which in this example was one carrying a salient message about Empire and Colonial stability, the new Government House (completed 1857). The invisible photographer was present in at least five extant photographs of Thomas J. Nevin in various poses and formats, held in family collections, and there may be several more in public collections waiting to be identified, such as this one first viewed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, November 2014. … More A supine “selfie” by Thomas J. Nevin 1870

Portraits of older women by Thomas Nevin 1870s

This collection of studio portraits taken by Thomas J. Nevin in the early 1870s of otherwise unidentified older women includes just one whose name is inscribed verso: Mrs Morrison. Who might she have been? A servant, a farmer, a post-mistress, some relation to Askin Morrison, ship owner, of Morrison Street, opposite Franklin Wharf, Hobart? Or Mrs Morrison, teacher of Kangaroo Point whose health had forced her to retire (Mercury, 6 December 1872). Perhaps she was Mrs Ellen Morrison, licensee of the Launceston Hotel, Brisbane St. on a visit south to Hobart? Whoever this sitter was, she appears to have worked hard all her life, no fuss or frills about it. … More Portraits of older women by Thomas Nevin 1870s

Nevin’s women clients and their dresses 1870s

Clients of early photographers were advised to wear clothing in strong patterns to distinguish the figure from the background in the final sepia print. This is a very small selection featuring unidentified women from dozens of Thomas J. Nevin’s commercial studio portraits dated from the early to mid 1870s. These clients differed in social status, as the cut and style and fabric of their dresses suggest, in addition to their jewellery and hair-dos, but they wore their finest day dress for the occasion. Some stared directly at the photographer, others gazed towards left or right of the frame. Most are young, but extant portraits of older women who seemed to favour his services also number in the dozens. Each of these cdvs shows variations in Nevin’s studio decor, his portraiture techniques, and printed frames. Some are also hand tinted. … More Nevin’s women clients and their dresses 1870s

Prisoner Nathan HUNT 1870s-1890s

This later photograph of Nathan Hunt taken by Constable John Nevin was printed in the earlier format of an oval framed carte-de-visite vignette typical of his brother Thomas’ commercial technique of printing his 1870s mugshots for the Municipal Police Office and Hobart Gaol. This photograph is only the third mugshot to surface of a Tasmanian prisoner wearing a prison issue cap; the earlier mugshots taken by Thomas Nevin of prisoners James Mullins and William Smith at the Hobart Gaol in 1875 show both men wearing the “black leathern cap” manufactured by prisoners at Port Arthur in 1873. The prison issue woollen cap also made by prisoners at Port Arthur in 1873 is shown here, worn by Nathan Hunt in this later mugshot dated 1890. … More Prisoner Nathan HUNT 1870s-1890s

Photographers A. Bock, S. Clifford and T. Nevin at Port Arthur

In late March, 1866, photographer Alfred Bock was at the Port Arthur prison site on the Tasman Peninsula, 60 kms south of Hobart at the request of its Commandant, James Boyd. Alfred Bock’s studio – The City Photographic Establishment – at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, was manned by his junior partner Thomas Nevin and his apprentice, younger brother William Bock, in his absence. Bock’s mission at Port Arthur was to provide a series of landscapes and portraits of officials. However, it was photographer Samuel Clifford, Nevin’s friend and mentor, of Liverpool Street, Hobart, who was the source and supplier of photographic materials to the Port Arthur prison administration, in this instance for Alfred Bock in March 1866, and again in August 1873, when Clifford himself visited the prison site. … More Photographers A. Bock, S. Clifford and T. Nevin at Port Arthur