A boy and his photograph: no longer “Anon”
Item no. NS434-1-121 – “Photograph – Anon – boy – c. 1870s” from the series “NS434 Photographs of the Chandler, Genge and Hooper Families 01 Jan 1860 31 Dec 1960” was listed online at the Archives Office of Tasmania but without the digitised image when a Nevin family descendant recently requested a preview and scan. It was a stab in the dark, a random choice from the two dozen family photographs of the Nevin, Genge, and Chandler families from the Chandler/Hooper collection, more so since neither the “boy” nor the photographer was named. The scan provided by the AOT revealed this fine portrait of a very handsome eleven year old boy in uniform, immediately identifiable as a portrait taken by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1871 at his studio and business, the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania. The Archives Office has since placed the image online … … More Lost originals: the Nevin, Genge and Chandler family photographs
The verso inscription on this carte-de-visite – “I say Captain Mackie is not to show his face in Nelson without you Liz O’Meagher” – signed by Emma Pitt, dated 6th June 1866, has created differences in perception as to the identity of the young woman in the photograph, first by the seller (DSFB) on the one hand, and second by the purchaser (KLW NFC Imprint) on the other. Is it a photograph of Emma Pitt’s addressee “you Liz O’Meagher”, or does it represent the sender Emma Pitt herself? The cdv as a multimodal message is quite complex in tenor and text. Emma’s single sentence is a powerful theatrical gesture. She uses the deictic “you” as a cataphoric pointer forward to the name “Liz O’Meagher” without reference to the photograph itself or to the name of the woman it portrays. “This is you” or “this is me” are absent pointers which could identify the subject of the photograph. Liz O’Meagher is clearly intended as the receiver, the addressee, the “you” in script, in textual form on the verso of the cdv but there is the addition of a visual signifier in the message, the photograph of a young woman on the recto of the cdv, whose identity is not altogether straightforward despite comparisons with extant photographic records taken in the same decade and into the 1880s of (potentially) both young women … More Best of friends: Emma PITT and Liz O’MEAGHER 1866
In all, the month of July 1845 saw Captain Edward Goldsmith make some swift changes to the course of his life and that of his eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith. Having swapped his commission to sail the Parrock Hall, due to depart on 15 July 1845 on yet one more round trip to NSW, he sailed instead on that very date for Sydney in command of the Angelina, Robert Brook’s newest acquisition which was transformed from a female transport ship within months of returning from Tasmania (VDL). Now fitted out as a merchant barque with a cargo of luxury goods and well-heeled passengers, the Angelina sailed for Port Jackson, NSW on 19th July 1845 with Richard Sydney Goldsmith indentured as his father’s apprentice thanks to another swift decision on his father’s part to cancel his son’s prior engagement as an apprentice on the Perseverance. … More Joseph Somes, Captain Edward Goldsmith and the “Angelina” 1844-46
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
The exact location of Reef Point in the Parish of Pedder, county of Buckingham, in the south east of Tasmania around the city of Hobart, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island areas, is not clear from original documentation. Three 500 acre lots – Lot 195, Lot 196 and Lot 197 – were leased to Colonial Treasurer Peter Gordon Fraser; Derwent River pilot James Lucas; and master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith respectively. Being sequentially numbered, these lots must have been adjacent. … More Captain Goldsmith, James Lucas and Peter Fraser: 500 acre leases 1853
A PHOTOGRAPHIC FEAT. – Mr T. J. Nevin, of Elizabeth-street, has performed a feat in photography which may be justly regarded as a literary curiosity. He has succeeded in legibly producing the front page of The Mercury of Wednesday, the 23 inst., on a card three inches by two inches. Many of the advertisements could be read without the aid of a glass, and the seven columns admit of a margin all round the card. … More Thomas Nevin’s Christmas feat 1874
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
This stereograph of a tent pitched on the lawn in front of the Government Cottage, with one gentleman in a top hat standing at a short distance, facing a young girl and another gentleman in a top hat outside the tent’s entrance, bears traces of multiple printings in different formats. The darkened round corners of the print suggest it was printed first in a double oval or binocular stereoscopic mount, and reprinted with squared corners. The dress fashion of the men and girl suggests day trippers in their Sunday best rather than the work-a-day dress of prison officials or local employees. If Nevin had taken this photograph in April 1874, the tent listed on the government schooner’s way bill definitely belonged to him, because he was away at Port Arthur and not in Hobart when the birth of his son Thomas James Nevin jnr in April 1874 was registered by his father-in-law Captain James Day, the only birth registration of his children he did not personally sign… However, if Nevin photographed this group two years earlier, on 1st February 1872, the more likely date, the girl and bearded man standing in front of the tent could be identified as Jean Porthouse Graves, the man as barrister Byron Miller (her future father-in-law), and the clean-shaven man facing them, solicitor John Woodcock Graves, Jean’s father. … More The photographer’s tent at Port Arthur: 1872 or 1874?
“I always prepare my albuminized paper with the pure white of eggs, which I believe to be preferable to all the cheaper compounds that have been substituted for it. Take any quantity of albumen with double the quantity of water, adding eight grains of chloride of ammonium to each ounce of the mixture. Whip up with a bunch of quills into a froth. The albumen will subside in an hour or two, then filter through a piece of fine linen cloth that has been previously slightly singed over a spirit lamp. Pour the albumen into a flat dish and float the paper for about three or four minutes, having previously folded back one of the corners of the sheet in order to keep it from coming into contact with the albumen. If the paper is pinned up by this unalbuminized corner, it will dry without the least streak or imperfection, but if the albumen conies into contact with the pin. a drip will begin which will end in innumerable streaks. By this precaution much paper may be saved…” … More The Albumen Process: examples by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1874
WILLIAM BOCK left Tasmania in 1868, returned in 1874 to marry his fiance Rebecca Finlay, and returned to Wellington New Zealand where he thrived as an engraver, lithographic printer,medallist, stamp designer, and illuminator. William Bock is considered the most important and innovative contributor to the development of New Zealand stamp production from 1875 to 1931, He died in 1932. … More Alfred Bock’s other apprentice: William Bock
Laura (on left) and Richard (centre) were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, a week before Christmas, 18 December, 1874 (per date on verso). Both photographs are hand-tinted. The versos of these two photographs of Laura and Richard bear Nevin’s Royal Arms studio stamp used primarily to indicate photographs taken for the Municipal Police Office within the Hobart City Corporation, and at the Hobart Gaol. Their father, William Thomas McVilly was a constable and later clerk for the Lands and Works Department, HCC and Clerk of Papers, etc., of the Legislative Council in 1883. The unidentified toddler on the left may be a boy rather than a girl, another brother of Laura and Richard called Albert Francis, born 1873. The verso of his/her photograph bears Nevin’s most common commercial studio stamp, unlike the other two, and may have been taken earlier or later than 1874. … More T.J. Nevin’s portraits of the McVilly children 1874
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