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

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

A highly coloured portrait

DECOR: the shiny low chair, the table with griffin-shaped legs, tinted flowers and hair ribbons, the draped curtain, the diamond-patterned carpet, and the backdrop of a patterned patio looking out from an Italianate terrace to a vista of a meandering river, characterise this phase or aspect of Nevin’s commercial practice. … More A highly coloured portrait

A first-class faithful Likeness, February 1873

Personal friendships, mutual business support and Lodge affiliations ensured priority and preference, and in Thomas Nevin’s case, his family solicitor, Attorney-General W.R. Giblin, and his Loyal United Brothers membership played a key role in the offer to provide the Municipal and Territorial Police, and the Prisons Department with identification photographs of convicted criminals. “A first-class faithful likeness” is exactly what the police wanted of the prisoner and ex-convict population. … More A first-class faithful Likeness, February 1873

Marcel Safier Collection

This full-length studio carte-de-visite portrait of an unidentified woman in a hat, holding her umbrella and bag in gloved hands, was taken by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1871 at his studio, the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, Tasmania. The cdv gives a clear view of his studio decor at that time: the lozenge-patterned carpet; the shiny leather-covered slipper chair; the table with griffin-shaped legs; and the painted wall hanging featuring a patio terrace, balustrade, and meandering river disappearing into the distance. Thomas Nevin did not include the middle initial “J” in his stamp on the verso of these earlier 1870s cartes.  “T. J. Nevin Photographic Artist” was printed on  his government contractor stamp bearing the Royal Arms colonial warrant insignia from late 1872 to 1876 to signify that he was a government contractor while still operating as a commercial photographer from his Elizabeth Street studio. … More Marcel Safier Collection