Thomas Nevin’s VIP commission 1872

Between 31st January and 2nd February 1872, Hobart photographer Thomas J. Nevin accompanied two parties of VIPs on boat trips down the Derwent River: to Adventure Bay at Bruny Island, and to Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. On the 31st January he took a series of photographs of a party of “colonists” which included Sir John O’Shanassy, former Premier of Victoria, on their day trip to Adventure Bay on the eastern side of Bruny Island. They travelled on board The City of Hobart, commanded by Captain John Clinch. … More Thomas Nevin’s VIP commission 1872

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

Marcus Clarke and Thomas Nevin at the Old Bell Hotel 1870

Given that Thomas Nevin was partial to a drink, inebriation being the chief reason he was dismissed by the Police Committee from his position of Town Hall keeper in December 1880, the Old Bell Hotel was the closest public bar to his studio during the 1870s. Thomas Nevin was still alive in 1920 (d. 1923) when the hotel, known as the Old Bell, was delicensed, so he may have contributed to this story that Marcus Clarke drank there while writing his famous novel, published in 1870 after a visit to the derelict prison at Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. … More Marcus Clarke and Thomas Nevin at the Old Bell Hotel 1870

Blame it on Beattie: the Parliamentarians photograph

Amateur photo-historian Chris Long was among the first to be targeted by A. H. Boyd’s descendants in 1984 with only their hearsay offered as proof, and together with co-editor Gillian Winter, assumed that there would be extant photographs by A. H. Boyd, if indeed he had photographed prisoners. Strangely enough, they found none. Gillian Winter found mention of THREE photographs of parliamentarian George William Keach, his wife and daughter, with a Boyd attribution in the Archives Office Tasmania. But those photographs were missing from the original Allport Album when she listed its contents. Those photographs were taken by Sydney photographer Thomas H. Boyd, loosely collated originally with other carte-de-visite items taken of Allport family members and their friends by photographers in Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Rome and elsewhere … … More Blame it on Beattie: the Parliamentarians photograph

Captain Edward Goldsmith in Davey Street Hobart 1854

Elizabeth Nevin’s uncle and benefactor, master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith, first arrived in Van Diemen’s land in 1830 and departed never to return in 1856. He retired to Gad’s Hill, Kent, and became a neighbour of Charles Dickens in 1857. He did not become a colonist, nor did he profit directly from convict transportation. His many and varied services during those years to the mercantile, horticultural and shipping development of the colony were inestimable. He bought and sold land, built a patent slip and steam ferry, sat on civic committees, established a marine insurance company, and set up a permanent residence for his family at lower Davey Street, Hobart, although he was away at sea for most of every year. The playwright and journalist David Burn who met him in Sydney in 1845, noted in his diary that Captain Goldsmith’s turnaround was eight months (SLNSW Call No: B190): from England via the Americas or the Cape of Good Hope to the Australian colonies for a single a round trip took just eight months, and during all those voyages not one major incident was ever reported (apart from his very first command on the James to W.A. in 1830 … … More Captain Edward Goldsmith in Davey Street Hobart 1854

Captain Edward Goldsmith’s land at Lake St Clair

“This part of the country unknown” was printed on the Surveyor-General’s map of Van Diemen’s Land in 1824. Artists such as John Glover (in 1834) and Skinner Prout (in 1845) had travelled in the region and represented Lake St Clair and surrounding mountains in sketches, but it was not until the 1860s when photographs taken … More Captain Edward Goldsmith’s land at Lake St Clair

Captain Edward Goldsmith at the New Market banquet 1854

Captain Edward Goldsmith was highly esteemed by both the Hobart City Corporation’s Mayor and aldermen and the business community. He attended the Regattas as a judge, and at his testimonial dinner in 1849 at the Hobart Town Hall, he stated that he might become a colonist and settle in Hobart, but that was not to be. He attended many social functions sponsored by the Governor and Mayor before his final departure in 1855, sometimes with his younger son Edward Goldsmith jnr, who accompanied him to the Governor’s Levee. The construction of the New Market on the Hobart Wharves, and the banquet held to celebrate its opening in January 1854, was another of his interests and an event he attended in the company of Hobart’s most illustrious officers and the colony’s most modest traders alike. … More Captain Edward Goldsmith at the New Market banquet 1854

Testimonial to Captain Edward Goldsmith 1849

-Upon receiving the cup, Capt. Goldsmith remarked that he would retain the token until death ; and, with reference to some observations made by Mr. Carter, intimated it was not improbable he should next year, by settling in Van Diemen’s Land with Mrs. Goldsmith, become a fellow-colonist.

-The goblet, which was manufactured by Mr. C. Jones, of Liverpool-street, bears the following inscription:-“Presented to Captain Goldsmith, of the ship Rattler, as a slight testimonial for having introduced many rare and valuable plants into Van Diemen’s Land. January, 1849.” The body has a surrounding circlet of vine leaves in relief. The inscription occupies the place of quarterings in a shield supported the emu and kangaroo in bas relief, surmounting a riband scroll with the Tasmanian motto-” Sic fortis Hobartia crevit.” The foot has a richly chased border of fruit and flowers. In the manufacture of this cup, for the first time in this colony, the inside has undergone the process of gilding. … More Testimonial to Captain Edward Goldsmith 1849

The Excelsior Coal Mine at New Town 1874

Mr Nevin, photographer, Elizabeth-street, appears in this advertisement as an agent able to take orders for the delivery of coal from the Excelsior Coal Mine which was located on Mr Ebenezer Sims property at Kangaroo Bottom (Kangaroo Valley New Town), in close proximity to the home of Nevin’s parents. This coal was for domestic use but may have been included in the coal specimens which were exported to the Royal Colonial Institute, accompanied by James Boyd on board the Ethel in 1874. … More The Excelsior Coal Mine at New Town 1874

Nevin’s portraits of children gifted to the Duke 1868

On the day fixed for his departure from Tasmania, 18th January 1868, H.R.H Prince Alfred was presented with an album of photographs.The album contained “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” according to the report of the visit written by John George Knight … … More Nevin’s portraits of children gifted to the Duke 1868

An Ornithological Disaster: Thomas Nevin’s emu 1878

AN ORNITHOLOGICAL DISASTER.– A young Emu the property of Mr. Nevin keeper of the Town Hall, came to an untimely end last week by being strangled in trying to force itself through the fence of the paddock in which it was kept at the rear of the Town Hall. The owner states his intention to present the Emu to the Royal Society’s Museum. … More An Ornithological Disaster: Thomas Nevin’s emu 1878

Another rare Nevin & Smith studio stamp

This studio stamp – with the Prince of Wales insignia – is the second type of stamp from Thomas Nevin’s studio that bears an official insignia. His other government stamp, which he used on the verso of several portraits of Tasmanian convicts while contracted as prison photographer at Port Arthur and the Hobart Gaol, features the Royal Arms insignia with lion and unicorn rampant. The Prince of Wales emblem was used on decorations for official functions during the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit in 1868 … … More Another rare Nevin & Smith studio stamp

Cartes-de-visite photographs of convicts by Nettleton and Nevin

Charles Nettleton’s Patents (Victoria) National Archives of Australia Ref: A2388 Registers of Proprietors of Paintings, Photographs, Works of Art and Sculpture Charles Nettleton’s government commission to take photographs of the Benevolent Asylum,  National Museum, the Royal Mint (1873) etc Photography © KLW NFC 2008 ARR PATENTS REGISTRATION The numbers appearing on these cartes-de-visite (below) taken … More Cartes-de-visite photographs of convicts by Nettleton and Nevin

Charles A. Woolley and H.H. Baily

Thomas J. Nevin belonged to a cohort of Tasmanian professional photographers of the 1860s-1880 which included his two partners Alfred Bock who was an accomplished sennotypist (until 1867) and Samuel Clifford whose output of stereographs was prodigious (1860s-1878). From Bock he learnt studio portraiture, from Clifford he learnt stereography. Others with a close association were Charles A. Woolley who experimented with mega and micro photography and whose father furnished the cohort’s studios with carpets, tables, chairs, wall hangings etc from his furniture warehouse; Alfred Winter who was a society portraitist and landscape photographer; and the Nevin family friend, H. H. Baily who was also a press lithographer. … More Charles A. Woolley and H.H. Baily

Tasmanian Newspapers: The Mercury & STILWELL Index

Researchers are indebted to the late G.T. Stilwell for his creation of the Stilwell Index during his service at the State Library of Tasmania. G.T. Stilwell also published a short biography of Thomas Nevin with J. S. Kerr outlining the Town Hall dismissal and the misattribution by Chris Long of Nevin’s convict portraiture to A.H. Boyd in The Dictionary of Australian Artists: painters, sketchers, photographers and engravers to 1870, edited by Joan Kerr. (Melbourne: Oxford University Press 1992). … More Tasmanian Newspapers: The Mercury & STILWELL Index

Nevin & Smith studio Elizabeth St.

In this full-length portrait and the one below, she wears the same top coat. The studio decor of the full-length portrait above, however, is very different from the later portraits taken by Thomas Nevin at the City Photographic Establishment. The carpet and table and drape are not the same, suggesting either another studio in another venue or furnishings belonging to Alfred Bock who was the previous proprietor of the City Photographic Establishment, and whose stock was sold at auction … … More Nevin & Smith studio Elizabeth St.