THOMAS J. NEVIN 1870s
JOHN WATT BEATTIE 1916
Prisoner SMITH, William per Rodney 3
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin 1874
Verso stamped with Nevin’s Royal Arms government contractor stamp
These police mugshots taken by police and commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s-80s at the Port Arthur prison, the Hobart Gaol (assisted by his brother Constable John Nevin) and the Hobart Municipal Police Office (Mayor’s Court, Hobart Town Hall) are held in the John Watt Beattie Collection at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania. Most are Nevin’s originals and duplicates produced in vignette carte-de-visite format; some were reproduced from Nevin’s glass negatives by Beattie for sale and exhibition in Hobart at his museum and in Sydney at the Royal Hotel in conjunction with convictaria from the fake prisonship Success (1916). An exhibition of these photographs by T. J. Nevin was held at the QVMAG in 1977.
Forty prints of 1870s Tasmania prisoners in three panels
Original prints of negatives by T. J. Nevin 1870s
Reprints by J. W. Beattie ca. 1915
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176
These forty photographs in three frames were listed for sale in Beattie’s Port Arthur Museum Catalogue (1916) as item no. 69:
69. Three Frames containing 40 photographs taken at Port Arthur, showing types of Imperial Prisoners there.
See these articles:
- Exhibition held in 1977 at the QVMAG.
- John Watt Beattie and the Nevin family legacy
- Thomas Nevin’s glass negatives of prisoners 1870s
At least fifty more of these prisoner photographs from the 1870s which were originally held in the QVMAG collection were removed in 1983 for an exhibition at the Port Arthur heritage site and not returned, deposited instead at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart. Only 72 cdvs of the much larger donation from Beattie’s estate in the 1930s are now extant at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. Click here to view the TMAG collection digitised for KLW NFC Imprint (2015). The majority of the prisoner photographs held at the QVMAG and the TMAG bear a pencilled number on the front. Those numbers appearing as missing prisoner photographs on the QVMAG lists of 1-300 convict cdvs which were originally archived at the QVMAG in Beattie’s collection had been physically removed from the QVMAG collection in 1983 by Elspeth Wishart for a display and exhibition at the Port Arthur Heritage Site.
The list of the Beattie collection with missing numbers (received here in 2005):
The list of the remaining 72 Tasmanian prisoner “portraits” in the Beattie Collection 2005 (QVMAG)
The numbers pencilled on the right show those which were removed in 1983 and taken to Port Arthur for an exhibition, but were returned to the TMAG and not the QVMAG .
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2005
BLACK & WHITE copies, QVMAG collection:
William McKay or Ross
William Curtis – reconvicted as John Curtis, manslaughter 1856
Richard Cosker or Cocker
THE FORTY ORIGINAL PAPER PRINT from the three panels:
Photos courtesy of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery 2015.
Copyright © KLW NFC 2015 ARR
These same original 1870s prints were copied at the QVMAG in the 1980s as black and white photographs, considerably cleaned of scratches and cracks.