Clients posing with Thomas J. Nevin’s big box tabletop stereoscopic viewer

When this young woman presented herself at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town (Tasmania) in the early 1870s for her portrait, he posed her standing next to his big box tabletop stereoscopic viewer, her right side to camera. For good measure, he placed the vase in the shape of a hand holding a cornucopia on top of the stereo viewer – an ornament which appears in some of his other portraits of women – and lightly tinted the flowers on printing the photograph, probably in the hope of brightening the scene otherwise made sombre by this young woman’s deflected, melancholy gaze. … More Clients posing with Thomas J. Nevin’s big box tabletop stereoscopic viewer

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

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

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