Robert Smith was known to Mrs Esther Mather. She was not happy about the colouring he had applied to a portrait of her brother when he visited the studio she called “Smith’s” in Hobart. She said so in a letter to her step-son, dated 1865. Nothing was known about this partner of Thomas J. Nevin called Robert Smith until recently when portraits and stereoscopes bearing the business name NEVIN & SMITH came to light. Robert Smith may have been an independent photographer prior to forming a partnership with Thomas J. Nevin at Alfred Bock’s former studio. The partnership lasted less than a year and was promptly dissolved in February 1868 following the Royal visit to Hobart, Tasmania of Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, in late 1867 on his first command, H.M.S. Galatea. Thomas J. Nevin continued the photographic business in his own name at Alfred Bock’s former studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, while Robert Smith departed for Goulburn NSW where he set up a photographic studio before taking to farming and politics. … More NEVIN & SMITH, 1868: the client with white fingernails
Between 1865 and 1868, the partnership advertised the firm Nevin & Smith with three types of verso stamps. The most rare and unusual is this one printed for the visit to Hobart Tasmania of Alfred Ernest Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, in command of his yacht HMS Galatea, a steam-powered sail-equipped frigate arriving on 6th January and departing on 18th January 1868 for NSW where, on his return to Sydney, he survived an assassination attempt at Clontarf (12th March 1868). The Children’s Song of Welcome to Prince Alfred. a choral march, was written with lyrics by Louisa Anne Meredith and music by Frederick A. Packer for the occasion. The score was printed with a cover illustration depicting a laurel wreath in green ink encircling the name “Alfred of England”, L.A.M. Del. et Lith. and marked with L.A. Meredith’s monogram. The inside page was printed as a direct address to Queen Victoria. Prince Alfred was presented with an album containing “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” at his final reception, 18 January 1868. … More Gifts for Prince Alfred’s visit to Hobart, 1868
This studio stamp from Nevin & Smith with the inclusion of the Prince of Wales’ blazon, is the second type of stamp from Thomas Nevin’s studio that bears an official insignia. Whether his use of this blazon was to signify a commission to contribute to the photograph albums gifted to Prince Alfred is quite possible though as yet undocumented. The blazon was used on decorations for official functions during Prince Alfred’s visit to Hobart in 1868. The banneret (below) adorned the ball given in his honour. Quite different is T. J. Nevin’s official government contractor stamp which appears on prisoner identification photographs taken at the Port Arthur prison and Hobart Gaol (below). It features the Royal insignia of a lion and unicorn rampant encircled by a belt carrying Nevin’s name and studio address. It was devised by government printer James Barnard to endorse all official colonial government documents, including the weekly police gazettes. … More Another rare Nevin & Smith studio stamp
Robert Smith and Thomas J. Nevin established the firm of Nevin & Smith soon after Nevin acquired the stock, studio and glass house of Alfred Bock at 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town in 1865 on Bock’s imminent departure from Tasmania. The partnership was brief, lasting less than two years. It was dissolved by Thomas Nevin’s family solicitor, the Hon. W. R. Giblin, in February 1868. Two studio stamps and one label have survived from their brief partnership. The first stamp featuring the Prince of Wales’ blazon of three feathers and a coronet, banded with the German “ICH DIEN” (I Serve) dates from the visit of Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, in 1868 on the Royal yacht, H.M.S. Galatea
These two children were probably photographed for an album of forty-eight photographic prints depicting the children of Tasmania which was gifted to Prince Alfred at his final reception on 18th January 1868 before returning to NSW where he was to survive an assassination attempt weeks later (at Clontarf, 12th March 1868). According to Jack Cato (1977:58), a group of Tasmanian photographers was invited to contribute to the Children’s Album … … More Nevin & Smith studio Elizabeth St. Hobart 1867-1868
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