hrog

Bought Ones (Tasmania Part 1)

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As mentioned in the last post, in Lavinia Shaw‘s album are some commercial landscape photographs of Tasmania. Some of these are identifiable as by well known photographers operating in the 1880s. Amongst these are Stephen Spurling, William Cawston, and Henry Hall Baily.

The four included in this post can be identified as by Stephen Spurling 2nd whose family’s photographic activities spanned three generations. A detailed history can be found in the 2010 PhD thesis by a descendant, Christine Burgess. This and shorter biographies of key family members can be found here:

Obituaries Australia entry – Stephen Spurling 2nd
Obituaries Australia entry – Stephen Spurling 3rd
C. H. Burgess, The Spurling Legacy and the Emergence of Wilderness Photography in Tasmania, PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, 2010

Note that I’ve added Lavinia’s original caption in quotes below each of the photos.

003_004Fa

“Launceston”

Launceston looking east across the South Esk bridge

Stephen Spurling 2nd (1880s?)

On the bottom right can be made out two lines of embossing spelling out “S SPURLING PHOTO”. A print of the same photo is held by the National Gallery of Canada accompanied by the following description.

View of the Iron Bridge Leading into the Town, c. 1870-1899
Stephen Spurling
Australian, 1847 – 1924
albumen silver print
18.3 x 23.5 cm

These dimensions match when allowing for a slightly more generous horizontal crop on mine. And I’m sure the date can be pinned down a bit better than 1870-1899. I also came across this similar Spurling photograph and an engraving if not from the same photograph at least from one taken on from the same place at the same time.

003_004Ca

“Launceston”

Corra Linn Bridge over North Esk River

Stephen Spurling 2nd (1880s?)

This one is not embossed but a print held in the National Gallery of Canada identifies it as:

View of Rocky Gorge with Rapids and a Bridge, c. 1870-1899
Stephen Spurling
Australian, 1847 – 1924
albumen silver print
18.3 x 23.2 cm

A similar print identifies the scene as the Corra Linn Bridge which crosses the North Esk River about 10k south of Launceston. Stephen Spurling 3rd photographed the same scene with a new bridge many years later and I found what seems to be an earlier bridge by an unknown photographer (although the accompanying date of 1858 may be a decade or two off).

003_004Da

“Launceston”

Roses Rocks, Cora Linn

Stephen Spurling 2nd (1880s?)

This print is also embossed with “S SPURLING PHOTO”. An almost identical photograph attributed to Spurling can be found in the collection of the National Library of Australia and a similar one at the Tasmanian State Library identifies the view as Roses Rocks, Cora Linn.

003_004Ea

“Launceston”

Cataract Gorge, South Esk River

Stephen Spurling 2nd (1880s?)

Another with the “S SPURLING PHOTO” embossing. This similar photo identifies the location.

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Written by hrog

January 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

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