hrog

Archive for the ‘Commercial Postcards’ Category

Bought Ones (Scotland)

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The last of the commercial prints or postcards in Lavinia‘s album are these four of scenes around Edinburgh. Olive Shaw in 1962 said that Lavinia’s father had a trip overseas probably to Scotland in about 1891 or 1892 “with wife, Eileen and Olive plus Effie, Eva and nurse” and another with youngest daughter Ailsa in about 1897 but it is unclear whether Lavinia accompanied them on either. Whatever the case, these postcards are likely from one of those trips.

The initials “J.V.” on three of the prints indicate that they were by the studio of James Valentine, one of the most prolific commercial photographers operating in Scotland at that time. The other with initials “G.W.W” would be from the studio of his largest competitor, George Washington Wilson (no relation to Margaret as far as I can determine).

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The Chancel, Rosslyn Chapel

The Chancel, Rosslyn Chapel

James Valentine studio (1880s?)

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Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey

James Valentine studio (1880s?)

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Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Abbey

James Valentine studio (1880s?)

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“Linlithgow Palace”

Linlithgow Palace

George Washington Wilson studio (1880s?)

Bought Ones (Tasmania Part 3)

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As well as the Launceston area prints posted previously Lavinia Shaw‘s album has these of Hobart and Mount Wellington.

While searching for a bit more on the locations I came across a series of wobbly stereoscopic images of similar Mount Wellington scenes. Not really directly relevant but here’s a link anyway.

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“The Ploughed fields Mount Wellington”

The Ploughed Field on Mount Wellington

probably Samuel Clifford (1880s?)

Although the angle is ever so slightly different the one above is very much like this one by Samuel Clifford held by the Tasmanian State Library described as:

Title: The Ploughed Field on Mt Wellington
In: Tasmanian scenes P. 7
Publisher: [ca. 1873]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850322
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in ink below image ; date noted in pencil at lower right of image on album page
Exact size 104 x 183 mm
“Tasmanian scenes” also known as “Clifford album 3”
Subjects: Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Hobart (Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Clifford, Samuel, 1827-1890
Variant title: Clifford album. 3

Samuel Cifford was a close associate of well known Tasmanian photographer Thomas Nevin.

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“The Bower Mount Wellington”

Fern Tree Bower Mount Wellington

Unknown (1880s?)

There are many similar contemporary shots but I could find no other copy of this print. This one seems to have been taken shortly after mine – note the missing and broken ferns.

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“Falls below Mount Wellington”

Silver Falls, Fern Tree Bower, Mount Wellington

Unknown (1880s?)

This one is unsigned and I can find no other copy but it is very much like this one attributed to Stephen Spurling 2nd in the National Gallery of Canada described as:

Silver Falls, Fern Tree Bower, Mount Wellington
Stephen Spurling, Attributed to
c. 1870-1899
17.9 x 23 cm
albumen silver print
Gift of Donald C. Thom, Ottawa, 1980
National Gallery of Canada (no. 33447)

The Tasmanian State Library has a few a few similar prints.

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“Hobart Tasmania”

Part of a Hobart Panorama

Henry Hall Baily c1870

The University of Tasmania identifies this as the left side of a panorama described as: “Photograph from the collection of James Backhouse Walker of a view of Hobart looking towards the Eastern Shore. The panorama has been taken from Mr. Roberts’ garden with various shrubs and a Norfolk Island pine in the foreground. Henry Hall Baily is the photographer. He had studios in Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets Hobart from 1865 until 1918.”

Written by hrog

January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

Bought Ones (Tasmania Part 2)

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Apart from the four Spurling prints of the last post, Lavinia Shaw‘s album included three more scenes from the Launceston area.

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“Cataract Falls Launceston”

Cataract Falls from First Basin

William Cawston (1880s?)

The stamp on the lower right identifies the photographer as William Cawston. This can be seen more clearly on another print from the same negative held by the Tasmanian State Library and described as follows:

Title: Falls from First Basin
In: Tasmanian scenery (Cawston) P. 18
Publisher: [18–]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 16 x 21 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850983
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in pencil below image ; undated
Exact size 155 x 208 mm
Subjects: Waterfalls – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Gorges – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Cataract Gorge (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Cawston, W. fl. 1863-1891. (William),
Variant title: Cawston album

A short biography of William Cawston can be found here.

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“Launceston”

First Basin, Cataract Falls

Unknown (1880s?)

A similar photo in the Tasmanian State Library identifies the place but the photographer remains unknown.

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“The Devil’s Punch Bowl Launceston”

Devil’s Punch Bowl

William Cawston (1880s?)

Another print held by the Tasmanian State Library identifies the photographer:

Title: Devils Punch Bowl, Pen Quite
In: Tasmanian scenery (Cawston) P. 11
Publisher: [18–]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 16 x 21 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850926
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in pencil below image ; undated
Exact size 154 x 210 mm
Subjects: Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Waterfalls – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Punchbowl (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Kings Meadows Rivulet (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Cawston, W. fl. 1863-1891. (William),
Variant title: Cawston album

As far as I can work out this was taken near what is now the Punchbowl Reserve in what is now the southern suburbs of Launceston. I was unable to locate the falls exactly or establish whether they still look similar.

Written by hrog

January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

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.

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“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.

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“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).

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“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.

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“Launceston”

Cataract Gorge, South Esk River

Stephen Spurling 2nd (1880s?)

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

Written by hrog

January 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Bought ones

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In Lavinia Shaw‘s album are a number of commercial landscape photographs, the postcards of the time. Most are of scenes from around Tasmania so maybe Lavinia travelled there in the 1880s or early 1890s, or maybe she was given them as a set.

Two of these “postcards” are not of Tasmania but seem to have been included in the album for their connection to Alfred Shaw’s second wife Margaret Wilson.

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“Ballantrae Ayrshire”

Ballantrae is on the Ayrshire coast about 50 miles south of Glasgow. If we travel down the road in the foreground, cross the river and immediately turn right along the minor road on the other bank we will reach Colmonell after 2 or 3 miles. This was where Margaret was born and where during her childhood her father was a farmer and the local GP.

Looking out across the water we can see a conical island with the much larger Isle of Arran behind. To the left in the far distance is the Kintyre peninsular. The conical island is Ailsa Craig and this is almost certainly the origin of Margaret’s third child’s name, Ailsa Wilson Shaw (if a boy would he have been named Craig?). Interestingly, (for me anyway) in 2002 before I knew anything much about Margaret or Ailsa I spent a week or so in a cottage on the south of Arran and looked out daily at the changing light on Kintyre and Ailsa Craig.

Looking closely at the white writing along the bottom of the photo we can see what looks like “0233 Ballantrae from S.W. Poulton’s Series”. A quick search turned up this from the Glasgow University site:

Poulton or ‘Poulton’s Series’ are probably linked to the photographer, publisher and printer Samuel E Poulton (1819-1898), who was based in London and south-east England. His son, Alfred Walford Poulton, was also involved in the business, which may well have published prints taken by local photographers around the country. It has also been suggested that the Edinburgh-based photographer Thomas Polson Lugton was behind the Poulton series. He certainly may have been responsible for some of the scenes taken in Scotland.

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“Donald”

Donald is a bit under 300k north-west of Melbourne in the wheat fields of Victoria’s Wimmera region. I believe this photo was taken in the main street, Wood Street, in the 1880s and based on a conversation some years ago with a Donald local history group it seems to be a quite well known “postcard”.

At 8 Wood Street at about the same time was the store of Robert Campbell Hannah, Margaret Wilson’s brother-in-law (I have a bit on the store here). Although eventually broken off, Margaret’s niece, Williamina, was engaged for a while to the son of William John Waddell, owner of the store pictured.

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