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Cartes-de-visite

One of my vices (a victimless one, I think) is collecting carte-de-visite photographs. Perhaps the word collecting is too puffed up​—​it implies more rigour and focus than I apply. Any­way, I sometimes wander into junk shops and rummage among the old photos. If a particular subject, a pose, or a photographer’s insignia attract me, I might spend a dollar or two.

Every picture prompts a question. When this old bloke visited Mathewson & Co’s studio in Queen Street, Brisbane, was he offered a choice of props? Did he ask for the ensemble of rustic chair and stuffed birds, or was that the photographer’s idea? Roll your mouse pointer over the picture to see the back of the card. Click it to see a larger version.

Cartes-de-visite are delightful objects, imbued with magic and stories. I gathered more than a few of them on my desk, where they stopped being some, and turned into a collection. They begged to be compared, sorted and categorized.

When I looked at this array it seemed I had the subject for an online exhibition: a collection of Queensland cartes-de-visite, sorted by photographer, displaying both front and back. I also wanted to show the backmarks at higher resolution, to reveal the quirks of their design. Movable Type seemed to be the tool for the job and, with a bit of fiddling, it has turned out well. At the moment there are 129 examples, and I will add more when I have time.

The photographers in this collection

The work of each photographer or studio is in a separate gallery — the number of examples is shown after the photographer’s name in this list:

A & W M Gedge  1
A B Clinton  1
A B Clinton & Co  2
A Crownson  1
A R Fosbrooke  4
Albert Lomer  12
Albert Lomer & Co  4
Alfred Wright  1
Allom & Bailey  1
American Glacé Photo Co  1
American Studio  2
Biggingee Sorabjee Pochee  3
Biltoft & Reynolds  2
Boag & Milligan  1
C E Bevan  2
C H Moore  1
Christopher Roggenkamp  1
D F Metcalfe  1
Daniel Marquis  15
E H Forster  2
Eddie T B Hutchison  2
Edmund B Cardell  1
Elite Photo Co  4
Emil Müller  1
F A Whitehead  5
Frisco Photo Co  2
George Billingham  1
George S McClelland  2
Henry Goode  1
J B Lucas  1
J Brame & Co  1
J Deazeley  1
J Hansen Lundager  5
J W Wilder  3
J Watson  5
James Clark  1
John J Hogg  1
Lomer’s  2
Louis Buderus  5
Martin Roggenkamp  3
Mathewson  4
Mathewson & Co  8
McClelland & Goode  3
Metcalfe & Glaister  2
Poul C Poulsen  4
R Fritsche  1
Robert Watson  1
Tuttle & Co  1
W A Smith  2
William Ferguson  1

I am interested in expanding my collection of Queensland cartes-de-visite (and particularly keen to add examples of the work of my 2nd great grand uncle Daniel Marquis, whose studio was at 82 George Street, Brisbane, from 1866 to 1880). Please let me know if you can help.

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Photographers
Allom & Bailey
American Glacé Photo Co
American Studio
Bevan, C E
Billingham, George
Biltoft & Reynolds
Boag & Milligan
Brame & Co, J
Buderus, Louis
Cardell, Edmund B
Clark, James
Clinton, A B
Clinton & Co, A B
Crownson, A
Deazeley, J
Elite Photo Co
Ferguson, William
Forster, E H
Fosbrooke, A R
Frisco Photo Co
Fritsche, R
Gedge, A & W M
Goode, Henry
Hogg, John J
Hutchison, Eddie T B
Lomer, Albert
Lomer, Albert & Co
Lomer’s
Lucas, J B
Lundager, J Hansen
Marquis, Daniel
Mathewson
Mathewson & Co
McClelland & Goode
McClelland, George S
Moore, C H
Metcalfe, D F
Metcalfe & Glaister
Müller, Emil
Pochee, Biggingee Sorabjee
Poulsen, Poul C
Roggenkamp, Christopher
Roggenkamp, Martin
Smith, W A
Tuttle & Co
Watson, J
Watson, Robert
Whitehead, F A
Wilder, J W
Wright, Alfred

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