Ca. 1880s. Oblong Folio (ca. 35x41,5 cm). 39 card stock leaves. With 37 original albumen photographs, all but one ca. 26,5x37,5 cm (10 ½ x 14 ¾ cm) or slightly smaller; the last photo at rear is ca. 17,5x20,5 cm (6 ¾ x 8 in). Ten photos captioned or signed “Anson Brothers, Hobart” in negative, three photos have the ink stamps of the studio put on versos, but clearly seen on rectos; 27 images are with period manuscript ink captions on the mounts. Original black full sheep album with blind stamped ornaments on the boards; marbled endpapers. Album rubbed on extremities, leaves mildly soiled and waved, a couple of images mildly faded, but overall a very good album of good strong images.
An excellent collection of large early albumen photographs of Tasmania taken by the award-winning Hobart studio of Anson Brothers (ca. 1880-1892). Very interesting are six photos of the private Tasmanian Main Line Railway which ran from Hobart to Launceston in 1872-1890, until it was bought by the colonial government. The photos show a train on the “Horseshoe Bend, Main Line Ry near Jerusalem” (with the engine driver and three other men standing on top of and next to the engine); Bridgewater railway bridge not long after its reconstruction in the 1870s (with a train in motion); a beautiful bright photo of the railway’s engine and tender No. 12 (with the company’s logo T.M.L.R. on the side), two close-up photos of the first-class cars, and a smaller photo of the first-class car’s interior. There are also three historically significant photos of the Bridgewater train accident which happened on July 23, 1886 (a view of the train off rails taken from the distance and two close-up views showing the details of the wreck).
Another sharp well-executed photo shows a horse-driven wagon of Walter Webster’s Royal Mail Coach Line on the Huon Road (the company was founded by brothers Walter and Frank Webster in the late 1870s and ran passengers and mail from Hobart to Mount Wellington and Huon Valley well into the 1910s when horse-driven coaches were replaced with automobiles). The sign “W. & F. Webster, Proprietors. Hobart Town and Franklin” is clearly seen on the side of the couch.
Other interesting photos include three general panoramas of Hobart (taken from the Storm Bay, “from above high school” and from the Huon Road), a view of the corner of the Macquaire & Murray Streets with Hobart Savings Bank in the foreground; panoramic views of Hobart’s modern-day suburbs New Town and Sandy Bay, as well as of the Sorell Causeway and Launceston with the Cataract Bridge in the centre. There are also four impressive photos of Mt. Bischoff tin mine in northwestern Tasmania (showing the open-pit mine, the tin dressing shed, and the prospectors’ wooden cottages); seven photos of Derwent River near New Norfolk and famous Salmon Ponds (the oldest trout fishery in the Southern Hemisphere founded in 1861); two views of the Cataract Gorge near Launceston; single views of St. John’s Square in Launceston, Huon River Bridge (modern-day Huonville), Mount Wellington, Fern Tree Valley, and others. Overall a beautiful collection of well-preserved early historically significant photos of Tasmanian railways and major cities.
“Anson Brothers was a photographic firm based in Hobart. Founded by brothers Joshua, Henry Joseph and Richard Edwin Anson, they took over the premises of Samuel Clifford’s former studio and continued his practice of view photography. The initial years of the firm were compromised by the imprisonment of Joshua Anson in 1878 for stealing photographic equipment from his former employer, Henry Hall Baily. The firm produced remarkable photographs of Tasmanian scenery which were awarded medals at the 1883–84 Calcutta International Exhibition and the 1888–89 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition” (The Art Gallery of NSW online).
Price: $3,750.00 USD