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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. I used to wander into junk shops and rummage among the old photos. If a par­tic­u­lar subject, a pose, or a photographer’s insignia attracted me, I might spend a dollar or two. Now I do my rummaging on eBay, which gives me access to a world-wide market with thousands of old photographs on offer.

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 183 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
A Taylor  1
Albert Lomer  13
Albert Lomer & Co  4
Alfred Wright  1
Allom & Bailey  2
American Glacé Photo Co  1
American Studio  2
Andrew Weddell  2
Biggingee Sorabjee Pochee  4
Biltoft & Reynolds  2
Boag & Milligan  1
C H Moore  1
Christopher Roggenkamp  4
D F Metcalfe  1
Daniel Marquis  22
E H Forster  4
Eddie T B Hutchison  3
Edmund B Cardell  1
Elite Photo Co  8
Emil Müller  1
F A Whitehead  5
Frisco Photo Co  5
G E Richards  1
George Billingham  1
George L Massingham  1
George S McClelland  2
H Haig & Son  1
Henry Goode  2
Imperial Photo Co  2
J B Lucas  1
J Brame & Co  1
J Deazeley  4
J Hansen Lundager  5
J W Wilder  4
J Watson  9
James Clark  1
John J Hogg  1
John S Wiley  1
Lomer’s  2
Louis Buderus  5
Martin Roggenkamp  3
Mathewson  4
Mathewson & Co  8
McClelland & Goode  3
Metcalfe & Glaister  3
Mouland & Co  2
Poul C Poulsen  6
R Fritsche  1
Robert Leck  1
Robert Watson  1
Samuel Duesbury  3
Thomas Bevan  2
Tuttle & Co  3
W A Smith  2
W Deazeley  1
W T Mills  1
William Ferguson  1
William Stark  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.



Allom & Bailey
American Glacé Photo Co
American Studio

Bevan, Thomas
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
Deazeley, W
Duesbury, Samuel

Elite Photo Co

Ferguson, William
Forster, E H
Fosbrooke, A R
Frisco Photo Co
Fritsche, R

Gedge, A & W M
Goode, Henry

Haig, H & Son
Hogg, John J
Hutchison, Eddie T B

Imperial Photo Co

Leck, Robert
Lomer, Albert
Lomer, Albert & Co
Lucas, J B
Lundager, J Hansen

Marquis, Daniel
Massingham, George L
Mathewson & Co
McClelland & Goode
McClelland, George S
Metcalfe, D F
Metcalfe & Glaister
Mills, W T
Moore, C H
Mouland & Co
Müller, Emil

Pochee, Biggingee Sorabjee
Poulsen, Poul C

Richards, G E
Roggenkamp, Christopher
Roggenkamp, Martin

Smith, W A
Stark, William

Taylor, A
Tuttle & Co

Watson, J
Watson, Robert
Weddell, Andrew
Whitehead, F A
Wilder, J W
Wiley, John S
Wright, Alfred

Contact me