Monday, June 24, 2013

Two couples, two dogs by A. Bock and T. Nevin

Middle-aged couple with dog
Hand-tinted carte-de-visite by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2013 ARR

Alfred BOCK [photographer]
Hobart Town, Australia 1835 – Wynyard, Tasmania 1920
Movements: 1867 Sale, Victoria 1882 Auckland, New Zealand 1887 Melbourne 1906 Wynyard, Tasmania
(Portrait of a couple with their dog) c.1866
sennotype image 18.4 h x 13.6 w cm
Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 88.1443

This sennotype (above) by Alfred Bock, titled "Married Couple with Dog" features the carpet which Thomas J. Nevin had acquired from Alfred Bock by 1867, along with their studio and glass house at the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart. The same carpet can be seen (below) in the solo portrait of Nevin's fiancee Elizabeth Rachel Day, taken ca. 1867 while operating as the firm Nevin & Smith, with partner Robert Smith until 1868. Nevin began an apprenticeship with Alfred Bock in early 1863 and succeeded to the business on Alfred Bock's sudden departure (due to insolvency) to Victoria in 1867.

Elizabeth Rachel Day, Thomas Nevin's fiancee (married 1871)
Taken by Thomas Nevin at Nevin & Smith (late Bock's) ca. 1865
140, Elizabeth Street Hobart Town
Full-length portrait, carte-de-visite
Copyright © KLW NFC 2009 ARR Private collection. Watermarked.

The "T. Nevin Late A. Bock" portrait of a middle-aged couple with a dog was hand-tinted by the family who purchased it or by subsequent owners. Such inept colouring was not the work of Nevin himself. His own family portraits show delicate and precise tinting. Other heavily tinted portraits bearing the same studio stamp used by Nevin for commercial portraiture into the early 1870s show the owners' preference for red and violet colours. This portrait  of a couple with dog is unusual in that green and brown colours were used. In all these extant cartes-de-visite portraits bearing Nevin's stamp which were coloured subsequent to purchase, it is the carpet which has received the most savage treatment. The strange blobs defy conventional perspective, although the intention may have been the opposite. This carte - as with many of the others bearing amateurish daubs - probably originated from the same family in northern Tasmania.

Middle-aged couple with dog
Hand-tinted carte-de-visite by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2013 ARR

Page 63, cdv of two men with Clifford & Nevin Hobart Town handwritten on verso,
exhibited at the QVMAG, The Painted Portrait Photograph in Tasmania,
November 2007-March 2008.

Unidentified woman, seated with sewing
A highly colored carte-de-visite ca. 1872
Taken by T.Nevin late A.Bock, 140 Elizabeth St., Hobart Town
Held at the Archives Office of Tasmania TAHO Ref: PH31/439
Photo © KLW NFC Imprint 2012 ARR


On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872