A vintage gelatin silver photograph of the Australian Test cricketer Bert Oldfield, taken in Sydney in the mid-1920s. William Albert Oldfield (1894-1976), described by Jack Hobbs as the 'best wicketkeeper of his time', played for NSW and Australia, and his Test career of 54 matches ran from 1920 to 1937. This photograph is a fine sepia-toned head-and-shoulders studio portrait of Oldfield in a suit; he has signed and dated it (1926) in ink in the bottom right-hand corner, above the ink signature of the photographer May Moore. The image size is 280 x 180 mm, and it is now archivally matted, ready for framing
New Zealand-born May Moore (1881-1931) emigrated to Australia in 1910 and opened her first studio the following year in Sydney. Working initially together with her sister Mina (who ran her own studio in Melbourne from 1916), her excellent portrait photography attracted a large clientele, especially among artistic circles. May in particular photographed many Sydney celebrities, and it is not surprising to find that the cricketing heroes of the day made it to her studio. With 'a studio style using dramatic single source lighting, dark backgrounds, rich brown toned papers and sombre colour mounts, and favouring head and shoulder studies ... [the sisters] were extraordinary in their ability to portray a range of moods appropriate to their sitters' (Gael Newton). Illness forced her to retire about 1928, and she died of cancer in 1931.