A vintage portrait photograph of this significant figure in the history of Australian exploration and mining. Australian explorer, mining engineer.
A vintage portrait photograph of this significant figure in the history of Australian exploration and mining

A vintage portrait photograph of this significant figure in the history of Australian exploration and mining

Kalgoorlie, 'D. Falconer, Photo Artist', [between August 1894 and 1896].

An albumen paper cabinet card photograph (image size 142 × 101 mm), mounted on stiff gilt-edged card (166 × 107 mm, with the photographer's details printed at the foot of the recto).

The photograph is in excellent condition; the mount is a little marked on the recto; written in ink on the verso is 'Allen [sic] Arthur Davidson & his father James Johnston Davidson'. Davidson was christened Allen 'but later changed the spelling to Allan (Hankel, see below, noting also that his father's middle name was Johnstone).

The most readily-accessible, extensive (and accurate) information on Davidson is to be found in the lengthy introduction by Valmai Hankel to the new edition of 'Journal of Explorations in Central Australia ... 1898-1900'. The journal was first published as South Australian Parliamentary Paper Number 27 of 1905; the augmented reprint was published by the Friends of the State Library of South Australia in 2004. Ms Hankel correctly states that 'of all Australia's inland explorers Allan Arthur Davidson must surely be one of the least known'. One major reason is that shortly after these gruelling expeditions, Davidson left the country. Apart from a short return visit in 1927, he spent the remainder of his life overseas, based in England, but living and working in Chile and West Africa (Gold Coast and Nigeria). 'If Davidson is known at all today it is for his discovering indications of gold at Tanami and at The Granites on his Western Expedition from May to September 1900.' James Davidson joined his son in Kalgoorlie in August 1894; in October 1896 Allan Davidson 'sailed from Cooktown in Far North Queensland to British New Guinea'.

Davies and Stanbury ('The Mechanical Eye in Australia. Photography, 1841-1900') list a Claude Falconer in Kalgoorlie in 1897; they make no reference to a D. Falconer. We have found an image on Trove of 'D. Falconer, photographer on the Eastern Goldfields' ('The name D. Falconer is written on the satchell in centre front of the photograph'). The catalogue record contains an additional note that 'D. Falconer is known to have taken the photograph of the Kanowna Hotel in 1900'.

This image appears as the frontispiece to the FSLSA edition of Davidson's journal; however, this particular photograph is not the one reproduced in the book.

Item #117855

Price: $2,000.00