Item #138947 A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas. Stereographs, Edwin C. THOMAS.
A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas
A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas
A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas
A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas

A collection of 17 'Australasian Stereo Views' published by the little-known South Australian photographer, Edwin C. Thomas

Original gelatin silver photographs, with the pairs of images (printed as one plate, 86 × 144 mm) mounted on light yellow cards (98 × 178 mm), uniformly printed and decorated on the verso ('Photographed by Edwin C. Thomas. Australasian Stereo Views'). Some have hand-written captions (see below). Minimal signs of age and handling; overall, in excellent condition.

The 'Petersburg Times' on Friday 12 May 1893 contained a short article under the headline 'Photography'. 'It will be noted by our advertising columns that Mr Edwin C. Thomas has commenced business at Petersburg as a Photographer, and thus another long felt local want has been filled. The Studio, which is replete with the latest accessories to the photographic art, is in Jervois Street, opposite the Courthouse.

Besides the ordinary work of the photographer Mr Thomas makes a specialty of stereoscopic views, in which he is very successful. The prices quoted for photographs are extremely moderate, whilst good work is assured. We believe there is a good opening for a photographer in the town, and we hope Mr. Thomas may be successful in working up a thriving business. Farmers and others who would like their residences taken should communicate with him'.

Thomas merely appears on the 'List of Names' compiled by Robert Noye (AGSA). Davies and Stanbury simply note 'Edwin Thomas | Petersburgh [sic] (Peterborough), South Australia 1894'. Institutional holdings of his works are almost non-existent: if Trove is any indicator, the State Library of SA is the only location of any of his photographs, with a grand total of two examples (one of which is a battered stereo view of 'Stoney Creek, near Quorn' [B 78542]).

The 'Evening Journal' and the 'South Australian Register' both carry the following snippet on Tuesday 18 October 1892: 'From Mr. Edwin C. Thomas, travelling photographer, we have received six stereo views of South Australian scenes: two of the Burra Burra Mines, and one each of the Kooringa State School, Botanic Gardens, Parkside Asylum, and King William street. The workmanship is good, and the pictures are attractive'.

Ten of the stereographs in this collection have short captions in ink: nine are on the verso, four of which have the same caption on the recto, with the other five having some variant of it; one is captioned solely on the recto ('Mr Crocker's Farm'). In the main, they confirm what is apparent from the scene, and apart from a number in Adelaide (King William Street, Adelaide Arcade, Parkside Lunatic Asylum, several in the Botanic Gardens), they depict scenes in Clare (the interior of the Catholic Church at Seven Hills), Orroroo, Port Augusta, Quorn, Saltia (Pichi Richi Pass), and unidentified rural settings.

One identifying S.A. Blondin walking a high wire in Quorn enables us to date it to the month and year. The 'Manning Index of South Australian History' (online) records that 'A photograph of "Blondin at Quorn" is in the Pictorial Australian [on Monday 1st] October 1894, page 169'. It is a slightly different image - Blondin seems to have taken a step or two forward and is now balancing on one leg - and the caption states 'With a Country Photographer - Blondin at Quorn. From a Negative by Mr. E. Thomas'. [17 items].

Item #138947

Price (AUD): $2,500.00

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