Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Unknown Gentleman of Hokitika, circa 1868

This full length portrait was taken in the London Portrait Rooms studio of Rudolph Haigh & Co.

I haven't had to look far to discover something about Rudolph Haigh's operation, because an excellent vignette of Haigh is contained on the Early Canterbury Photographers blog.

This reveals that Haigh had advertised removing to the premises of the London Portrait Rooms in August 1868, and that the building burnt down in July 1869, which beautifully narrows down the time-frame for this image.   The very simple printed business name on the back, compared with others on the Canterbury website suggests it was produced very early in the life of Haigh's business at this address, so I take it to have been an 1868 image.

Again, I know nothing about the gentleman in the photo beyond what I can see.  He seems to be aged about 30.  He is dressed in fresh, fairly new I think, clean and fashionable clothing.  The cap in his hand, and the whip in the other, seems to suggest to me some sort of official uniform.  A postman?  A coachdriver? An inspector?

The colourist took note of blue eyes and a ruddy complexion.

If anyone recognises the man or the uniform, I would love to know about it.  Please get in touch.

No comments:

Post a Comment