Keast Burke
photographer, photo historian, editor of the Australian Photo-Review

 

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Charles Bayliss

Gold And Silver (Australasian Photo-Review #7 1953)

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More Photographs


Looking south-west-a section of the great Bayliss panorama exposed from the recently-completed Sydney G.P.O. clock tower. This was photographed about April, 1886, the date being confirmed by the completion of the premises of the Australian joint Stock Bank (now the Bank of New South Wales) at the corner of King and George Streets. Note the glazier's whitewash on the newly-glazed windows. Items of interest are the scaffoldingfor the Town Hall ("The Centennial Hall"), the old markets, and across Market Street to the north, Tuttle's sign, Tuttle's being a well-known studio in its day while, in addition, it coated sensitised materials. (A similar photograph made some five years later shows the early premises of Baker and Rouse at 375 George Street). The doorway of' the Bank premises (not shown very clearly owing to the shadow) is worthy of personal study; the two marble figures represent 'Justice' and 'Plenty' while the doors themselves are made of iron richly ornamented with bronze decorative mouldings culminating in relief medallions of St. George and the Dragon.


Horse-drawn vehicles in a traffic hold-up on the old wooden Pyrmont Bridge-this apparently due to an A.U.S.N. vessel being eased through owing to the narrowness of the swinging portion of the bridge. In the absence of any intervening buildings the majestic proportions of the Town Hall and of St. Andrew's Cathedral can be fully appreciated. Work on the new Pyrmont Bridge was commenced in 1889.



All three landscape photographs were made during the progress of the 1886 Royal Commission on Water Conservation as it travelled the River Darling from Bourke to Wentworth.

The photograph of the aboriginal group is interesting as typifying the 'artistic posing' that was popular'at the time.

 

The scene on the great plains is believed to have been made in the neighbourhood of' Wilcannia;. the figure to the right in white clothing is J. B. Donkin, a Commissioner, while the foreground vegetation represents a fine display of Sturt's Desert Pea in full flower.

 

The regatta subject is thought to have been made at Horseshoe Bend between Wentworth and Mildura and some of the crews are believed to be wearing the colours of some of the Adelaide clubs of the day. A point to note is the flooded state of the river system, as emphasised by Gilbert Parker perhaps it is due to the waters of the Darling holding up the mainstream, a fact which would account for the surprising absence of turbulence.

 


We see the finishing touches being made to the dome of the Queen Victoria Markets as we look north along the York Street facade from the roof of the Town Hall. As the building was completed during 1898, this may well have been one of Bayliss' last photographs.


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photographs copied from Gold And Silver (Australasian Photo-Review #7 1953)