Henry Beaufoy Merlin
1830 - 1873

page 10

Beaufoy Merlin's photos for Holtermann


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In late 1872 Merlin commenced the commissioned work for Holtermann's International Exposition. Besides large plate photographs of the Hill End area, he travelled the central western districts of NSW and then to the south, travelling through Bathurst, Rockley, Orange, Dubbo, Trunkley, Carcoar, Goulburn and other places on his return trip.

It is considered that these plates were all 10" X 12" which was the format agreed to between Merlin and Holtermann; being the largest available. Merlin had used this format for his landscape and city photography while in the Sydney studio, established in 1870-1871. The A & A studio work in Sydney and later at Gulgong and Hill End as well as the previous travelling photography in Victoria and NSW, had been quarter plate cate-de-visite size. Holtermann had equipped Merlin with new vehicles and equipment to travel and use the larger format.

However, when Charles Bayliss took over the commission in mid to late 1873, following Merlin's illness and subsequent death, it has been suggested that Bayliss convinced Holtermann to move to using the Mammoth Plate size of 18" x 22". It is not documented as to how Bayliss had become familiar with Mammoth Plate photography.

The subject matter was to be no longer the portraits in the studio or of people with their homes or places of business. The Exposition photographs were to illustrate the commercial and industry successes of the growing colony. Therefore while the images contained the mines and the miners as before, they are now more often within the larger landscape. The plates are dominated by images of townships and their commercial and institutional buildings, as well the City of Sydney and other images of indutry both within towns throughout the countryside.

The images below is a sample of Merlin's early Exposition work.

(original 12X10" by Merlin for the Holtermann Exposition)
Hawkins Hill mines at northern end of lode, 1872
(original 12X10" by Merlin for the Holtermann Exposition)
(original 12X10" by Merlin for the Holtermann Exposition)
(original 12X10" by Merlin for the Holtermann Exposition)
Browning's Overland Hotel
cnr Macquarie & Cobra Streets, Dubbo
(in 1953 ~ Reman Court Flats)

(original 12X10" by Merlin for the Holtermann Exposition)

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