Graziers showing off their two fine merino rams, South Australia (possibly Mount Gambier), early 1860s.
Stereoscopic albumen print photograph, each image approximately 70 x 70 mm (arched-top format), buff-coloured mount 88 x 173 mm; no photographer’s imprint or inscription on verso; both are strong prints with excellent clarity, and they have survived virtually unscathed; the mount has a central vertical crease, foxing and light staining, as well as a small section of silverfishing in the left-hand margin recto.
Provenance: From a group of Australian stereoviews which were both commissioned for and collected by Peter Dowding Prankerd (1819-1902), a very wealthy English land speculator in South Australia who emigrated to Australia in 1839 and first arrived in Adelaide in 1847. He and his family left Australia permanently when they returned to England in 1872. One of the other stereoviews in this group was a portrait of the Prankerds outside their Hackney, Adelaide residence “Athelney” (1858), which is shown in the images here, along with the inscription on its mount. “Athelney” later became part of St. Peter’s College, of which Prankerd was governor in 1864.
We believe that this stereoscopic image of two handlers showing off their prized merino rams was taken in one of the several regional localities where Prankerd was involved in the laying out townships or substantial sections thereof: Stirling East, in the Adelaide Hills; New Melrose (now Melrose), near Mount Remarkable; Port MacDonnell; Moonta; or Allendale (now Allendale East), south of Mount Gambier. Of these, Allendale East is the most likely candidate, given that it was in the middle of sheep grazing country and that the bluestone building in the photograph is very typical for 1850s-60s buildings in the Mount Gambier district.