# 23258

[MANNING & KNIGHT, attributed]

Noongar men, southwest Western Australia, circa 1868.

$1,650.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, 59 x 82 mm, laid down on a piece cut from a 19th century album page, contemporary caption in pencil beneath image: ‘Australian Natives armed with boomerangs’; the print is slightly faded but otherwise is in very good condition.

The attribution to the Perth-based photographic partnership of Manning & Knight is based on a carte de visite with the identical image and bearing the Manning & Knight imprint, which we have sighted in a private collection.

The photograph was possibly taken in the Albany district. The three men are wearing traditional kangaroo skin cloaks, and the designs on the cloak worn by the standing man can be clearly discerned. The two seated men hold boomerangs, while the standing man holds an implement akin to a long swagger stick, possibly denoting his senior status. All three have animal bone nose-piercings. They are wearing pieces of European trade cloth around their waists, and tucked into the standing man’s cloth is what appears to be a small wooden container of European manufacture, probably for snuff or tobacco.

The following information about Manning & Knight is from the excellent online blog History of WA Photography

‘James Manning Jnr went into partnership around October 1868 with a Mr Knight (possibly C. Knight, a painter/photographer from Hobart) and not long after decided to head bush to spread his services to more rural areas. That year he visited Champion Bay (later known as Geraldton), Greenough, Northampton and Albany. His sister Jane, who had her own photo gallery in Fremantle, took over the Perth studio in his absence.

Manning was granted a royal warrant by the Duke of Edinburgh in Perth during the Duke’s ‘unofficial’ second visit to the Australian colonies in 1869.

The Manning & Knight partnership dissolved the same year and James took leave to Europe to learn the latest developments in photography, while Jane briefly reopened her gallery in Fremantle.’ (https://historyofwaphotography.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/manning-knight/)