# 16383

DALTON, Edward

[OPERA] Photographic portraits of Henry Squires and Lucy Escott, Sydney, early 1860s

$650.00 AUD

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Two albumen print photographs, carte de visite format, 101 x 64 mm (mounts), 90 x 57 mm (images), versos with imprint of Dalton’s Royal Photographic Gallery, Sydney; the albumen prints with some tiny ink spots, otherwise both cartes are in very good condition.

The American opera singers Henry Squires (1825-1907) and Lucy Escott (1827-1895) arrived in Australia in 1861 with William Saurin Lyster’s opera company. They performed throughout Australasia during the 1860s, with Escott as the company’s prima donna. The Australian music historian Harold Love commented: ‘Between them, aided by Lyster’s promotional flair, Escott and Squires created an audience for opera capable, on occasions at least, of packing the 3,300 seat Royal, and came as close as anyone apart from Melba has ever done in Australia to making it a form of mass entertainment.’ (La Trobe Journal, no. 16, October, 1975).

The National Portrait Gallery (Canberra) appears to hold the only copies in Australian collections of these studio portraits by Edward Dalton. The NPG examples are hand-coloured and came from Henry Squires’ personal photograph album.