Studio portrait of a senior citizen of Echuca, Victoria, early 1870s.
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 103 x 64 mm (mount), verso with imprint of ‘A. Wren, Artist Photographer [name deliberately omitted] Street, Echuca’; both the print and mount are in very good condition.
This smartly attired, dark-suited Echuca gentleman with a Lincoln-style beard, posing beside his upturned top hat, appears quite advanced in years. He is possibly even an octogenarian – an uncommonly long lifespan for males in the 1870s. He has the air of a dignitary, and might well have been a local councillor or even mayor.
Little is known about the photographer, Alfred Wren. He was active in Sandhurst (Bendigo) from around 1860 to 1867, then spent three years running a studio in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. After returning briefly to Sandhusrt in 1870, he soon moved further north to the burgeoning township of Echuca on the Murray River, where he died in 1879.