# 40114


Studio portrait of a young woman, possibly of Polynesian heritage. Melbourne, circa 1890.

$100.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, cabinet card format, 163 x 113 mm (gilt-edged mount), recto of mount with imprint of ‘Stewart & Co., 42 Bourke St. East, Melbourne’; the original decorative tissue guard is still attached at top edge; the print and mount are in superb condition, while the tissue guard has a few spots of foxing, but is intact.

A stunning full-length portrait taken in the Stewart & Co. studio at the top end of Bourke Street, around 1890. The young woman’s facial features suggest she may be of Polynesian (Samoan?) heritage.

The beautiful Stewart & Co. tissue guard is a delicate and rare survivor. It has a vignette illustration at centre that features a woman in Classical Greek attire painting a self-portrait – probably a depiction of Athena, goddess of the arts. To her left is a camera on a tripod, and two Greek pottery vessels stand on a table to her right. The tissue was lithographically printed by Percy Lund & Co., Bradford. Note that the address has been misinterpreted by the English printer, so that it reads ‘Bourke St., East Melbourne’ instead of ‘Bourke St. East, Melbourne’.