THE LONDON STEREOSCOPIC & PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY
The coffin of British explorer David Livingstone lying in state in the Map Room at the Royal Geographical Society, April 1874, with New Zealand ornithologist Sir Walter Lawry Buller in attendance.
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 64 x 105 mm (mount), verso with the imprint of the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company; the print has a short surface scratch at left hand edge, but is otherwise in good condition, as is the mount; accompanied by a section from the original album mount, inscribed in pencil in a later 19th-century hand ‘Dr. Livingstone’s funeral [sic] Sir W. Buller chief mourner’.
Sir Walter Lawry Buller KCMG (1838-1906), lawyer and naturalist, was the dominant figure in the field of New Zealand ornithology in the nineteenth century. In this photograph, which shows African explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingtone’s coffin lying in state at the Royal Geographical Society in April 1874, prior to his funeral service at Westminster Abbey, Buller is seen at far left.
Provenance: from a family photograph album compiled by a female member of the family of John Sperry (1829-1890), Lands Commissioner, who was the father of New Zealand artist Eleanor Kate Sperry (1862-1893). The Sperrys were closely connected with the Buller and Mair families.