ROBERTS, J. H.
Tinted studio portrait of a champion athlete with his prizes. Ballarat, Victoria, late 1860s.
Albumen print photograph with hand colouring, carte de visite format, 102 x 62 mm (mount); verso with the back mark of ‘J. H. Roberts, Photographer, Sturt St., Ballarat’ surmounted by the royal coat of arms and ‘By Appointment’; print and mount are in superb condition.
A strikingly tinted studio portrait of a competitive athlete posing with his prizes, which appear to be two enamelled glass goblets. In Ballarat around this time ‘athletic sports’ meetings were popular and regular events, usually staged on the Western Cricket Reserve or the Eastern Oval.
Although the sitter is not named, his red and white colours might well provide a significant clue to his identity.
The photographer J. H. Roberts is best known for documenting the visit of Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Band of Hope Gold Mine at Ballarat in December 1867, and, as we see in this example, he continued to use the ‘by royal appointment’ cachet in his carte de visite back mark after this date.