# 24892


Two Aboriginal boys with three European men, posing in front of a homestead near Swan Hill on the Murray River (Victorian or New South Wales side), circa 1875.

$750.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, cabinet card format, 92 x 120 mm (image), 108 x 165 mm (mount), verso with the photographers’ names in manuscript ‘Bryson & Heywood, Swan Hill’; there is some staining to the top edge of the print and to the margin of the mount, but the print, though a little pale, has excellent clarity and a wealth of detail.

Although it is not possible to say with complete assurance what the relationship was between the two Aboriginal boys and the three whitefellas, the lads’ body language and demeanour indicates that they were happy to be invited to pose for the photographer. The group appears to be a relaxed and socially inclusive one. The large number of potted plants on the verandah of the homestead suggests that at least one of the men may have been a nurseryman.

Little is known about the photographers, Bryson and Heywood. Neither is listed in Davies & Stanbury (Mechanical Eye). However, the following marriage notice in The Australasian newspaper, 19 May 1877, at least identifies Bryson and confirms an approximate dating for this photograph:

‘FRENCH—BRYSON.—On the 23rd ult., at the Church of England, Swan-hill, by the Bishop of Ballarat, Wm. French, of Launceston, to Eliza Jane, eldest daughter of Stephen G. Bryson, photographer, Swan-hill.’

Although this photograph was probably taken in the Swan Hill district on the Victorian side of the Murray, Bryson (and Heywood) would definitely have travelled across to the New South Wales side of the river to take photographs if they had a commission to do so.