# 43632

Photographer unknown.

Two panoramic photographs taken on Brighton Beach, Melbourne, summer 1905.

$1,800.00 AUD

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Two gelatin silver print photographs, in identical 100 x 330 mm format; no photographer’s imprint; both containing a wealth of detail and in very good condition.

These wonderful views of Brighton Beach on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay were taken with the same special panoramic camera by an amateur photographer, and are almost certainly unique images. Prominent in the background of both is ‘Grimbly’s Hotel / J. R. Cathie’, which is seen from two different angles. In one of the views, a painted banner on the wall of the hotel advertising ‘Word’s Cycling Contest / Man to Man’ allows us to date the photographs very precisely to January (or February) 1905, when the World’s Cycling Contests were staged in Melbourne. The owner of Grimbly’s Hotel, James Cathie, was a keen supporter of the sport of cycling, who served as an official for the Melbourne Cycling Club. The following sad notice appeared in the Melbourne Punch, 3 March 1904: ‘Much sympathy is felt in cycling circles for Mr. and Mrs. Cathie, of Grimbly’s Hotel, Brighton, in the loss they have recently sustained by the death of their youngest son. Eric was well known to the friends and guests of the popular couple, and was a favourite with all. He was only seven years of age—the baby, in fact—but was as well developed, physically and mentally, as many a boy of twelve.’

The more sepia-toned photograph captures the entire sweep of the beach, with the pier in the far distance, and a group of fashionably dressed ladies wearing flamboyant hats – no doubt sweltering in the heat – in the centre foreground.

The other view shows the rear of Grimbly’s, with several family groups about to embark on a pleasure ride along the beachfront in an horse-drawn open carriage. Also visible at the far right in this view is the ‘Royal Terminus Hotel / H. K[emp]’.