# 43728


Western Victoria : companion to “Gippsland Through The Camera”. Illustrated by gems of photography.

$250.00 AUD

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[Geelong, Vic.] : Brookes’ Photographic Union, [1891]. Large quarto portfolio (285 x 260 mm), pebbled blue cloth over boards, the upper board with title surmounted by crown and company motto, all in gilt; boards scuffed and stained, cloth split along spine; interior with cloth-covered flaps, but containing no photographs.

Quite possibly a unique survivor, this portfolio would originally have housed a complete set of albumen prints from Brookes’ Photographic Union’s series of views of the Western District, Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula, issued in 1891. The series was a follow-up to Brookes Bros.’ Gippsland Through The Camera, issued in album format in 1889. 

Frederick Augustus “Professor” Brookes (b. 1851 Radford, Nottinghamshire – d. c.1922 Rockdale, NSW) appears to have arrived in Victoria from New Zealand at some point in the early 1880s. Directories list him as an artist and photographer in Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, in 1888-89. However, the death of his infant son, Edwin Stanley Brookes (b. 26 August 1889 at Moonee Ponds), is recorded at Sale, Gippsland, soon after his birth, suggesting that Frederick and his family had moved to the thriving Gippsland township in September of that year, where Frederick had reunited with his older brother, Albert.

Albert Edward Brookes (b. c.1847, Radford, Nottinghamshire – d. c. 1907 New Zealand) had arrived in Melbourne with his family from New Zealand some time after 1886, but must have soon moved out east to Gippsland, as his infant son, Ewen McLean Brookes, was born and died in Sale in 1888. The two brothers collaborated on the series Gippsland Through The Camera during 1889; the series was sold in albums which the brothers inexpensively produced themselves.

By late 1889, however – barely a month or two after Frederick had joined him in Sale – Albert was living in Geelong, where the birth of his daughter Ida Genevieve was recorded in October. It appears that Frederick and his family later followed Albert west, as Brookes’ Photographic Union were to produce their second series of photographs – this time of Western Victoria – in 1891. The State Library of Victoria holds a complete set of these albumen prints.