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Two photographs on card entitled Toorloo Arm from the Dong-an Dore, and Mia Mia and "Billy the Bull"

2008.0013.0003

Two photographs on card entitled Toorloo Arm from the Dong-an Dore, and Mia Mia and "Billy the Bull"

Object information

Physical description

Two black and white photographs adhered on each side of a blue-grey card page which has a narrow strip of white fabric adhered to one side to form a hinge. Each photograph has a caption typed on decorated white paper adhered beneath it. The photograph on one side is captioned "TOORLOO ARM FROM THE DONG-AN DORE/ The Dong-an Dore is that portion of land running towards the Toorloo Arm from the Mission grounds; it has a semi-circular sweep at the / point from which our picture is taken." The photograph shows a stretch of water surrounded by trees. In the foreground of the water a rowboat contains two men wearing hats, one seated with an oar and the other standing. The photograph on the opposite side is captioned "MIA MIA AND "BILLY THE BULL" / This is another of those erections and before us is a grand specimen of an aboriginal, a man with a romantic name but a fine character; his wife is dead and his little boy is his tender care." The photograph shows two humpies made of bark and blankets surrounded by eucalypt branches. In the foreground stands an Aboriginal man with a hat and white beard. He is holding the hand of a young child who is standing at his feet. The child's face is blurred in the print. Behind and to the side stands another man with a hat and a black beard, with a body of water behind him.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of eight sepia-toned photographs mounted on each side of four 20 x15cm blue-grey cards. A printed caption on white paper is glued to the card mount beneath each photograph. A narrow strip of fabric which at one time formed an album page hinge is adhered to one edge of each card.

Nicholas Caire is one of the most widely published of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian photographers. Between 1875 and 1905 Caire travelled the countryside of Victoria to photograph scenery for the lucrative 'views' market. His love of the landscape enabled him to create images which earned him a loyal audience during his lifetime, and an enduring place as one of Australia's early nature photographers. Captivated by the beauty of the Gippsland region, Caire made repeated excursions into the lakes district, photographing the scenery for his 1886 Gippsland Scenery series of which this collection is a sample. By the late 1870s, photographs of the Gippsland Lakes were becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne, helping to generate a new tourist market for the region. One of the continuing themes of Caire's work was the Aboriginal people at Lake Tyers Aboriginal Mission station and their daily lives. These are the only known copies of these images.

Object information

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