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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'The London Photo Stores, Re-touching Set'


'The London Photo Stores, Re-touching Set'

Object information


This re-touching set is near complete, With the exception of the damaged brush, the items inside do not appear to have been used too often. Both the black and white chalk pencils appear to have only been barely used or sharpened, with the No. 2 black pencil unused and never sharpened. The liquid vials are full and show no signs of leaking.

Physical description

A glass plate negative retouching set in an original maroon cardboard box. On the top of the lid is embossed lettering, some of which has the remnants of gold inlay. All the letters are faded and worn. The writing on the outer and inner lid both read 'The London Photo Stores, / 263, Little Collins St., MELBOURNE. / For NEGATIVES, BROMIDES, & PRIINTS / Price / Complete.'. The inside of the box is a bright green colour with slightly faded black printing. The holding compartment of the box is seperated into seven seperate slots by cardboard partitions. The box physically contains one 'Black Johann Faber Bavaria Academy Chalk Pencil No.1', one 'Black Johann Faber Bavaria Academy Chalk Pencil No. 2', one 'White Johann Faber Bavaria Chalk Pencil', one 'Johann Faber Bavaria Print Trimmer', one fine thin paint brush, one broken paint brush with plastic tubing over the brush end, one vial of honey coloured liquid with a cork stopper, and one vial of black spotting medium.

Statement of significance

The collection consists of one folding dry plate Ensign (Houghton Ltd) Camera, in its carry case with accessories, a book, 'The Australian Photographic Instructor', and 203 glass plate negatives in their original boxes, as well as 30 early twentieth century prints, owned, used and created by Robert Orlando Cowey. The collection is in good condition.

Robert Orlando Cowey?s camera and plates have historical significance, as a record of the everyday lives of small-scale farmers in the Dandenongs area and as a suite of photographs that capture a young man?s impressions of his life during the early 1900s. The collection is evidence of the increasingly widespread use of cameras and dry plate technology by rural Australians at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Object information

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