Henry King was a successful and prolific Sydney-based professional photographer who trained in the studios of John Hubert Newman before establishing his own studio in 1880. Born in England around 1855, he came to New South Wales about 1857. He travelled widely through eastern Australia photographing mainly Aboriginal people. At the World Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893 he was awarded a certificate and bronze medal. With the invention of the dry plate process he spent more time on street scenes and views. After his death, King’s collection of negatives was purchased by J R Tyrell and now resides at the Powerhouse Museum. In 1975 an exhibition of his Aboriginal portraits was held at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.
carte de visite
5.0 x 3.6 cm image (irreg.); 9.6 x 6.0 cm sheet; 10.2 x 6.2 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Referenced in 1 publication
Judy Annear, The photograph and Australia, Sydney, Jun 2015, 247 (colour illus.).