William Liddell was a professional photographer who opened a Sydney studio in 1863. He went into partnership with A Blitz from 1864 to 1865, after which Liddell went to South Australia where he worked for the American Photographic Company. By 1883–84 he appears to have been working in West Maitland under the name of Liddell & Cooper.
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
8.9 x 5.2 cm image; 9.3 x 5.8 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display