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Stephen Edward Nixon

England, Australia

1842 – 1910

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    carte de visite
    9.6 x 5.7 cm image; 10.1 x 6.0 cm mount card
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Stephen Edward Nixon

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Samuel Nixon was an itinerant professional photographer. Born in England, Nixon arrived in Australia with his family in 1855, who settled in Adelaide. Nixon and his two brothers, Stephen and Joseph, went into business as photographers in the early 1860s, trading as Nixon Brothers. In 1869 Nixon travelled to Saddleworth, taking portraits of the local people, and returned to the township again in 1871. Nixon probably moved to New South Wales in the 1870s, where he took up residence near Deniliquin. Stephen Nixon took over the Nixon Brothers partnership in 1867. He worked in the South Australian copper-mining towns of Moonta, Kadina, Yorketown and Tanunda from the early 1870s until the mid 1890s.

    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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition