An image of Untitled

William Bear

(Australia circa 1843 – Unknown)


Not on display
Further information

William Bear was a professional photographer based in Melbourne. Born in London, he was working in the studio of William Insull Burman, Melbourne in the 1860s and married Burman’s daughter, Emily Jane, in 1868. Bear operated the Burman’s photographic studios and may have opened his own firm in Geelong in the 1880s.

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
9.3 x 5.9 cm image; 10.5 x 6.3 cm mount card
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased 2014
Accession number