An image of Fern Tree Bower

Samuel Clifford

(Australia 1827 – 1890)

Fern Tree Bower

Location
Not on display
Further information

Samuel Clifford was a professional photographer and grocer based in Tasmania. He made stereoscopic views of Tasmania that he sold, along with photographic equipment, at his Hobart grocery shop. In the early 1860s he opened his own studio, producing stereograph views of Tasmanian scenery until 1878 when his business was purchased by the Anson Brothers.

A stereograph is a pair of photographs on a single support that, when viewed through a stereoscope, create the illusion of three-dimensionality. Taken with a dual-lens camera, the photographs exhibit very slight shifts in point of view to approximate human binocular vision. Viewing stereographs was a popular pastime from the mid 1850s to the 1930s.

A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 11.4 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.

Year
circa 1870
Media
Photograph
Medium
stereo photograph
Dimensions
7.5 x 7.3 cm each image (irreg.); 8.4 x 17.5 cm mount card
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Purchased 2014
Accession number
292.2014