[Dunedin, New Zealand: Frank Coxhead, ca. 1890]. Ten album cards, each with a vintage albumen photograph mounted on recto and verso, for a total of twenty photographs. Each image measuring 8 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches. Oblong quarto. Contemporary green cloth, rebacked with original backstrip laid down, gilt-stamped title on cover. Moderate spotting on cards, affecting a few images. Photographs captioned on images. Very good, with small promotional bookplate of Frank Coxhead on front pastedown reading: "We invite inspection of our superior collection of Photo Views of the West Coast Sounds, and other Views, before purchasing elsewhere." Item #WRCAM30278
A wonderful assemblage of New Zealand views. Despite the assertion made on the cover, the present images were taken over a three-year period, from 1860 to 1863. Coxhead was one of Dunedin's best early photographers, active in Dunedin circa 1870 through circa 1893, operating his business on Princes Street from 1885 through 1893. Most likely the present images were reprinted circa 1890 from the original negative plates. The images, which depict the port, mercantile areas, and certain residential districts, are listed below: 1) Bell Hill (1860). 2) Maitland Street. 3) Princes Street (1860). 4) N.E. Valley. 5) Dunedin (1861). 6) Maclaggan Street. 7) Dunedin from Bowling Street. 8) High Street. 9) Bell Hill (1861). 10) Rattray Street. 11) Dunedin from Canongate. 12) Dunedin from Bell Hill. 13) The Octagon. 14-17) Princes Street (1861-63). 18) Dunedin (1863). 19) Empire Hotel. 20) Gabrial's Gully. In 1861, gold was discovered in New Zealand, and the rush that followed prompted a rapid change in the physical environment. These images provide an excellent record of this early boom phase that vaulted Dunedin to the status of New Zealand's leading economic center by the end of the 19th century. Among the earliest attainable New Zealand photographic albums, and exceedingly scarce. There is no reference work devoted to New Zealand photography, but by comparison, the standard bibliography for Australian photographic books lists its first entry as 1864.