Three dapper fellows in Wellington, New Zealand

This portrait is the first one on the blog from New Zealand.  (There isn’t one yet from Australia.)  The three chaps aren’t identified, unfortunately.  The cabinet card was made at the studio of Wrigglesworth & Binns in Wellington.  James Dacie Wrigglesworth (1836-1906) and Frederick Charles Binns (1844-1915) also maintained studios in Christchurch and Dunedin.

Three chaps in Wellington, NZ 3


I don’t have any brilliant insights to make about this portrait, but I like the tweed suit worn by the fellow standing in back.  Also, the painted backdrop is interesting.  Presumably the plants represent species native to New Zealand.

Three chaps in Wellington, NZ 2



30 thoughts on “Three dapper fellows in Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. I can’t help wondering what prompted the photo. Were they about to embark on a journey or was the photo meant to commemorate a special event? The walking sticks are interesting. I like the painted background. I enjoyed reading about Wrigglesworth & Binns.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m guessing they had just finished secondary school and were headed in different directions–university, business, or a military career–and they wanted a photo to commemorate their time together. If they were ambitious, they would have traveled to Europe, and probably also to India or Africa. It’s fun to speculate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that the picture was not taken at a studio. I say this because of the hint of furniture which appears to be what has been called tramp furniture. Sturdy furniture made from natural wood, bark on, and shellacked upon completion. To me, this suggests a picture taken outside, perhaps at a fair, and the canes maybe a prop.


    1. You could be right about the location, especially because we can’t see the floor, which might have been dirt at a fair. Wooden furniture with bark on it was very popular in gardens in the late Victorian period, and photographers often had it in their studios as an option. They didn’t call it “tramp” in those days, but I can’t remember what it was called (if I ever knew). In any case, your theory may well be correct.


  3. They’re much younger than they appear at first. I was especially interested to see how far the photographers influence extended — to Christchurch and Dunedin as well as in Wellington. I read that Binns was in charge of the Christchurch studio. All I can do is speculate on the young men, of course, but I don’t think those walking sticks are props. They fit with the pocket squares and watch chains.

    This one was especially fun to see, since I have visitors to my own blog from Christchurch and Dunedin. That makes this cabinet card seem not so far away at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! (I agree about the walking sticks.) Having never visited that part of the world, my only knowledge of New Zealand comes from the pretty landscape pictures I’ve seen over the years. Lots and lots of pretty pictures! Speaking of which, the Museum of New Zealand has 115 photos by Wrigglesworth & Binns in their collection. I probably should have included a link in the post, but I’ll add it here for anyone who might be interested:


  4. Very nice photograph. I like the tweed, too. Something that struck me was not in the portrait but in the words. First, the name Wrigglesworth is pretty fun and would be a good last name for a character in a novel, but it is even more fun with the other “Ws” in the post: Willis St., and Wellington. It’s all so wonderfully “Double yoo-ee.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yes, Wrigglesworth is quite a mouthful! And I hadn’t noticed just how “double you-ee” the whole thing was. 😉 Wrigglesworth would be an excellent name for a small dog, except that it’s too long, and would probably be shortened to “Wrigs.” Thanks for making me smile, Lemony! 🙂


  5. I LOVE the name Wrigglesworth and Binns…It sounds like an animated special about a snooty indoor cat and his best bud, an alley cat.

    I LOVE the photo. They seem like guys with a sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

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