Is this our oldest Cricket team photo?
While clearing up some unprocessed material in the archives recently, I came across what appears to be our earliest original photograph of a Newington cricket team.
The photograph is a studio portrait showing the members of a team dressed in cricket whites, along with an adult wearing a suit. The photograph is mounted on a card, the reverse of which shows it to have been taken in the studio of ‘Artist Photographer’ A.L. Lamartiniere, of 320 George Street, Sydney.
Alexandre Henri Lamartiniere had worked for other Sydney photographers before setting up his own studio, where he specialised in portrait photography, in about 1873. In 1875 he was joined by Charles Kerry, later one of Sydney’s most prominent photographers, who became a partner in the business in 1882: according to Kerry’s biography, the partnership ended soon after when Lamartiniere absconded with Kerry’s money.
On the basis of these dates, it appears that our photograph was taken some time between 1873 and 1882. Our earliest original cricket team photograph previously identified was taken at the College at Stanmore in 1886. The man in the photograph may be Joseph Coates, who taught at Newington from 1864 to 1873 and returned as Head Master in 1877.
I have been careful to say ‘earliest original photograph’ here because the Centenary history of the College (David S MacMillan, Newington College 1863-1963, 1963) contains reproductions of two other cricket team portraits from the 1870s. However we do not know the origin of these images and do not have the original photographs.
With the cricket team portrait were three studio portraits of Newington rugby teams also from Lamartiniere’s studio and the same period. Our very earliest rugby team photograph, however, is believed to date from 1870.
Mr David Roberts