The Rose Stereograph Company Collection of more than 100,000 photographs original dating back to 1880, described by auctioneer Lloyds as ‘one of the most important photographic collections in Australia if not the world’ is to be auctioned online, complete with NFTs to offer blockchain proof of ownership.
The collection was uncovered in the spare bedroom of a home in Victoria, and includes original glass plate negatives. Noteworthy photographs include the landing on Gallipoli in 1915, Ned and Dan Kelly’s armour photographed at trial (1880), Phar Lap winning the Melbourne Cup in 1930, The Duke & Duchess Of York And Daughter Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Egyptian Pyramids And Sphinx, the Franco-British Expedition and many historic images of capital cities and regional towns across Australia.
The breadth of the collection is huge; as many of the images were used as early postcards, it includes a virtual survey of early Australia’s most scenic regions and towns.
‘There are original glass negatives in this collection that capture the very first moments of not only local Australian but World history and some that may even change the course of history,’ said Lee Hames, chief operations officer for Lloyds Auctions.
‘We believe this to be a world first, to offer these tangible original glass plates which rival any modern photographic resolution,’ he continued.
The Rose Stereograph Company was founded in 1880 by George Rose and Herbert Cutts, in the early 20th Century. The pair formed a lifetime working partnership and strong personal friendship. Assisted by George’s two sons, Herbert George and Walter, and later Herbert’s son, Neil Cutts, the Rose Stereograph Company continued its operations for more than 140 years; and remains an incorporated Australian Company to this day.
The company was initially built on stereographs, but as cinema took over and stereographs fell out of fashion, The Rose Stereograph Company developed Australia’s first commercially viable photographic postcard business. Specialising in postcards of iconic historical moments and significant landmarks, The Rose Stereograph Company became a staple of the Australian travel industry.
‘This has to be one of the most important photographic collections in Australia if not the world and that’s why we have taken considerable measures and invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology in order to honour the owners of one of the most significant photographic collections in Australian history,’ said Lee Hames.
In a world first, Lloyds Auctions will mint NFTs to offer blockchain proof of ownership. Customers can bid for ownership on both the Lloyds Auctions platform and in cryptocurrency on leading NFT marketplaces for rare digital collectibles. Winning bidders will receive ownership of both the minted NFT, along with a tangible one-of-one original glass plate negative.