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85/1285-81 Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Town Hall, Sydney', Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1900. Click to enlarge.

'Town Hall, Sydney' by Henry King

This image shows Sydney Town Hall which was built between 1868 and 1889 from the corner of George and Druitt Streets. Various architects were involved over the course of its construction, including George McRae, who was responsible for the Queen Victoria Building. The ornate high Victorian Second Empire Style reflected the affluence and confidence of the booming city of the time. When finished the Town Hall's Clock Tower was the tallest structure in the city.

The photograph also shows a large …


Object No.


Object Statement

Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Town Hall, Sydney', Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1900

Physical Description

Glass negative, full plate, 'Town Hall, Sydney', Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1900.

Silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed on the reverse of the negative.

The negative is not fully catalogued.

11/22 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 102 King Studio Number


This negative is not fully catalogued.



215 mm



Henry King became sole proprietor of a photographic studio in George Street in 1880. Henry King's studio closed around 1900 and Charles Kerry acquired some of his negatives.



This photograph is one of 1334 Henry King photographs which are also part of a larger collection of 7,900 negatives once owned by Sydney bookseller, James Tyrrell. After King's death in 1923 the studio collection of glass negatives was purchased by Tyrrell.

In addition to the Henry King images, the Tyrrell Collection at the Powerhouse Museum includes glass plate negatives published by Kerry & Co. Studio and a number of other negatives by unattributed photographers. James Tyrrell used the images by Kerry & Co. and Henry King to produce his own booklets and views of New South Wales but although full of iconic Australian images, the collection does not appear to have been fully utilised by Tyrrell.

The photographic collection acquired by Tyrrell was purchased by Australian Consolidated Press and its new owners almost immediately set about producing a limited series of complete sets of contact prints of the collection for libraries and museums in New South Wales. Housed in boxes copies of these were given to the State Library of New South Wales and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney.

In 1985 Australian Consolidated Press donated the collection to the Powerhouse Museum. The collection at this time consisted of 7,903 glass plate negatives and 7,916 contact positive prints. Of these 493 glass plates were damaged but usable and 13 plates totally broken.

Geoff Barker, Curatorial, December, 2008


Credit Line

Gift of Australian Consolidated Press under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1985

Acquisition Date

19 July 1985

Cite this Object


'Town Hall, Sydney' by Henry King 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 May 2022, <>


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