Glass plate negative, stage set of three men playing cards in an alcove

Made in Australia, Oceania

This collection of glass plate negatives was acquired by the Museum in the 1980s and appears to have been made by a Sydney based photographic studio from around 1880 through to 1920. The images are on both whole and half plate negatives and many of the larger images are of a high quality.

The subjects covered by the images relate strongly to a number of the Museum’s collecting fields. Leisure and the performing arts are represented by a group of unusual boxing and fencing photographs, stage set...


Object No.


Physical Description

Glass plate negative (1 of 193), stage set of two men and a boy playing cards in an alcove, glass, photographer possibly Arthur Phillips, Australia, c. 1895-1905

Landscape-format, black and white glass plate negative depicting two men seated at a table in an alcove, playing cards and drinking. A boy stands behind the table watching. Bottles on the floor. The photograph appears to be staged.


No marks.



115 mm


160 mm



The photographic glass plate negative was photographed and produced in Australia, c. 1900. There have been suggestions that the Phillips collection of photographs was created by Harry Phillips, (1873-1944), an early twentieth century photographer born in Ballarat and best known for his photographs of the Blue Mountains. Recent museum research has shown that the photographer Harry J. Phillips, the uncle of Raymond W. Phillips, was born in Sydney in 1872. There does not appear to be any connection between the families of the Ballarat-born Harry Phillips and Harry J. Phillips.







The donor Raymond Phillips was a rotograver and for many years was responsible for the Australian Women's Weekly cover. His father, Arthur Phillips, was a gold and silver merchant and was possibly the photographer of the glass plate negatives. In 1920, the family moved from Willoughby to Latimer Road, Bellevue Hill. A bachelor, Raymond Phillips remained in the house after his parents' death. The slides were found in a deal box in the garage.

Cite this Object


Glass plate negative, stage set of three men playing cards in an alcove 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 March 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Glass plate negative, stage set of three men playing cards in an alcove |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 March 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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