Robert Hunt Collection


View into Queens Square from the Royal Mint Sydney Branch Shows pedestal for Queen Victoria's statue in the foreground; Photographer: R. Hunt. HP81.106.27

See also the online exhibition–Robert Hunt (1830-1892): Australian Pioneer Photographer


Over 400 items; views of and around Sydney; also family and friends [HP81.106, HP83.53, HP89.19, HP89.30]

Robert Hunt (1830-1892) was born in London on 30 June 1830. In 1853 he was appointed First Clerk of the Bullion Office at the Sydney Mint, arriving in Sydney in October 1854. In 1857 Hunt’s two sisters were tragically drowned in the wreck of the ‘Dunbar’. Hunt married Mary Paul (c1843-1901) on 25 November 1860. He moved to Melbourne in 1870, working at the newly established Melbourne Mint until 1877, when he returned to Sydney in 1878 to the position of Deputy Master of the Sydney Mint. He was awarded CMG in 1888. Hunt died in office on 1 October 1892. [DAAO has 27 Sept]

Hunt was a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales and of the Australian Museum Trust. He is, however, best known to historians of photography in Australia as a talented amateur photographer.

Hunt went on photographic excursions, often with another Mint associate, William Stanley Jevons, often around Sydney Harbour in his boat the 'Terror'. The two men took views of landscapes in and around Sydney. Hunt’s early stereoscopic views dated 1855, are believed to be some of the earliest photographs on card. He worked with Professor John Smith, founding professor of chemistry at the University of Sydney, to pioneer dry plates for expedition photography. In December 1858, with other amateur photographers including John Smith, M. F. Moresby and Captain Edward Ward (also from the Mint), he exhibited his work at the first photographic conversazione of the Philosophical (Royal) Society of NSW, and again, at the second, in December 1859.

Hunt’s son, William (Billy) Lewin (?-1943) was a naval draughtsman, who also was a photographer.

HP81.106 Album, photographic prints, copy and glass negatives
This collection comprises approximately 421 items:
Album and loose photographic prints [items 1-69; also with copy negs]
Copy negatives [items 70 to 257] of the contents of an album lent for copying only, the original album retained by the owner]
[no item 258]
Stereographs [items 259-331, 366-422] including the work of other photographers W.S. Jevons, W. F Moresby, E.W Ward, John Smith - subjects include Sydney and surrounding areas including Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury areas, Victoria, Hobart, Tasmania
Photographic prints [single prints on stereographic card] [items 332-365]
Glass negatives, mainly stereographic negatives [items 423-439]
Also, wooden box containing original sleeves for the glass negatives; and Box containing stereographic glass negative [contents were items 393-415]

HP83.53 Robert Hunt Glass negatives
20 items [18 half plate; 2 whole plate] with some original plate wrappings
Images of Kirribilli, Wolloomooloo, Sir Alfred Stephen’s tree in Hyde park, Dr Cox’s house Macquarie & Hunter streets , the 1887 Eight Hours procession. Images relate to HP81.106.

HP89.19 Robert Hunt "Mint" Album [copy negs]
110 copy negatives of an album of photographs by Robert Hunt, former Master of the Sydney Mint, and his son William Llewin (Billy) Hunt. The images, mostly taken 1891-1892, include 23 of the interior of the Mint, a portrait of Robert Hunt, and Sydney views. The album was lent for copying, with the original returned to the owner. The work of other photographers is included in the album - 'W.L.H.' [William Lewin Hunt] ; 'H.L.H.'; Photocopies of the prints are available for reference viewing.

HP89.30 William (Billy) Llewin Hunt Glass Negatives
c.1900-1910; 46 half-plate gelatin silver glass negatives.
Taken by William (Billy) Llewin Hunt, the son of Robert Hunt; views of scenes around Sydney and of the Hunt family. Four original plate boxes with wrappings; one box with 'Harleston' on it; one with 'Norah Baby &c'; one contains 3 cards relating to the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club Season and Programme of Races 1898-99, for which W.L. Hunt was Hon Secretary.


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