Tawaiho The Maori King


Burton Brothers

Famous photographic portrait of Tawhiao, the second Maori King (1860–1894)  


S/N: FOTO-NZ-1890–226182
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Full Title:

Tawaiho The Maori King




Burton Brothers


Sheet edges with small tears and frayed, tear extending into title and minor creasing.


Vintage albumen photograph.

Image Size: 

x 215mm
Tawaiho The Maori King - Antique Print from 1890

Genuine antique



Famous photographic portrait of Tawhiao, the second Maori King (1860–1894)



Alfred Henry Burton (1834–1914) & Walter John Burton (1836–1880)

Born in Leicester, England, their father, John Burton, was a prominent photographer.

In 1866 Walter Burton immigrated to Dunedin where he set up a successful photographic studio. In 1868 his older brother joined him, and the brothers became partners in the Grand Photographic Saloon and Gallery in Princes Street, Dunedin. While Walter concentrated on portraits, Alfred travelled extensively, making frequent trips to Fiordland, the Southern Lakes and South Westland. His Views of Fiordland helped to convince authorities to have the area set aside as a national park.

Despite their initial success, in 1877 Alfred and Walter’s partnership came to an acrimonious end. Walter visited Europe to acquaint himself with new photographic developments while Alfred took over the firm, employing other talented photographers such as George Moodie and Thomas Muir. Alfred Burton continued to travel throughout New Zealand in the 1880s and the fame of the Burton Brothers firm is due largely to the photographs Alfred and his associates took during this decade. As the Burton Brothers’ reputation grew, there was a worldwide demand for prints of their work. Alfred retired from photography in 1898. Three years later his only son, Henry, once a photographer for the firm, was killed when he fell from a horse. Alfred never touched a camera again, but devoted himself to amateur dramatics which he loved. He died in 1914. Thomas Muir and George Moodie continued to run the Burton Brothers firm, prospering from the enormous postcard boom of the early 1900s. The firm eventually closed in 1916, bringing to an end an historic era.

The Burton Brothers pioneered a tradition of documentary photography in New Zealand that has continued to the present day through the work of photographers such as Brian Brake and Ans Westra.


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