Item J-04854 - Portrait of an unidentified Indigenous individual (adult) standing, wearing a naval officer's coat with staff and dagger, taken at a photographic studio attributed to Mrs. R. Maynards Photographic Gallery.

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Portrait of an unidentified Indigenous individual (adult) standing, wearing a naval officer's coat with staff and dagger, taken at a photographic studio attributed to Mrs. R. Maynards Photographic Gallery.

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  • graphic material

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Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the subject of the photograph.
  • Attributions and conjectures: This photograph is attributed to Hannah Maynard.

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Item

Reference code

J-04854

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • [1865-1872] (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 glass plate negative : b&w

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Scope and content

Studio portrait taken at a photographic studio attributed to Mrs. R. Maynards Photographic Gallery, part of a number of portraits taken of representatives from Indigenous governments. The portrait (full-length) consists of an unidentified individual standing wearing a naval officer's coat, a fur cap, and holding a presentation staff. A dagger is hanging from one hand. The sitter is likely a Kwakwaka’wakw Chief from Tsaxis (Fort Rupert). It is a collodion glass plate negative (3.5 x 4 inches). The studio flooring (geometrical pattern tiling), furniture (table), photographic apparatus (standing head rest) and the plain studio backdrop are visible. This image depicts a wider view of the portrait studio. The side edge of the backdrop is visible revealing a view to the side of the room and another room behind the studio. There appears to be another person in the room sitting on the door frame. This negative does not appear to have been manipulated.

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Physical condition

The negative is missing emulsion near the bottom edges of the portrait and emulsion contains cracks over the entire plate, resulting in some loss of the visual information in those areas.

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Restrictions on access

The format of this photograph J-04854 is a glass plate negative. Researchers should consult the online reference image or reference room copy prior to consulting the original. Please contact the BC Archives for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

This item is in the public domain.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Associated Materials
Photographic prints and research documentation regarding studio portraits of this sitter are available at the Royal British Columbia Museum’s Indigenous Collections and Repatriation department. These are housed in the Indigenous audio-visual photographic collections.Research documentation in the Royal British Columbia Museum Indigenous Collections and Repatriation department includes illustrated photographic reference cards containing copies of photographs found in Indigenous audio-visual photographic collections at the Royal BC Museum, and BC Archives. For examples relating to this sitter, see PN8736 (cropped version of full length portrait - this image), PN6140 (mid-length portrait with staff and dagger) and also PN6163 (re: staff). The carte de visite (yellow mount) for PN8736-B contains the following imprint on the verso of the carte: Mrs. R. Maynard, Photographic Artiste, Douglass St., Victoria, V.I.B.C. The carte de visite (yellow mount) for PN8736-A contains the following imprint on the verso of the carte: Photographed by R. Maynard, Victoria, B.C." An unmounted print for PN8736 (this portrait) contains the following handwritten annotation on the verso: The First Chief of Ft. Rupert.
For another photograph depicting a similar presentation staff on display, see PN6163 (same image as HP34249/B-03803, BC Archives). Please contact the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation department to determine the access status of these records.

The Royal BC Museum’s Human History collection holds several examples of presentation staffs (“staff of authority”) in their collections. One item (2009.26.1) includes the following engraving: “Chief of the [Nacaontloon] Indians" or “Chief of the [Macaontloon] Indians.” Please contact the Human History department to determine the access status of these items. See collection items 972.214.1 and 2009.26.1.

Related Materials:
The Newcombe family fonds (PR-0356) in MS-2964-Photographs and sketches contains several card mounted prints depicting a group of individuals (carte de visite) in uniform identified as "Officers of H.M.S. Daring" (see file 1463, box 50) and a group photograph (stereograph card) of officers and sailors in uniform identified as "Officers of H.M.S. Boxer at Bella Bella, BC." (see file 1466, box 50). The first is marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard and the latter, Richard Maynard.

The BC Archives Photograph Collection holds related print photographs, including another version of the photograph depicting a similar presentation staff on display, see HP34249/B-03803 described as - "Indian Chiefs B.C."

Within this collection, there are several field photographs that appear to feature this same sitter on board the H.M.S. Boxer in the early 1870s (see MS-3378 in PR-1259). Also in this collection, for related works (including glass plate negatives) of studio portraits featuring a sitter in a similar uniform, see J-03657.

The Maynard family collection (PR-1259) also contains other photographs attributed to the Maynards featuring a staff similar to the one held by an individual in this image. For field photographs, see J-04213 and J-04170 in series MS-3378.

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Accruals

General note

Accession number(s): 95-7328-3

General note

Archives code(s): HP094580

General note

Location: 000343-1021

General note

The British Colombian on May 26th and June 1, 1865 described the use of staffs as gifts given to Indigenous leaders who rendered good service in the eyes of the colonial government. The staffs were considered "an emblem of authority."

Alpha-numeric designations

This photograph was originally located in BC Archives and Records Service manuscript container identified as: "Maynard Coll. Box 7.13 Indians. Box 7.14 Indians" and "#91"

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