George Dobson Valentine


New Zealand

George Dobson Valentine emigrated to New Zealand in 1884 and settled in Nelson and (possibly?) later moved to Auckland.   His wife was Williamina. His children were James, Mary and Arnot (who was born in Nelson 1885).  He befriended CY Fell, a lawyer and keen amateur photographer

George Dobson Valentine used a sturdy view camera, probably a Meagher with Dallmeyer lens.   He exhibited photographs in the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition in Wellington, 1885

He produced 250 photos over 6 years in New Zealand.  He sold his prints loose (usually 12 x 10) and in albums.  His agent was Chapman.  Unfortunately none of his negatives appear to have survived.

George Dobson Valentine's  prints can be identified by the initials GV beside the print number.  Turnbull Library, Wellington, has an album of his photos, ten of which were reproduced in William Main's article in the History of Photography in 1982.

George Dobson Valentine died of tuberculosis on 26 February 1890.  His obituary appeared in the New Zealand Herald the following day.


The following ten prints by George Dobson Valentine, all from the collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, were reproduced by William Main in his article in the History of Photography in 1982:

1.      Entrance, Nelson Harbour,  (70GV) 1885,  15cm x 21 cm.

2.      Auckland Harbour from Mt Eden,  (100GV)  1885/86,   20cm x 30 cm

3.      Whataphoto Lake, Rotomahana, 1885,  20cm x 30 cm.

4.      Coffee Cup, White Terrace,  10 June 1886,   20cm x 30 cm.

5.      Mount Tarawera and Ruawahia from Te Ariki 1886,  20cm x 30 cm

6.      Rotamahana from Te Hapa o Toroa,  1886,   20cm x 30 cm

7.      Rangatira Maori and Wahine,  c.1880s,  20cm x 30 cm

8.      The Wharf Papeete, Tahiti  (GV158),  1887,   20cm x 30 cm.

9.      At the Harbour, Rarotonga (Cook Island Group) 1887,  20cm x 30 cm

10.    Papeete Tahiti  (100GV)  1887 (174(?)GV),   20cm x 30 cm


Article: George Dobson Valentine [by William Main*]. History of Photography Vol 6, No 4  Oct 1982  pp.333-348, Published by Taylor & Francis, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK,    ISSN 0308-7298

*   William Main is the author of many books on early New Zealand photography.

Further Literature:

Ken Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand tells me that:

-  his book 'George D Valentine' a Nineteenth Century Photographer in New Zealand' ran to a second edition, but is now out of print.

-  he is now working on a book on James Valentine planning to take the story beyond his death in 1879 and to end just before the arrival of the postcard era.






Albumen Prints

James Valentine

G D Valentine




Holyrood from Calton Hill

Holyrood Chapel


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Rock House

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