WEBB, Steffano





Steffano Francis Paulovitch Webb
born 16 October 1880 at Sherwood House, Christchurch, New Zealand.
died
22 December 1967 at Windsor House, Christchurch, New Zealand.




 

 Steffano Francis Paulovitch Webb
 (Official Record of the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-7, page 66
incorrectly identified as E. Bartley)





Steffano Francis Paulovitch Webb (6) was born on 16 October 1880 at Sherwood House(1) in Cashel Street, Christchurch the son of Henry Richard Webb (pictured left) and Augusta Ann Webb nee Peacock. At the time of his birth his father was the Manager of The Permanent Investment and Loan Association of Canterbury located in Hereford Street. He had been a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council 1869-75 and member of Parliament for Lyttelton 1873-75. Henry Webb was the last Provincial Secretary of Canterbury. In about 1846 he had taken up amateur photography and in the 1890's was the President of the Photographic Section of the Philosophical Institute (2). Steffano Webb's mother was the sister of the businessman and politician John Thomas Peacock.


above: Steffano Webb's birth is announced in the Star newspaper.
Star, Issue 3903, 20 October 1880, Page 2


above: six months after his birth Mrs Webb advertised for a children's nurse.Star, Issue 4058, 23 April 1881, Page 2

Steffano Webb was baptised at St John's Church, Latimer Square on 28 November 1880. He attended Christ's College from 1895 to 1899. His father died at "Te Wepu", Merivale Lane, Christchurch on 11 February 1901 aged 72 years and his mother died there in 1914. Steffano Webb's sister Malvina Mary Webb was married to Robert Ewing McDougall (1860-1942), who was the benefactor of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery.


Steffano Webb began work as a photographer for "The Press" newspaper (4) before establishing a studio in Colombo Street about 1906. One of his first major jobs was as one of the official photographers for the New Zealand International Exhibition (1906-1907) in Christchurch.(3)
above: a selection of postcards from the NZ International Exhibition with photographs by Steffano Webb.

About 1908 he went into partnership with George Angus Bunz in Gloucester Street under the name Webb and Bunz. When Bunz left in 1909 (8) to establish a studio in Ashburton, Steffano Webb remained in Gloucester Street. By March 1912 he had moved to the second floor of the Petersen's Building at 252 High Street.

The Press, 30 March 1912, page 15

He married at St Mary's Church, Merivale on 30 April 1913 to Beatrice Howard Buss (born 10 March 1889 - died 26 April1978 (7)). He was then aged 32 years his wife was aged 24 years; she was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth Buss nee Howard and William Buss, an auctioneer.


During World War One he is not shown in directories as a photographer in Christchurch and only appeared again in 1922, back at the High Street address. In about 1929 he also took over the studio of John Ernest Pigott located in the Oxford Buildings, George Street, Timaru. He had both studios until he retired in about 1951. Raymond Attwell Ayton (1922-1992) purchased the High Street studio and Frederick Walter Goffe Dickeson (1917-1987) took over the studio in Timaru. Ayton Studio Co. Ltd remained at 252 High Street until about 1961 when I. K. O Photo Studio moved there. (refer to Directories listed below)




The Sun, Saturday 23 May 1925, page 7


above - a photograph by Steffano Webb, Christchurch of an unidentified baby

Steffano Webb was well known especially for his portrait photography. In 1947 he was the President of the New Zealand Photographers' Association and in 1965 he was made an honorary life member of the Association.(3)(4)
He died aged 87 years on 22 December 1967 at Windsor House, Christchurch. He was survived by his wife, daughter and three sons.(3)(5)



The Christchurch Star-Sun, Thursday 23 March 1950, page 12




The Christchurch Star-Sun, Saturday 20 May 1950, page 1


The Christchurch Star-Sun, Wednesday 17 May 1950


 
Whimsical Webb
REMEMBER when you had your first photograph taken? Remember how the photographer placed an altogether unsuitable book in your juvenile hands, told you to look pleasant, and then put a dirty one over you by instructing you to watch for a dicky-bird that never materialized? These were tricks of the old photographers and they are gone for good now. Art is the soul of the modern photographer's work. If you want to know more about the matter, see Steffano Webb, that worthy citizen of Christchurch, whose work bears the invisible imprint of the master. Steffano Webb has a flair for all kinds of work entailing the use of the magic box. Studio portraiture, commercial photography, press pictures — these are all in the day's work of this likeable, sincere fellow. You cannot fluster him. He meets the most trying situations with one of his whimsical remarks. Nervous children, equally nervous brides with their grooms trying, to look nonchalant under the circumstances — to photograph people such as these calls for patience — and tactful patience at that. But Steffano Webb falters not. He likes his work and likes his town — and he gives his best to both. Truly, a useful, member of this community. - NZ Truth, Issue 1162, 8 March 1928, Page 6

The Christchurch office of Archives New Zealand has his probate file dated 1968.
Photograph of H. R. Webb - The Jubilee Number, The Weekly Press 1850-1900.


above - Hon. John Thomas Peacock the uncle of Steffano Webb
photo by Clarke, Wellington.

(1) Star, Issue 3903, 20 October 1880, Page 2.
(2) Star, Issue 5569, 19 May 1896, Page 1 - Mr H. R. Webb, who briefly sketched the history of photography, which, he said, he had taken up as an amateur fifty years ago, though even he had to yield the palm as the oldest amateur photographer to another gentleman present, Mr B. W. Mountfort.

(3) Obituary - The Christchurch Star, 23 December 1967, page 5.
(4) Obituary - The Press, 26 December 1967, page 8.
(5) Margaret Ann Webb born 10 May 1914, Richard Steffano Webb born 26 November 1916, Bryan William Webb, born November 1919, John Howard Webb born 28 October 1926 (Christchurch City Libraries)
(6) The name Paulovitch may come from Robert Hector Paulovich a Storekeeper in West Maitland, New South Wales who provided a reference when Henry Richard Webb commenced business as a commission agent in Sydney in 1853. Others were provided by Messrs. Peacock & Son, and Mr. J. Rickards, Merchant, Pitt-street, Sydney.
Rickards may have been the uncle of Henry Richard Webb (his mother was Susannah Webb nee Rickards), Paulovich may have been Rickard's son-in-law. Paulovich died 29 January 1874, Acton House, Brisbane http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article669002
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843-1893), Saturday 25 June 1853, page 4.




above - an advert from the Canterbury Society of Arts - Catalogue 1933




Additional information

The name Steffano Paulovitch comes from the husband of Henry Richard Webb's aunt Ephrath, who was the sister of Webb's mother Susanna and also the sister of John Rickards. Ephrath Rickards married Stephano Paulovich in London in 1810 and two of her sons came to Australia in 1837 to join her brother John Rickards and sister Susannah Webb who had arrived in 1828. One of these sons was Robert Hector Paulovich. Therefore, he and Henry Richard Webb were first cousins and John Rickards senior was their uncle. However, John Rickards Jun is more likely to have been the one who provided the reference as John Rickards sen returned to the UK and his son was in charge of the business during the 1850s and 1860s. (see Cathie's comment below)

(7) died Wesley Hospital, Christchurch, of 32 New Brighton Road, Christchurch. Press 27 April 1978 page 31.
(8) Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXIX, Issue 7764, 6 April 1909, Page 4





above: Peterson' Building at 252 High Street, Christchurch. Steffano Webb's photographic studio was located on the top floor of this building from about 1912.
Photograph by Steffano Webb.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Record Title: Petersen's Building, 252 High Street, Christchurch
Reference Number: 1/1-021846-G




above: The entrance to the studio from High Street.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Record Title: Petersen's Building, 252 High Street, Christchurch
Reference Number: 1/1-021846-G


above: detail of the top storey windows as viewed from High Street.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Record Title: Petersen's Building, 252 High Street, Christchurch
Reference Number: 1/1-021846-G


below: the location of Petersen's Building at 252 High Street can be seen in this aerial photograph from the 1950's or 60's, the building has since been demolished.











above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
"Scrum"





above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
not identified



above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
not identified


above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
A picture framer's note on the reverse shows the name "Mrs McKeegan, Hawarden".
(framed by H. Fisher & Son, 691 Colombo street, Christchurch)


above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio


above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio




above: Steffano Webb's Timaru Studio



above: Steffano Webb's Timaru Studio




above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio




above: John Thomas Sutton Sr, founder of Quill Morris 1939 and a well-known hotelier in Christchurch. Portrait identified by great grandson, June 2016.
 by Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
(framed by Smith & Hodgson, Picture Framers, 153 High Street, Christchurch)




Hugh Lowry
Manager of Dalgety's in Timaru 1924-1931 - from Dalgety Album



above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
not identified


above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
not identified



above: Steffano Webb's Christchurch Studio
not identified



 above - unidentified women by
Steffano Webb's Timaru Studio


Catherine Rita May Bolitho,
photographed by Steffano Webb, Timaru in 1929.



The wedding of Catherine Rita May Bolitho to Sidney Clarence Gudsell
photographed by Steffano Webb, Timaru on 23 January 1931.
Pictured from left, James Ivan Nicholls Bolitho, Agnes Elizabeth Scott (later Dale), Sidney Clarence Gudsell, Catherine Rita May Bolitho and Janet Hall Bowie (later Sheridan).



Janet Ruby Lawrie Bolitho nee Oliver and William George Bolitho

photographed by Steffano Webb, Timaru.





not identified


inscribed "With Xmas love from Lilian"



Mrs and Mrs Austin?



not identified







above: Steffano Webb's Timaru Studio
Star Cricket Club - 1st Eleven
Winners Senior Competition and Bristol Cup 1933-4
Matches Played - 15, Won 8, Drawn 6, Lost 1.
back row: J. Holden, R. Judge, S. Williams, H. Fraser, (President), R. Seaton, R. Taylor, L. Wood.
front row: J. Rodgers, (Hon. Sec.), A. Shillito, N. Ede, V. Hahn*, (Captain), H. Button, (Vice-Captain), F. Smith, Dr. N. K. Cox. (Coach).
Absent G. Powell, R. Barlow.

*Victor Alexander Hahn was born on 19 October 1904 at 74 (or 14) Ruskin Street, Sydenham, Christchurch the son of Albert James Hahn and Jessie Robertson, he died about 1977.

News has been received in Wellington of the death of Mr. A. J. Hahn, an exmember of the first contingent which sailed from Wellington for South Africa on 21st October, 1899. The late Mr. Hahn, whose home was at Fairfield avenue, Addington, Christchurch, served in all the engagements in which the contingent was prominent, and was very popular with his comrades. Latterly he had not enjoyed very good health.
Evening Post, Volume CXII, Issue 36, 11 August 1926, Page 13.

 

Known studio locations:
1906 and 1907 - Webb S. F. P., Colombo street, Christchurch
The New Zealand Post Office Directory (Wise's) for 1906 and 1907

1906 -
Webb Steffano F. P., 215A Colombo Street, Christchurch

Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory 1906
1908 and 1909 -
Webb & Bunz, Gloucester street, Christchurch

The New Zealand Post Office Directory (Wise's) for 1908 and 1909
1910, 1911 and 1912 - Webb Steffano, Gloucester street, Christchurch

The New Zealand Post Office Directory (Wise's) for 1910, 1911 and 1912.

1913 -
Webb Steffano, 252a High street, Christchurch

Petersen's Building, 252 High Street, Christchurch
The New Zealand Post Office Directory (Wise's) for 1913

1914 -
Webb Steffano F., 252 High Street, Christchurch

Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory April 1914

1922 -
Webb, Steffano, 252 High Street phone 1989

Christchurch Telephone Directory 19221924, 1928 and 1929 - Webb Steffano F., 252 High Street, Christchurch
Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory 1924, 1928 and 1929

1930 -
Webb Steffano F., 252 High Street Christchurch & Oxford Bldgs George Street, Timaru

Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory 19301934 and 1936 - Webb Steffano F., 252 High Street Christchurch & George Street, Timaru
Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory 1934 and 19361939, 1940, 1941 and 1943 - Webb Steffano, 246 High Street, Christchurch & George Street, Timaru
Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1943
1946, 1947, 1948 and 1950 -
Webb Steffano F., 252 High Street, Christchurch & George Street, Timaru

Stone's Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland Directory

from 1951 R. A. Ayton was operating from 252 High Street, until 1957 when Steffano Webb is again shown at this address. In 1962 Ikophoto Studio was at this address.





2 comments:

Kiwisteven said...

Another great article full of wonderful research from many different sources. I especially liked the images of the studio frontage.

Cathie said...

The name Steffano Paulovitch comes from the husband of Henry Richard Webb's aunt Ephrath, who was the sister of Webb's mother Susanna and also the sister of John Rickards. Ephrath Rickards married Stephano Paulovich in London in 1810 and two of her sons came to Australia in 1837 to join her brother John Rickards and sister Susannah Webb who had arrived in 1828. One of these sons was Robert Hector Paulovich. Therefore, he and Henry Richard Webb were first cousins and John Rickards senior was their uncle. However, John Rickards Jun is more likely to have been the one who provided the reference as John Rickards sen returned to the UK and his son was in charge of the business during the 1850s and 1860s.