Gaul's Portrait Rooms

John Gaul
(born circa 1831 - died 27 November 1876)

Jan 1870 - at W. H. PERKINS, London Portrait Rooms, Hokitika. 

Feb 1871 - September 1871 - Mawhera Quay, Greymouth
October 1871 to November 1876 - Colombo Street, Christchurch.

Family Information
John Gaul was born in Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland about 1831 the son of John Gaul, a brewer and his wife Ann nee Mackintoch (MacIntoch/McIntosh). The 1851 census shows him living with his parents at the Mill of Baniff, he was then aged 20 years and employed as a cabinet maker.(3)

He married firstly at Baniff on 8 May 1857 to Jessie Gossip the daughter of James Gossip, a stoneware merchant and Barbara nee Hay. A son Joseph Gaul was born 4 April 1858 at Baniff. The family arrived in Melbourne sometime before 1860 when a second son James Alexander Gaul was born (reg. 13056); this child died in 1862, a third son James Gossip Gaul was born in 1862 (reg.7694) and a daughter Ann McIntoch Gaul was born in 1865 (reg. 15207). His wife Jessie Gaul died in July 1867 leaving three surviving children. 

He married secondly aged 37 to Margaret Dillon on 25 July 1868 at 55 Webb Street, Fitzroy according to the rites of the Baptist Church. His wife was born about 1847 in "Kintuckey" County Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of Michael Dillon, a farmer and Ellen nee Ryan. John Gaul was a photographer living in Regent Street, Fitzroy at this time. Witnesses to the marriage was Alexander Gaul and Jessie Gaul. From this second marriage he had a daughter Jessie Mary Margaret Gaul born 1868 (reg. 22710) in Melbourne (married John Bagley in 1889) and sons Aloysius Anwell Gaul born about 1872, John Gaul born about 1873, Joseph George Gaul born 1875 and a daughter Ellen Gaul born November 1876 (married Richard William Walker). Following John Gaul's death in 1876 his widow married Michael Mahony or Mahoney on 12 April 1880 at the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch, she was at this time a boarding house keeper. Her second husband died in 1894 and she married John McGrath on 5 October 1897 also at the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch. 


John Gaul - a professional photographer, was taking photographs in Melbourne in the 1860s. In 1863 he worked from his home, 2 Market Street, Emerald Hill (now South Melbourne), but he had established a separate studio at 77 Swanston Street by 1866. Gaul received a medal for his untouched portrait photographs at the 1866 Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition. During 1867 he expanded into the building next door and remained at 75-77 Swanston Street until 1869. In 1868-69 he made Frederick Alexander Dunn a partner, but by 1870 was on his own again, at 7 Bourke Street, Melbourne - Dictionary of Australian Artists Online


Gaul and Dunn
[John Gaul and Frederick Alexander Dunn]

above - a carte de visite by Gaul & Dunn, 75 & 77 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
The State Library of Victoria has a copy of this portrait.

New Zealand


(He may be the John and Mrs Gall that departed Melbourne in Dec 1869 on the ship "Mary" and arrived at Westport on 17 Dec 1869.
Index to Outward Passengers to Interstate, UK, NZ and Foreign Ports 1852-1896, Public Record Office of Victoria and West Coast Times, Issue 1323, 18 December 1869, Page 2)

We have much pleasure in noticing the arrival here of Mr Gaul, a photographic artist of some celebrity. Mr Gaul has taken up his quarters at the studio of Mr Perkins, in Revell street, (Hokitika) the light, and other arrangements at this studio being more perfect than any other in town, enabling portraits to be taken in a first-class style at almost any hour of the day. Mr Gaul was a prize medallist at the last Melbourne Exhibition. 

West Coast Times, Issue 1354, 26 January 1870, Page 2

Mr Gaul,
 Photographic Artist, from Melbourne,
(Prize Medallist,). Those desirous of securing First-class Photographs are requested to pay an early visit, as Mr Gaul's stay will be limited. W. H. Perkins, London Portrait Rooms.

Finding Mr. Perkins' Studio the best adapted for my work, and it also being the best one in town, I shall be prepared to execute first-class Carte de Visite and Cabinet Portraits, &c, &c.
John Gaul, of Melbourne,
London Portrait Rooms, Hokitika.
West Coast Times, Issue 1353, 25 January 1870, Page 3

New Zealand
1870- 1871

Grey River Argus, Volume X, Issue 766, 15 December 1870, Page 2

 Grey River Argus, Volume X, Issue 767, 17 December 1870, Page 4

Mr J. Gaul, Photographer, Artist and Prize Medalist, from Melbourne, begs to state that— induced by the large share of patronage he has received, and for which he returns his grateful thanks - he will prolong his residence in Greymouth. His Studio is still the one expressly erected for him next to Mr. H. Williams's Medical Hall, Mawhera Quay.
Grey River Argus, Volume X, Issue 798, 16 February 1871, Page 3

 Grey River Argus, Volume XI, Issue 886, 30 May 1871, Page 2

Grey River Argus, Volume XI, Issue 896, 10 June 1871, Page 3

Grey River Argus, Volume XI, Issue 982, 19 September 1871, Page 3


New Zealand

Star, Issue 1153, 27 October 1871, Page 1

Saturday, 16th March,
At 12. o'clock.
Sake of Property,
by Order of the Mortgagee,
Under power of Sale.
Nancarrow, Henderson, & CO, favored with instructions, will sell by public auction, on the premises, on Saturday, the 16th instant, at 12 o'clock noon -
All that piece of Land being part of allotment No. 259, Native Reserve, Greymouth, having a front age to Hospital street of 50 links, by a depth of 150 links, together with the substantially-built Cottage thereon, only recently erected by Mr John Gaul, photographer. Terms at Sale.

Grey River Argus, Volume XII, Issue 1132, 14 March 1872, Page 3

Star, Issue 1303, 29 April 1872, Page 2

Mr. Gaul, the well-known photographer of Colombo street, has just finished a group of photographs of those of the colonial representatives who fired at the recent meeting in the match between North and South. The group contains twenty photographs, including representatives from various parts of the colony — eight from Otago, three from Wellington, five from Auckland, one from Taranaki, one from Canterbury, one from Marlborough, and one from the Armed Constabulary Force of the North Island. The photographs have been very tastefully arranged on a large ornamental card, Captain Wales, the New Zealand champion, occupying the centre position. The card is surmounted by the New Zealand coat of arms, the crown and cross-rifle, and a scroll setting forth the number of points obtained collectively by the Northern and Southern representatives. The name and province is given under each of the competitors, and a souveneir (sic) of the first Colonial Prize Firing in this province, the picture is particularly interesting. The admirable manner in which the order has been executed by Mr. Gaul reflects the highest credit on that gentleman, and shows to what a state of perfection the art of photography has attained in this city. It is his intention to reduce the group into carte size, so that the general public may procure copies at a reasonable cost. - Lyttelton Times. 

Evening Post, Volume VIII, Issue 80, 4 May 1872, Page 2.

We understand that Mr Gaul, photographer, has received a commission to execute large size photographs of all the former chairmen of the City Council, and also the Mayors who have filled that office since the establishment of Municipal Institutions, and that the portraits, when completed, will be placed in the City Council Chamber. Mr Gaul has also been entrusted with the preparation of the large frame of portraits, comprising the Mayor, City Councillors, and officers of the Council, which it is the annual custom to have taken. From Mr Gaul's high professional reputation, no doubt these pictures will be worthy of the occasion.
Press, Volume XX, Issue 2922, 12 September 1872, Page 2

Our readers will remember that, in a late issue, we stated that Mr Gaul, photographer, had been entrusted with the task of preparing the annual group of the civic dignitaries of Christchurch, which it has been the custom to have done as a memento of their year of office. It is now finished, and as a work of art is well worthy inspection. The portraits themselves possess softness and tone rarely to be met with in photographs in the colonies, and there is about them a finish which reflects the highest credit upon the artistic skill and taste of Mr Gaul. The portraits are placed in a circle, his Worship the Mayor (Mr H. Sawtell) forming the centre, each portrait being encircled by a broad ribbon of dead gold, which forms a very pretty relief to the white surface of the mounting.

At the top in a scroll, is the words "Christchurch City Council, 1872," the capital letters being gold, and the remainder purple, whilst in the centre is a very well executed facsimile of the arms of the city comprising a shield, with a view of the tunnel, having below the emblems of commerce and agriculture. Round the outside edge of the mounting runs a broad rim of gold, with arabesque corners, the whole being enclosed, in a massive gilt frame, having a very pretty effect.

At the bottom in a line, are the portraits of the Town Clerk (Mr G. Gordon), the City Solicitor (Dr Foster), and the City Surveyor (Mr C. Cuff). The name of each councillor is appended at the foot of each portrait, on an ornamental scroll. The picture, will form a very interesting souvenir of the City Council for the year, and is markedly superior in finish to those preceding it.

While on the subject of art, we may notice that Mr Gaul has now on view at his studio a capital enlargement in oil from a photograph by Mr Gaul, executed by a local artist — Mr A. B. Cambridge — which is worth a visit. The colors are beautifully soft and true to nature, and in this, as in others of a similar kind which we have seen by the same gentleman, there is evidence of considerable artistic talent. Mr Gaul is also executing some large single portraits of the past chairman of the City Council, and Mayors, which, when finished, will form together with those now in the Council Chamber, a very interesting collection. In those already completed, Mr Gaul has been exceedingly successful in producing very pleasing pictures.

Press, Volume XX, Issue 2924, 14 September 1872, Page 2

Interprovincial Exhibition 1872 - Fine Arts.
73a. J. Gaul, Christchurch — Photographs, four frames, by exhibitor; highly commended.
74a. C. Martin, Christchurch — Three photographs, by exhibitor; highly commended.
75a. M'Cardell, Christchurch — Specimens of illuminating, three frames, by exhibitor; highly commended.
92a. F. Strouts — Maori fortifications, Ripa Island, by exhibitor; commended.
96a. Dr Hector — Sketch map of Province of Nelson, with drawings by Gully; highly commended.
98a. E. B. Sealey — Photographs, New Zealand scenery, fourteen frames, by exhibitor; 1st prize.
99a, W. T. L. Travers — New Zealand scenery in North Island — Lake Guyon and creek scenes, by exhibitor; 2nd prize.
D. L. Mundy — North Island scenery, forty six photographs; highly commended.
Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2317, 4 January 1873, Page 2

Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2494, 2 August 1873, Page 1

Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2548, 4 October 1873, Page 1

an unknown man photographed by John Gaul

A pamphlet is at present in course of publication by the Provincial Government of Canterbury, containing a variety of information with regard to that province. It is being published for circulation in the old country, so that intending immigrants will be supplied with information of an authoritative character, showing the resources of the province and the inducements it affords to those desirous of immigrating. In addition to the exhaustive information it will contain, the book will be illustrated, which is a new and commendable feature in publications of this kind. To effect this very desirable end, the Government have engaged the services of Mr Gaul, the well-known photographer, who is now busily employed in finishing a number of views which he has already taken for the book. Amongst others, there is an exceedingly comprehensive view of Lyttelton, its harbor and shipping, the Government Buildings, Christchurch (including an interior view of the Council chamber), the Provincial Hospital, the Railway Station, besides a number of views taken in Kaiapoi and other districts in the province. 
Grey River Argus, Volume XIII, Issue 1630, 25 October 1873, Page 2. 
[This publication was not illustrated, so the proposal to use photographs by John Gaul appears to have been canceled.] 

Canterbury Hand-Book.— It will be remembered that some short time back the Provincial Council voted a sum of money to be expended in the compilation of a Hand-Book of Canterbury, containing in addition to letter press descriptive of the features of the province, its social condition and the advantages it offered to the intending immigrant, photographic views of some of the principal parts of it. The work has just been completed, the photographs being mostly executed by Mr J. Gaul, of Christchurch, who has done his portion of the work in a thoroughly artistic manner. The views include the interior of the Provincial Council Chamber, the Hospital, two views of the Government Buildings — in one of which Mr Gaul has reproduced a charming little bit, combining water and foliage most successfully — the Railway Station, Christchurch, with the trains, &c. A capital view of part of the township of Kaiapoi, with the Swing bridge concludes Mr. Gaul's contributions to the work, the bridge over the Rangitata, and a view of the town of Timaru being the work of a Timaru gentleman. The letterpress comprises information on many subjects important to be known at home by intending colonists, and when circulated throughout the country at home, as is the intention of the Government to do, it will no doubt be the means of inducing many desirable colonists to come out and cast in their lot with us. There is, however, one noticeable omission in the arrangement of the book and that is that no reference is made to the accompanying views. Here, of course, they are well known, but persons at home getting hold of it will be puzzled to know what the various pictures refer to, there being no names appended, nor any remarks in the letterpress referring the reader specially to them.
Press, Volume XXII, Issue 2641, 23 January 1874, Page 2 

 Press, Volume XXII, Issue 2662, 17 February 1874, Page 1

At the 1874 Exhibition held in Christchurch, John Gaul received a Certificate of High Commendation for photography. 
The Star, Issue 1928, 9 May 1874, Page 2

The Star, Issue 1957, 13 June 1874, Page 1

Mr Sherlock, of Gaul's photograph establishment, Christchurch, has succeeded in turning out ten excellent views of West Coast road scenery, taken in the neighborhood of Power's accommodation house, It is Mr. Gaul's intention says the Lyttelton Times, to obtain views of the best portions of the scenery right through to Hokitika, and he will commence the tour early next month, taking with him all the necessary apparatus to enable him to carry out his project satisfactorily. 
West Coast Times, Issue 2890, 30 December 1874, Page 2

Press, Volume XXIII, Issue 2944, 27 January 1875, Page 2

Press, Volume XXV, Issue 3245, 25 January 1876, Page 2

Star, Issue 2499, 27 March 1876, Page 1
 In March 1876 John Gaul announced in The Star that he had purchased the photographic business of Henry Thomas Bowers in Canterbury Street, Lyttelton. 

Timaru Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 1482, 28 July 1876, Page 2

 Star, Issue 2628, 26 August 1876, Page 2

Supposed Suicide.- The Lyttelton Times of Tuesday says:- “Mr Gaul, photographer, Colombo street, died under somewhat peculiar circumstances yesterday morning. He had been in monetary difficulties for some time, and in talking to his assistant, Charles Parker, early in the morning, remarked that he could not see his way out of them, but he did not use any expression to induce the belief that he intended to commit suicide. A little time afterwards Parker saw him take something from his pocket and put it into his mouth, after which he sat down in a chair. Parker, being alarmed by Mr Gaul’s appearance, sent for medical assistance, and Drs Deamer and Doyle soon arrived, but death supervened before they could render any assistance. Deceased was unconscious when first noticed in the chair by his assistant, and remained so until he died, which was about 15 minutes afterwards. It is said that both medical men were of opinion death had resulted from poison. The body was removed by the police to the Hospital, where an inquest will be held at two o'clock this afternoon.
Timaru Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 1588, Wednesday 29 November 1876, Page 3

Charles Parker said at the inquest into John Gaul’s death that he had been employed as an assistant for the previous three years. John Gaul was married and had a least one son.(1)
He was buried in the Barbadoes Street Cemetery aged 42 years.(2)

Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3507, 1 December 1876, Page 3

 Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3513, 8 December 1876, Page 2

Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3517, 13 December 1876, Page 2

Timaru Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 1614, 30 December 1876, Page 3

Star, Issue 2771, 16 February 1877, Page 2

Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3627, 22 February 1877, Page 1

Star, Issue 2966, 4 October 1877, Page 2

Star, Issue 3361, 16 January 1879, Page 2

 Star, Issue 4045, 7 April 1881, Page 2

Star, Issue 4157, 17 August 1881, Page 2

Press, Volume XLIII, Issue 6479, 28 June 1886, Page 4

 Press, Volume LI, Issue 8912, 1 October 1894, Page 4

Wise's Directory for 1872-73 Gaul, J., Colombo Street,Christchurch
The Southern Provinces Almanac 1873 J. Gaul, Colombo Street
The Southern Provinces Almanac 1874 J. Gaul, Colombo Street
The Southern Provinces Almanac 1875 J. Gaul, Colombo Street
Wise's Directory for 1875-76 Gaul, J., Colombo Street, Christchurch
The Southern Provinces Almanac 1876 J. Gaul, Colombo Street
The Southern Provinces Almanac 1877 J. Gaul, Colombo Street 

William Ferrier 
Charles Parker

(1) Timaru Herald, Volume XXV, Issue 1589, 30 November 1876, Page 3
(2) Cemetery transcript 1950
(3) Parish: Banff; ED: 8; Page: 14; Line: 1; Roll: 1115; Year: 1851.



above - not identified, but similar in appearance to Captain Edward Louis Clogstoun.
Refer to Dr Alfred Barker's photograph of Captain Clogstoun and family, Canterbury Museum, accession number 1958.81.167




above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection


 Dr Donald Campbell - drowned with all his family in the wreck of the s.s. Tararua off Waipapa Point 29 April 1881
above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

Emily Nalder 1874
youngest daughter of G. W. Nalder, solicitor, Christchurch, married 15 April 1874 at St Luke's Church, Christchurch, Edward Denham, Deputy District Registrar of Land and Deeds, etc

Charlotte Fisher Nalder 1874

Henry Percy Nalder 1874
born circa 1868

Henry Percy Nalder taken September 1876
born circa 1868

"Arthur George Nalder 1874" 
born circa 1871

Mary Nalder 1874
born circa 1870

The ship "Varuna" arrived at Lyttelton on 27 May 1874 under Captain T. Y. Rowe.

Mr. W. H. Wilson


above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

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