Wrigglesworth & Binns - part one Wellington

Part one - Wrigglesworth & Binns, Wellington.

Part two - Wrigglesworth & Binns, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin.
Frederick Charles Binns

from February 1874

Messrs Wrigglesworth and Binns' new photographic rooms, opposite the Empire Hotel in Willis street, have now been completed, and they may be safely classed as the best and most complete in the Colony. Visitors from Auckland and Dunedin have admitted that they are superior to any in either of those cities. The additional accommodation and the improved arrangement of the premises will enable photographs to be completed more rapidly than in the old establishment. The comfort of sitters has been attended to, and a pretty little room has been fitted up for the ladies. The reception or waiting-room has been tastefully furnished and decorated. A solar camera has just been fitted up, and very shortly the firm will be able to enlarge photographs from carte de visite to life size. Previously there has not been a solar camera here, and it may be anticipated that people who have in their possession photographs, on a small scale, of friends and relations will be glad to be able to have them enlarged and colored, so that they may possess what resembles with great exactness a well-finished life-sized portrait in oils. The photographs from this studio have long been favorably known, and the proprietors appear determined to keep up the good name they have earned.
Wellington Independent, Volume XXIX, Issue 4023, 10 February 1874

A New Photographic Process.
A number of gentlemen met at Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns studio yesterday afternoon to inspect a collection of photographs produced by a new process, patented by the firm, and known as the Matt-Opal type. The portraits ranged in size from panel to carte, and were for the most part those of well-known ladies and gentlemen in the city.

The peculiarity of the new process is that it gives to the ordinary albumenised silver photographic prints, a smooth, unpolished engraved-like surface. This is quite a new departure in regard to albumenised prints, as previous developments have been in the direction of increasing the polished or glazed surface, resulting with the aid of hot pressing, varnish and enamel, in a rather staring, garish picture, which is certainly not artistic, although photographers declare the effect is to bring out the detail, preserve the photograph, &c. Undoubtedly the detail is sometimes rather painfully brought out, and the mark of the "retoucher" becomes unduly apparent.

If the public like the pictures produced by the means we have named, and others of a kindred type, it is because they have hitherto seen nothing better, but we venture to say that glazed and enamelled pictures will not for a moment bear comparison with those produced by tho Matt-Opal process.

After the usual style of thing, the eye rests gratefully on such portraits as those shown by Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns yesterday. They have all the softness and delicacy of a well-executed Indian ink drawing. There is no glaze, they are tender and delicate in outline, the shadows are cool and soft, and the lights calm and tranquil. The general effect is really charming, and the merits of the process are enhanced by the highly artistic posing of the subjects, for which this firm is noted. The portraits are one and all most life-like, and the work stands even microscopic examination. We are quite sure the Matt-Opal type will commend itself to public approval as a most decided improvement on all other methods of silver printing, and we believe the cost will be very slightly, if at all, greater. The new pictures are to be on public view in the vestibule of Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns' studio to-morrow. We hope tho firm, will achieve as great a commercial success as they have an artistic one, in connection with this new process.

Evening Post, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 113, 8 November 1889, Page 2

The artistic side of photography has had special attention devoted to it within recent years, and the studio of Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns has always borne evidence of the progressive movement.

Among the latest mechanical aids to the art has been the setting up of a series of backgrounds of a kind which have been used in the studios of the Old World and America with most satisfactory results as regards the turning of the photograph into a picture.

Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns have recently received a series of cloths which bear the signature of Seavey, of New York, who is a well-known American scenic artist. These cloths greatly enhance the artistic effect and finish of the work done by the firm, the backgrounds including seascapes, interiors, Rembrandt-like effects in portraiture, and interiors. Some new chairs placed in the studio will tend to lighten the task of posing for portraits.

Very fine bromide photographic work has recently been done by the firm, an exhibition of which is to be given in the vestibule in Willis-street shortly. The vestibule itself is being renovated, the decorative colour being changed from pink to green, and when this is completed and the pictures are arranged for exhibition the display should attract attention.

Evening Post, Volume LVII, Issue 71, 25 March 1899, Page 4


A New Photographic Studio.
Many of our readers will regard, as important information, the fact that Messrs Wrigglesworth and Binns' new photographic studio in Willis street, Wellington, will be ready for business early in October. With the destruction by fire of their old premises, some months ago, passed away about the finest collection of finished pictures and negatives it is possible to produce by photography, and numerous residents of the Province have cause to regret the loss. The new premises are being fitted up in the very best style; no expense is being spared in providing instruments, furniture, and accessories, therefore it is safe to predict that before long this firm will have an exhibition of pictures in their vestibule unsurpassed by those which have been burnt. Messrs Wrigglesworth and Binns are noted throughout New Zealand for the beauty and originality of their photographs, which are characteristic of striking pose, splendid likeness, and dainty finish, and to those who possess them there is genuine satisfaction in knowing that the colouring will last for all time. Mr J. D. Wrigglesworth will, as before, have personal superintendence and control of the Wellington studio, so that patrons may rest assured of the production of interesting, beautiful and striking photographs. In another column is a preliminary notification; the exact date of the opening of the new studio, will be given in a future issue.

Feilding Star, Volume XXIII, Issue 75, 24 September 1901, Page 2


City Improvements.
Wrigglesworth and Binn's New Studio.
The photographic business of Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns has more than a local reputation. The firm's work is to be seen in homes and offices and public places throughout the colony, and not a few people have in years part taken advantage of a visit to Wellington to "have a sitting" in the well-known Willis-street studio.

The unfortunate fire of some months ago not only caused the destruction of thousands of valuable negatives, but temporarily banished the firm from the place where its operation had been carried on so successfully and for so many years. But there has now risen upon the site a bigger, brighter, and better building than that of old. The new studio of the firm is located in premises which immediately catch the eye of the person who passes along Willis-street. The three-story, substantial looking building has been neatly designed by Mr. W. C. Chatfield, and well and truly built by Messrs. J. and A. Wilson. But it is upon the interior of the building that taste has been lavished by Mr. Wrigglesworth, the design having been carried out excellently by Messrs. R. and E. Tingey. The colouring on walls and ceilings is in harmony with an artistic scheme of furnishing; and embossed zinc, which has been used for the covering of the walls and ceilings, has been effectively toned and decorated.

Upon the first floor, the main business of the firm is to be done, and this is approached from the street front by a stairway of easy grade, flanked by such a fine collection of photographs as makes the visitor pause often in the upward journey to scrutinise the individual exhibits.

Overlooking busy Willis-street is one of the handsomest of reception-rooms, furnished with the upmost good taste, with a beautifully painted ceiling, and containing so many attractive objects as to make it a pleasure to wait within such a bower. There will be no complaints from patrons about weariness of waiting amidst surroundings so agreeable.

Off the reception-room is the public office, which is the centre of a house-telephone system, and which also contains a lift communicating with the work-rooms above. The office has a store-room attached, and alongside, is a dressing-room which ladies will declare to be "a dream," so tasteful is its decorative scheme of geranium pink, and its pretty furnishings. Approaching the studio, the visitor passes a dressing-room for gentlemen, containing, like all the other room's, a neatly-set gas-stove, to warm wintry temperature, and a lavatory for the use of patrons.

Then comes the studio, commodious, well-lighted, conveniently arranged. With an area of 40ft x 20ft, it gives facilities for the taking of the largest of groups, and is equipped with the most modern aids to the photographer's art. Mr. Wrigglesworth has secured a series of backgrounds specially painted to suit the gallery, which has an elaborate system of shades for regulating the lighting. Off the studios are the changing-room and the dark-room, the latter being lighted by both gas and electric light.

On the second floor are located the workroom, and what may be termed the hive of the industry. In the eastern corner of the floor, Mr. Wrigglesworth has his "snuggery," which is cosy and comfortable-looking. Adjoining are separate rooms for the re-touchers and the artists, the toning, fixing, enamelling, mounting, and burnishing rooms; also storerooms for chemicals, etc. The enlargement department of the firm's business has become one of the first importance, and a commodious room has been set apart for this work. Off this room access is obtained to the fire-escape, and the whole floor is well equipped with lighting and sanitary appliances.

Up another flight of stairs, and the visitor comes to the "printery," a room specially designed to catch the sun in its various aspects, and with ample provision for its purpose. As an adjunct, there is a balcony, overlooking the back-door of Willis-street." Altogether, Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns's new premises may be classed as among the most up-to-date, and, in some respects, the best-equipped of the colony's photographic establishments, and they should attract many visitors.

Evening Post, Volume LXII, Issue 97, 21 October 1901, Page 6

Wrigglesworth and Binns (J. D. Wrigglesworth and F. C. Binns) Photographers, Willis Street, Wellington, and at Christchurch and Dunedin. Telephone 161. Bankers, Bank of Australasia, Private residences: Mr. Wrigglesworth, Upper Dixon Street; Mr. Binns, Christchurch. London agents: Messrs. Mawson and Swan.

The business of this celebrated firm of photographers was established in 1863 and was carried on by its originator, Mr. Wrigglesworth, until 1871, when he was joined by Mr. Binns. Their premises are large and of good appearance, being five stories high, and possessing a floorage space of something like 10,000 square feet. Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns have always maintained a very high excellence in all their work, and in 1879 gained first award at the Sydney exhibition. Again in 1881, they were similarly successful at Melbourne, and at the New Zealand exhibition of 1885 they carried off the only first award given in New Zealand for portrait photography. Though they have at various times done a good deal in the landscape branch, their efforts have been mainly devoted to the production of high-class portraits. The firm are patentees of the process which has become so well known under the name of the “Matt-Opal Type Process,” which gives a most delicate finish to the work. The perfecting of this process did much towards keeping the firm in the very foremost ranks of Australasian photographers. The newest speciality in their work is the “Mona” portrait, which is a bromide enlargement upon a new principle, giving to the picture very much the appearance of a direct photograph, though there is a softness and delicacy of tint far surpassing the very finest direct prints by the process which science has so far revealed to us. Messrs. Wrigglesworth and Binns are producing these works of art at a price which places them within the reach of all, and at exceptionally low rates for so fine and costly a process as the “Mona” is known to be. The Wellington business is personally superintended by Mr. Wrigglesworth; that at Christchurch by Mr. Binns; and the Dunedin branch, which is conducted under the name of Eden George, Limited, is in the charge of an experienced manager. This is a firm to be thoroughly and unreservedly recommended. Their trade extends throughout the length and breadth of the Colony and even beyond, while tourists and others passing through the Empire City invariably take away with them a specimen of the work which New Zealand is capable of producing at the hands of Wrigglesworth and Binns.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand - Wellington Provincial District 1897


Evening Post, Volume LXIX, Issue 4, 6 January 1905, Page 7


Following the closure of the Wellington business in 1905 the whole of the negatives were purchased by J. N. Isaacs, Victoria Studio, Manners Street, Wellington who then offered copies to the original sitters.


above - "J Mullan"

above and below
Hugh MacDonald, 1879

[looks similar to James Fulton]

The Honourable George Frederick Richardson
 (1837 – 23 October 1909)
by Wrigglesworth and Binns, Wellington
He was Minister of Lands (8 October 1887 – 24 January 1891), Minister of Mines (8 October 1887 – 17 October 1889), Minister of Immigration (8 October 1887 – 24 January 1891) and Minister of Agriculture (17 October 1889 – 24 January 1891) in the 5th Atkinson Ministry.
He died at his residence in Tinakori Road, Wellington on 23 October 1909 and was buried at Karori Cemetery

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