FLETCHER, Alexander

Alexander Fletcherborn 1837 Scotland - died before 1915
Nelson Photographic Rooms
succeeded by Thomas Henry Bannehr, September 1870.
Alexander Fletcher was born on 10 November 1837 in Macduff, Banffshire, Scotland the son of Neil Fletcher and Janet Fletcher nee Black. He was baptised 8 December 1837 at Gamrie, Banffshire. Following his father's death his mother married Donald McDonald, a railway labourer.

The 1841 census shows Alexander Fletcher then aged 4 years at Duff Street, Gamrie. In 1851 he was living with his then remarried mother at 2 Barnets Close, Aberdeen, he was then aged 12 years. In 1861 the census shows him at 5 Drums Lane, Aberdeen, he was then aged 23 years his occupation is shown as an engine smith. His step-father, Donald McDonald is shown as a roading contractor.source: IGI and Scotland census 1841,1851 and 1861

He arrived in Nelson, New Zealand on 25 October 1861 as a second cabin passenger with his mother and step-father on the ship Gladiator from London.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XX, 26 October 1861, Page 2

His step-father, Donald McDonald died at his residence, Upper Collingwood Street, Nelson on 6 April 1893 aged 83 years.
Colonist, Volume XXXVI, Issue 7606, 17 April 1893, Page 3

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XX, Issue 100, 20 November 1861, Page 2


Nelson Products for the International Exhibition.
On Monday last the articles intended to be forwarded to England, for the great International Exhibition of 1862, were exhibited at the Government Buildings, and attracted a great many visitors. There were several things displayed in the Hall, which, unpretending in the extreme, may yet be regarded as of vital importance to the future welfare and prosperity of Nelson...

Lastly, there were some photographic views of our town, its principal buildings, and the surrounding scenery, all very creditable productions; these were from panoramic views, taken by Davis and Hoby, from the hill near the Market-place, and from the hill behind the gaol; by Oxley and Parmenter, taken from the Church-hill; and by Fletcher, taken from the hill near the Botanical Gardens. Prizes were awarded to these three exhibitors, £15 to Messrs. Davis and Hoby, £12 to Messrs. Oxley and Parmenter, and £6 to Mr. Fletcher; these will all be sent home.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XX, Issue 106, 11 December 1861, Page 2

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XX, 14 December 1861, Page 4
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXI, Issue 12, 8 February 1862, Page 4
(repeated until 12 March 1862)

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXI, Issue 26, 26 March 1862, Page 2


Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume 117, Issue 117, 19 November 1863, Page 1

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIII, Issue 135, 31 December 1863, Page 4

Photography. — We recently noticed the first of a series of photographic views of Nelson, executed by Mr. Fletcher, of Hardy-street, and we have since inspected three others, taken from different points of view, which, together, form a complete picture of our city and its environs.

Two of these pictures were taken just without the city, above the Suburban-north road, and, joined together, embrace the whole view from the Lighthouse nearly to the mouth of Brook-street Valley. The left hand view of these two forms a most beautiful picture, showing as it does, all the most picturesque features of Nelson to the best advantage. The Government Buildings, the English Church standing amidst a plantation of trees, the College, and most of the prominent buildings in our town are distinctly visible, whilst rising above the hills which form, what painters term the "middle distance" of the picture, are seen towering in majestic grandeur, the snow-capped ranges which overlook the West Coast of the island, at a distance of from fifty to sixty miles from Nelson.

In no climate with a less pure atmosphere could the photographist get the details of mountains so distant ; yet in the pictures executed by Mr. Fletcher, the snow line of these mountains, so far removed from the scene of his operations, is marked with great distinctness. The view taken from the hill above the Salt-water Bridge is another exquisite picture, giving almost the reverse view of those to which we have already referred, and showing clearly the track of the Dun Mountain railway, as it winds up the sides of the "fringed hill." These views have been taken within the last two or three weeks, and, therefore, in the depth of our New Zealand winter, when our trees and our gardens show to least advantage. At first we were inclined to blame Mr. Fletcher for not having selected a more favourable season of the year in which to take his views, but we are inclined to think that he has done rightly, for had he waited until Spring had pranked out the trees and bushes in all their bravery, half the buildings in the city would have been hidden from view by the foliage. Mr. Fletcher has several views of separate portions of our city, which also possess great interest, and we may fairly congratulate him on the successful manner in which he has surmounted the manifold difficulties of his art.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXVII, Issue 91, 30 July 1864, Page 3

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXVII, Issue 89, 26 July 1864, Page 4

In the 1864 Exhibition of the Photographic Society of Scotland in Edinburgh a photograph titled "View in New Zealand, Snowy Peaks, forty miles distant" was exhibited, the photographer is not listed but may be Alexander Fletcher. Exhibit number 349.

The contributions from this province to the New Zealand Exhibition, which is to be opened during the first week in January, will leave Nelson to-day, by the Airedale, for their destination at Dunedin... Not the least noteworthy item amongst the articles to be forwarded for exhibition to Dunedin is a collection of nearly fifty photographic views of the city, and of the principal points of interest in its vicinity, taken by Mr. Fletcher, of Nelson, which will serve admirably to convey some idea of the natural beauties by which we are surrounded.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIII, Issue 150, 12 December 1864, Page 5

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIII, Issue 153, 20 December 1864, Page 2


Photography.— We gather from the scientific journals which reached us by the last mail, that a great advance has been recently made in this marvellous art. Photographs, by any process, now used fade. A German named Wothly, has, however, discovered one which gives exquisite pictures that do not fade. At least water, sun, and wind have no effect upon them, and it only remains to discover what injury time may effect. The process has been purchased and patented by a company, headed by Colonel Stuart Wortley, who, himself perhaps the best among amateur photographers, quite believes in the invention. Should it realize all the expectations formed of it, it will remain only to fix colour to bring the art to perfection.

We understand that Mr. Fletcher, of Hardy-street, to whose exquisite photographic productions we have frequently called attention, is in correspondence with the Colonel with a view to obtain an extension of this patent to the colony of New Zealand.

Apropos to this subject we may state, for the information of those of our readers who may contemplate sending home any souvenirs of Nelson by the next mail, that Mr. Fletcher has just produced a very beautiful panoramic view, twenty-two inches by ten, of the whole of our city. The view is taken from the Port hill, and, with the single exception of the College, embraces every object of interest in Nelson. The view is, undoubtedly, one of Mr. Fletcher's happiest efforts, and is admirably calculated to display the goodly proportions of our fair city. The remarkably central (?) position occupied by the new Post Office in the landscape, it not one of its least striking and interesting feature to a Nelsonian.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIV, Issue 4, 10 January 1865, Page 2

Nelson at the New Zealand Exhibition.
The contributions from Nelson to the Exhibition are well worthy of attention. They show the resources of that province to be considerable, and the enterprise of its public men to be of great praise...Mr. A. Fletcher contributes a great number of photographic views of Nelson and its neighbourhood, which are admirable as works of art, and interesting to the stranger as containing sketches of some most delightful scenery.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXIV, 23 March 1865, Page 3 

New Zealand Exhibition
The Otago Daily Times of June 5, has a list of the honorary certificates awarded by the Juries to Exhibitors. This list, we are told, is not complete, as further awards have to be made. The following exhibitors from this province will receive certificates ...

Fletcher, A. — Photographs of Nelson scenery
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIV, Issue 72, 15 June 1865, Page 3

We have inspected a very interesting group of photographic portraits of his Honor the Superintendent and the Speaker and Members of the Provincial Council, which have lately been taken at Mr Fletcher's studio in Hardy-street by Mr Bloch. The portrait of the Superintendent, surmounting a view of the Provincial Buildings, occupies the centre of the group, round which are arranged the different members of the Council, diverging, in the same order in which they are seated during the session, from the Speaker, whose portrait forms the apex of the group. The Clerk and Deputy-Clerk of the Council are also very properly included in this "presentment" of the 'patres conscripti' of the province, and all the portraits, with perhaps only two or three exceptions, are most admirable likenesses. The group forms a very acceptable souvenir of the session of 1867, which, doubtless, many will desire to possess.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume II, Issue 198, 24 August 1867, Page 2

Amongst a large variety of objects of art which Mr A. Fletcher has brought with him from Europe, and which we understand will be very largely supplemented on the arrival of the Queen Bee in January next, are two exquisite chromolithographic facsimiles of the famous cartoons of Raffaelle, which have thus been reproduced by Mr W. J. Day, of Cockspur-street, for the first publication of the 'Extraordinary Art Union,' from the engravings made by the late Thomas Holloway. It may not be amiss to remind our readers that these celebrated pictures consist of seven grand designs drawn with chalk upon strong paper and colored in distemper, in order that tapestries might be worked from them for the Sistine Chapel at Rome; that the cartoons were purchased by Charles I. by the advice of Rubens; and after remaining in a gallery built purposely for their reception at Hampton Court Palace, they have lately been transferred to the South Kensington Museum, pending the erection of a suitable receptacle for them in connection with the National Gallery. Each of these chromo-lithographs has been faithfully colored from the original cartoons, and the result is a perfect facsimile of these magnificent compositions, which have always been ranked amongst the most marvellous creations of the greatest master of ancient or modern times. The present series will consist of seven chromo-lithographs, each 28in. by 18, on mount 38 by 25, for the wonderfully moderate price of one guinea and a half. Mr Fletcher has been appointed sole agent for the sale of these beautiful specimens of art for New Zealand, and we cannot doubt that very many will avail themselves of his intervention to obtain these wondrous reproductions of the choicest works of the great masters at so small a cost.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume II, 29 November 1867, Page 2

Fine Arts.— Mr. A. Fletcher, of the Nelson Photographic Rooms, while on his late visit to Europe purchased a number of very beautiful cromo-lithographs, photographs of highly-prized engravings, bronze figures, porcelain vases, and other works of art, which are now being landed from the Queen Bee. Mr. Fletcher intends, as soon as the cases are unpacked, to exhibit the whole in one of the rooms of the Institute. From what we have seen of the contents of one or two of these cases, the collection will be well worthy of inspection, and the prices asked for the various articles appear exceedingly moderate.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXVII, Issue 7, 16 January 1868, Page 3

We had the satisfaction this morning of inspecting the Solar Camera now in operation at Mr. Fletcher's photographic studio in Hardy-street. This is the instrument invented by Dr Monkhoven, and is very considerably more powerful than that invented by Woodward, the American. The machine is a very simple one; a mirror in the shape of a parallelogram, moved by machinery so as to enable it to follow the motion of the sun, throws a bundle of rays through an immense condenser. The condenser collects the light, and transmits it through the negative or cliche, as it is termed, from whence the rays are dispersed by a small lens, and thrown on a sheet of prepared paper. The pictures produced by this instrument, up to full life size, are so clear and accurate as the small photograph from which they are taken, and the value of this discovery, especially as a means of obtaining life-like portraits of friends living, as well as dead, can hardly be estimated, whilst the moderate cost places it within everyone's reach.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume III, Issue 39, 17 February 1868, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume III, Issue 237, 6 October 1868, Page 2

Photographs for the Prince.— During the stay of the Duke of Edinburgh in Nelson, a collection of photographs of Nelson scenery was presented to him by Mr A. Fletcher, photographic artist, who received the following letter of thanks from the Duke's private secretary. "Panama House, April 19, 1869. Sir, — I am desired by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, to express to you His Royal Highness's sincere thanks for the beautiful photographs of Nelson. They will ever be a pleasing recollection of H.R.H's visit to this town. I am, &c, E. C. Yorke."
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume IV, Issue 94, 23 April 1869, Page 2

Dinner to Mr. Fletcher.— A farewell dinner was given to Mr. Fletcher, prior to his departure for Melbourne, at M'Gee's hotel last night, Mr. Pollock in the chair. The toast of the evening was proposed by Dr. Irvine, who had arrived in Nelson that day on his way to Auckland, and was feelingly responded to by Mr. Fletcher. The dinner was excellent, and a most pleasant evening was spent by the large number of gentlemen, who had assembled for the purpose of bidding farewell to their guest.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume V, Issue 202, 27 August 1870, Page 2

Valedictory Dinner. — Last evening a complimentary dinner was given in the Nelson Hotel (Mr. M'Gee'e) to Mr. Alexander Fletcher, photographer, who is about to leave Nelson after a residence of a considerable number of years, during which time he has obtained the regard of a large number of friends. A numerous party assembled, representing various classes, which was presided over by Mr. Pollock, J.P. Dr. Irvine, who yesterday returned to Nelson on his way to Auckland, as a countryman of the guest of the evening, was appointed to propose the toast of Mr. Fletcher's health and prosperity, which he did in graceful terms, dwelling on his ability as an artist, and the honours which in that capacity he had obtained in the Dunedin and Melbourne Exhibitions, and also on the general ability in other respects which Mr. Fletcher exhibited. The toast was very warmly received, and Mr. Fletcher feelingly responded. A very pleasant evening was spent, and Mr. Fletcher had evidence of the good wishes which he carries with him from Nelson.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle,
Volume XXIX, Issue 69, 27 August 1870, Page 2

Wellington Independent , 27 August 1870, Page 3

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume V, Issue 207, 2 September 1870, Page 3

FLETCHER.- On the 28th July, at the Old Colonist's Home, Rushall crescent, North Fitzroy, Catherine Reid, wife of the late Alexander Fletcher, beloved mother of Harry, Lewis, George, Janet, and Catherine, aged 65 years. At rest.
The Argus (Melbourne), Friday 30 July 1915, page 1

above - a CDV by Alexander Fletcher, reverse shows -

New Zealand Exhibition
(Juror's report)
The pictures by A. Fletcher of Nelson are without doubt the finest productions in the Exhibition.
Intercolonial Exhibition Melbourne
Honorable Mention. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a great grand child of Alexander Fletcher I wish to thank you for the information you have shared with the world. One thing that always amazes me. Alexander was a photographer and later a fine atrs dealer but there is no extant photograph or painting of him apart from some caricature drawings in a Melbourne newspaper.
Nigel Boundy
Western Australia