English and Continental


English and Continental
Photographic Artists, Trafalgar Street, Nelson 
Theodor Thorlacius Bloch and William Brickell Gibbs

This studio, located next to the Masonic Hall in Trafalgar Street, Nelson, was opened by Theodor Thorlacius Bloch and William Brickell Gibbs on 1 February 1876. William Gibbs sold his interest in the studio to his partner Theodor Bloch on 19 January 1878 [2], and Theodor Bloch sold the studio to James Raglan Akersten on 1 October 1881.

 Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XI, Issue 18, 19 January 1876, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XI, Issue 22, 24 January 1876, Page 2

above - Government Buildings, Nelson, New Zealand

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XI, Issue 22, 24 January 1876, Page 2

 Catholic Church looking west, Nelson, New Zealand

The English and Continental Photographic Atelier, next door to the Masonic Hall was opened on Tuesday last, and the proprietors are now prepared to take photographs of every description.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XI, Issue 32, 3 February 1876, Page 2

We have been shown to-day at the Photographic Atelier in Trafalgar street an exceedingly well-executed collection of photographs of the members of the Southern Star Lodge of Freemasons in their full regalia. They are very tastefully grouped, and in the centre is a photograph of the Masonic Hall.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XI, Issue 231, 27 October 1876, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XIII, Issue 17, 19 January 1878, Page 2

At the English and Continental Photographic Atelier there is on view a large group of the members of the Harmonic Society. The individual photographs are excellent, and the group is well and artistically arranged. Smaller cards containing the photographs in miniature are obtainable.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XIII, Issue 22, 25 January 1878, Page 2

We have received from Mr Bloch two excellent photographs, one carte de visite and the other cabinet size, of the Symons memorial, recently erected in Trafalgar street. The view is taken from near Mr Milner's shop, and includes the Masonic Hall, Savings Bank, &c.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XIV, Issue 195, 16 August 1879, Page 2

 Telegraph Station - Cable Bay near Nelson, New Zealand

Font size

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XV, Issue 8, 9 January 1880, Page 3

 Colonist, Volume XXIII, Issue 2652, 10 January 1880, Page 2
[this notice continued in the Colonist until 30 December 1880 and the Nelson Evening Mail until 4 January 1881]

NELSON Works of Art.— We have seen in the descriptions of the Sydney Exhibition from the pens of the special correspondents of the principal newspapers of this and the sister Colonies, special reference made to the photographs and paintings of New Zealand scenery. One correspondent writes :—The walls of the New Zealand Court are everywhere decorated with photographs and paintings, most of which represent views of the beautiful mountain scenery for which New Zealand is as famed as Switzerland.

Amongst the most successful exhibitors of photographs are Messrs. Bartlett, of Auckland Wrigglesworth and Binns, of Wellington; Theodor Bloch, of Nelson and W. H. Perkins, of Greymouth.

Mr John Gully's water color drawings on admirable specimen's of his art, and are greatly admired by all who visit the Court.— It is not only gratifying to find our local artists' talents recognised but it is satisfactory to have the scenery in our district brought prominently before the "gaze of the world."

Colonist, Volume XXIII, Issue 2672, 26 February 1880, Page 1

 Nelson College, Nelson, New Zealand

In June 1880 Bloch's photographs along with other works of art intended for the Melbourne Exhibition were shown at an exhibition at the Masonic Hall to aid the Congregational Church Building Fund:

we may mention a number of very excellent photographs by Mr Bloch; one of these,a panorama of Nelson in four sections, for clearness of detail and general excellence deserves special mention, whilst in some exceedingly pretty scenes on the Maitai the effect was enhanced by the capital effect which the well defined clouds gave the pictures, and altogether we shall be disappointed if Mr Bloch's pictures do not attract considerable notice.
Colonist, Volume XXII, Issue 2712, 3 June 1880, Page 3

Colonist, Volume XXIV, Issue 2842, 5 April 1881, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVI, Issue 156, 2 July 1881, Page 3

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVI, Issue 163, 11 July 1881, Page 2

THEODOR BLOCH, leaving Nelson early next month, requests that all ACCOUNTS OWING to him be SETTLED.
IF you want to make sure at any time to be able to get COPIES of PICTURES taken by Theodor BLOCH. purchase the Original Plate for One Shilling, before he leaves Nelson, next month.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVI, Issue 208, 1 September 1881, Page 2

 Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVI, Issue 234, 1 October 1881, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVI, Issue 240, 8 October 1881, Page 3

 Colonist, Volume XXV, Issue 2986, 18 October 1881, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVIII, Issue 108, 23 May 1882, Page 2

We understand that Mr C. J. Harley who, after passing an unusually severe examination, was recently admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, has commenced business in Nelson in the premises lately in the occupation of Mr Akersten, photographer, opposite the Telegraph Office. We wish Mr Harley every success.
Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XVIII, Issue 174, 24 July 1883, Page 2

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XX, 28 November 1885, Page 2 

Bert, Master,
Photographer: Theodor Bloch (b.1844, d.1935)
Photo collection reference number

reverse inscription probably reads "Chas Hooper 6th"
Charles Hooper
[purchased November 2022 - England]
Bloch Collection/Nelson Provincial Museum Permanent Collection

[purchased 2009]

[purchased 2009]
The negative of the above portrait is in the collection of the Nelson Provincial Museum.
Reference Number     3776
Title     Brown, Miss
Photographer     Theodor Bloch
Classification     photographic negative
Media/Materials     Glass Monochrome/Media/Photography
quarter plate/glass plate/Format/Photography
Collection     Bloch Collection/Nelson Provincial Museum Permanent Collection
Other Ref No     494
Record ID     P54241 

[1] The Argus (Melbourne) Tuesday 4 June 1935, page 1. 

[2] Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XIII, Issue 17, 19 January 1878, Page 2
 [3] Ancestry.com
[4] Family Search, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Sains
[5] Colonist, Volume XLI, Issue 9244, 8 August 1898, Page 2

[6] Marriage.  BLOCH—LAWSON. — On the 27th ult, at St. John's Church, Port Albert, by the Rev. W. C. Hose, Lieutenant Theodore Bloch, of Nelson, N.Z., second son of the Ven. Provst Bloch, of Vig, Denmark, to Edith, eldest daughter of Charles P. Lawson, Port Albert.
The Argus (Melbourne) 2 Jan 1877: page 1

[7] none
[8] Camperdown Chronicle, Wednesday 3 August 1887, page 2
[9] The Argus, Wednesday 2 June 1880 page 1
[10] The Argus, Wednesday 16 January 1878, page 1
[11] The Argus, Friday 10 March 1882, page 1
[12] The Argus, Thursday 24 January 1884, page 1
[13] The Colac Herald, Tuesday 22 May 1894, page 2


Unknown Photographer

a view of Dunedin

Studio Lindberg

Studio Lindberg
226 (?) Armagh Street
phone 76 916

DOUBLE, William

William Double
272 High Street


P. F. Ford
F. A. M. E. Buildings
cr Manchester & Hereford Streets

Whitmore's Furniture Warehouse, 624 Colombo Street, Christchurch

LEAF, Robert

Robert Leaf
opposite Government House, Auckland, New Zealand

born 6 August 1842, Beverley, East Riding, Yorkshire, England [1]
reg. Sept 1842 at Beverley vol. 23 page 9
second son Robert Leaf (later an engineer of Parnell) and Eliza Hudson [2]
arrived Auckland, New Zealand on the "Hanover" 18 September 1862 from London [3] aged 20 years
died 16 December 1905 at Alpha Road, Parnell, Auckland [4] aged 63 years reg. 1905/6500
buried Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland, Block E 270 [5]

His father Robert Leaf died 15 September 1895 (reg. 1895/4143) at his residence Parnell, Auckland, formerly of Hull, Yorkshire (husband of Eliza Leaf) [6]. His mother died 10 September 1908 (reg. 1908/5011) at Alpha Road, Parnell aged 89 years [7]

above - a carte de visite of an unknown man by Robert Leaf

An inquest was held this morning by the Coroner (Mr T. Gresham) touching the death of an old man named Robert Leaf, aged 61, who died suddenly on Saturday night. The deceased resided with his mother, who was 87 years of age, in Gillingham-street, Parnell, and shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday a neighbour named Samuel McGuire found him seated on the footpath. Receiving no answer to a remark he made, Mr McGuire carried Leaf to his home and Dr. P. Moir was called in. When Dr. Moir arrived the deceased had been dead for about half an hour. In the doctor's opinion death was due to a rupture of the left auricle of the heart, and with his heart in the condition in which it was, death might have occurred at any moment. Some further evidence substantiating the previous statements was heard, after which the jury, with out retiring, returned a verdict in accordance with the doctor's evidence.
Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 301, 18 December 1905, Page 4

Robert Leaf, who died suddenly at Parnell this week, was for many years the proprietor of a photographic studio which stood on Waterloo Quadrant, opposite Government House. In those days Waterloo Quadrant was a more important artery of the city than it is to-day, inasmuch as the bulk of the traffic from Queen-street to Parnell used to pass that way.

By those whose business did not take them towards Parnell, Mr Leaf will be better remembered as the brother of Miss Annie Leaf, at one time one of Auckland's most prominent soprano singers. Miss Leaf was prima donna of a company which gave the earliest performances of "H.M.S. Pinafore," "The Sorcerer," and other operas in the colony, and in which the other principals were Charles Harding and Signor Riccardi. 

Observer, Volume XXVI, Issue 14, 23 December 1905, Page 4
(For further information regarding Annie Leaf refer to Auckland Star, Volume LVI, Issue 256, 29 October 1925, Page 19)

The family of Robert Leaf and Eliza Hudson:
1. William Leaf, born circa 1840, birth reg. Sep 1840 Sculcoates  vol. 22 page 475, died circa 1866, reg. 1866/3173 aged 25

2. Robert Leaf, born 1842, birth reg. Sep 1842 Beverley vol. 23 page 9, died 1905 unmarried.

3. Alfred Leaf (carpenter), born 19 February 1849, birth reg. Mar 1849 Beverley vol. 23 page 13, married Elizabeth Brimmer nee MacKie 8 October 1885, Auckland, reg. 1885/2779, died 15 September 1919, reg. 1919/5643 aged 70 years, buried Matakohe Cemetery. She died 28 January 1939.

   3a. Robert William Leaf born 8 October 1886, Matakohe, North Auckland or 7 October 1886 Napier Street [8], Auckland, New Zealand, reg. 1886/14196,
died 1 August 1917, Ypres, Belgium

   3b. George Valentine Leaf 14 February 1888, Matakohe, reg. 1888/16277,  married Emily Isabella Kirk 1915, died 4 April 1976.
   3c. Alfred Charles Leaf 27 November 1889, Matakohe, reg. 1890/1086  married Phyllis Dorothy Grice, 1917, died 10 November 1972.
   3d. Ann Eliza Leaf born 11 April 1891, reg. 1891/830, married Frank Asttey Gillott, died 27 March 1959
   3e. John Henry Leaf born 5 February 1893, reg. 1893/2282
   3f. Toyne or Toin Hudson Leaf born 13 October 1894, Matakohe, died 30 June 1929 or 1 July 1929 at Te Kopuru Hospital
   3f. Norman Frederick Bruce Leaf
born 30 June 1896, reg. 1896/11208, married Lelia May Flower 1923, died 3 July 1978

 4. Julia Leaf born circa 1851,  birth reg. Jun 1851 Beverley vol. 23 page 4, married 16 August 1873 John Davis reg. 1873/6505

   4a.   John Davis reg. 1874/14941         
   4b.    Alfred Davis reg.  1876/6549            

5. Ann Eliza Leaf born circa 1854, birth reg. Dec 1854 Beverley vol. 9d page 84, married 1stly 13 March 1878 at St John's Church, Napier, William Henry Reed, reg. 1878/3173. He died 23 October 1878 at the residence of his father-in-law, she married 2ndly after 1891 or about December 1884 Adelaide, Australia [9] Charles Melbourne James Edwards ("Grant Fallowes")

   5a. child born circa 1874, reg. 1874/41598

Some details of Alfred Leaf's family provided courtesy of Lesley Haslip, refer: http://homepages.vodafone.co.nz/~lesleyemma/leaf.html

[1] Robert Leaf, photographer 1842-1905 by Keith Giles
[2]  Marriages Sep 1839 Hudson Eliza at Sculcoates 22 390, Leaf Robert Sculcoates 22 390, FreeBMD -  http://www.freebmd.org.uk/
[3] Daily Southern Cross, Volume XVIII, Issue 1611, 19 September 1862, Page 3 - family Robert Leaf, Mrs Leaf, William Leaf, Robert Leaf, Alfred Leaf, Julia Leaf and Ann E. Leaf
[4] Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 308, 27 December 1905, Page 9
[5] Cemetery Records - Symonds Street and St Stephens, Auckland City Libraries
[6] Auckland Star, Volume c, Issue 236, 3 October 1895, Page 8
[7] Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 217, 10 September 1908, Page 10
[8] Auckland Star, Volume XVII, Issue 238, 9 October 1886, Page 2
[9] Daily Telegraph , Issue 4223, 6 February 1885, Page 2

Other reading: 
Robert Leaf, photographer 1842-1905 by Keith Giles http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/photographers/essays/leaf.pdf


John Tensfeld
(or Tensfield, Tensfeldt)
born circa 1830-1832, Germany, died 8 September 1893, 906 Autumn Street, St Louis, Missouri, USA, aged 63 years, buried no. 7366, Bellefontain Cemetery, St Louis, Missouri, USA.
Victoria, Australia 

John Tensfeld's Naturalisation Certificate dated 14 October 1859
Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. 
Main Street, Daylesford
by J. Tensfeld, fl, 1862-1865,
Signed and dated in black paint l.r.: J. Tensfeld pinxt. / 1862
Purchased 1992. Collection of Mrs Joan McClelland until 1992.
Cowen Gallery, State Library of Victoria, 2003 onwards.
Contents/Summary:  Tensfeld depicts Vincent Street, Daylesford, in the middle of the afternoon - the street is quiet and women are strolling with parasols. The artist has exaggerated the street's width and scale of the buildings, particularly the steeply pitched roof and verandah of the merchants Buttner & Hallenstein. Tensfeld showed works at the 1863 Ballarat Mechanics Institute exhibition and at Melbourne's 4th Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1864 where his entry Sunday Creek near Seymour was described by The Argus critic as 'stiff and chalky'. In 1865 Tensfeld set up a photographic studio with H Freyberger at 92 Bourke Street East. SLV Source ID: 1712906

John Tensfeld's oil painting showing a stable interior with two horses and a groom painted in 1863 [with a later frame].
 Signed and dated in black paint lower right: J. Tensfeld, 1863
69 cm x 49 cm 
This photograph kindly provided by the owner of the painting, Paul Tonner, Ontario, Canada, [2021].
Mr Fortune [picture framer, carver and gilder], of Victoria street, is at present exhibiting in his window a spirited oil painting by a German artist of ability named Tensfeld, who has for some time enjoyed reputation in this way in Castlemaine, Sandhurst, and other places, but is now desirous of settling down to his profession in Ballarat. The picture represents two entire horses in different stalls of a stable. One of them, a fine black charger, is looking on with a knowing air at the efforts of the groom to put the coat of the other (a white one) into order-no very easy matter, for the animal is very restive. This "action" has afforded the artist an opportunity of displaying his knowledge of anatomy and drawing, and he has not failed to avail himself of it. The result is, as we have stated, a really spirited picture. We shall be glad to find that Mr Tensfeld may obtain patronage for his easel in Ballarat.
The Star (Ballarat, Vic.), Thu 26 Mar 1863, Page 2

There is at present on view at Mr Fortune's premises, Victoria street, an oil painting by Mr Tensfeld representing the falls at Lal Lal [Lal Lal Falls]. The singular scenery of the place has been represented with great fidelity.
The Star (Ballarat, Victoria), 7 May 1863, Page 2
Messrs Solomon and Bardwell have produced splendid life-size portraits, in photography, of Mr and Mrs Baird, of Bridge street. They are of the largest of the kind ever produced in Victoria, and in every respect admirable, both as portraits and as works of art. Their excellence has been enhanced by their having been submitted to the easel of Mr J. Tensfeld.
The Star (Ballarat, Vic.), Fri 27 Nov 1863, Page 2

A brother may be Peter Eggert August Tensfeld born circa 1834, died in Victoria in 1859, reg. 8647/1859

Sudden Death. — A young man (a German) named Tensfield, came to an awfully sudden end on Tuesday last. It appears that for a few days he had been very constipated in his bowels, but was still in the best of apparent health and spirits. On Monday, with a party of friends, he went to the races, and while there enjoyed himself thoroughly, eating very heartily and drinking freely, but moderately. Towards evening, the rain coming down in torrents, he volunteered to go home and fetch coats, rugs, etc., for his friends. On returning through the bush he unfortunately missed the way, and was for two hours exposed to the heavy rain, he however reached his friends, and the whole party started home. Later in the evening, Mr Tensfield accidentally stumbled across a small surface hole, and falling on his stomach, felt some slight pain, but not sufficient for him to consider it necessary to obtain medical advice. In the morning he suffered considerably, and Dr Kupferberg was sent for, who immediately applied the usual remedies, but not sufficient for him to consider it necessary to obtain medical advise. In the morning he suffered considerably, and Dr Kupferberg was sent for, who immediately applied the usual remedies, but it was of no avail, the unfortunate young man gradually grew worse, the most intense thirst set in, and in a few hours all was over. The deceased, who on Monday last, was a fine hearty specimen of a noble young fellow, was by all who knew him admired for his goodness of heart and amiable disposition.

Mount Alexander Mail (Victoria, Australia), 30 Dec 1859, Page 4

Eggert Tensfeld's Naturalisation Certificate dated 12 October 1859
Victoria, Australia, Index to Naturalisation Certificates, 1851-1928 [database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. 

Freyberger and Tensfeld
Moritz Freyberger and John Tensfeld
 92 Bourke Street East, Melbourne
 about May 1864 to January 1865

Moritz Freyberger born circa 1838, died 5 April 1886, 4 Albert Terrace, Albert Street, East Melbourne aged 48 years.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Wed 7 Apr 1886, Page 1

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Mon 23 May 1864, Page 8

Freyberger & Tensfeld (Melbourne) fl 1865
Portrait of unidentified man. Ref: PA2-0747. 
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22800426

The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), Wed 18 Jan 1865, Page 3

departed Melbourne 31 May 1866 on the s.s. "Albambra". Passenger named "Mr Tensfeld"
aged 30 years (1836). Public Record Office, Victoria, Outward Passengers index

arrived Port Chambers 6 June 1866 on the s.s. "Albambra" from Melbourne via Bluff. Passenger named "Tensfi-ld". Otago Daily Times, Issue 1386, 7 June 1866

departed Port Chambers 26 June 1866 on the s.s. "Claud Hamilton" for Northern
Ports. Passenger named "Tewsfield". Otago Daily Times, Issue 1403, 27 June 1866

arrived Greymouth 4 July 1866 on the s.s. "Claud Hamilton" from Dunedin via Lyttelton, Wellington and Nelson. Landed at Greymouth by the s.s. "Persevere". Passenger named "Twsfeld". Grey River Argus, Issue 75, 5 July 1866

[ca 1867]
Reference number: 1/2-004777-F
The Alexander Turnbull Library

New Zealand
from 4 July 1866 to 4 May 1870

Mawhera Quay
succeeded Tait Bros. in Greymouth c. July 1866
succeeded by John Low in Greymouth c. August 1867


Grey River Argus , Issue 81, 19 July 1866, Page 3

At an amateur concert Mr Tensfeldt an others sung "Banish Oh Maiden" he also sung Lanner's German song, "The Tambour" and Weber's "Lutzow's Wild Hunt". 
Grey River Argus, Issue 110, 25 September 1866, Page 2


We have inspected an oil color painting of the Grey River from the shipping quay, the work of Mr Tensfeldt, of this town. It is more particularly a shipping subject, the most prominent objects being two schooners at their moorings, but sufficient of the scenery on the Nelson side of the river is given to afford an idea of the artist's skill as a landscape painter. Mr Tensfeldt is evidently an artist of considerable ability, the small painting we refer to being in good keeping, well drawn, and judiciously colored. We trust he will turn his attention more particularly to some of the charming bits of scenery which this neighborhood affords, and we feel sure many persons would be glad to become possessors of his paintings. 
Grey River Argus, Issue 113, 2 October 1866, Page 2

On the visit of the Governor to Greymouth in 1867,  J. Tensfield was present at a levee held in his honour at the Courthouse.
Grey River Argus, Volume III, Issue 163, 29 January 1867, Page 2

Mr Tensfeldt will, during the week, dispose of, by ticket, several oil paintings of local scenery, all of which are in the best style of art. One of the views up the river is a gem, and would rank with one of Chevatlier's best efforts. Mr Tensfeldt is an artist of high order, and his paintings are well worth a place in any gallery.
Grey River Argus, Volume III, Issue 183, 16 March 1867

Many of our readers must, in passing the establishment of Mr. Otto Weisenhavern, tobacconist, of Trafalgar-street, have noticed a very lifelike and artistic portrait of the proprietor, exhibited in the window. On inquiry, we find that it was executed by Mr. Tensfeld, a German artist, who has been staying for some time at Greymouth, and who wishes to visit Nelson, should sufficient inducement offer. In other words, Mr. Tensfeld is anxious to find 20 sitters at £7 each, including a handsome frame, and we are told that of this number seven or eight names are already enrolled. We cannot doubt that many of our citizens will readily embrace this opportunity of obtaining a really good and durable portrait, either of themselves or of their families.

Nelson Evening Mail, Volume II, Issue 98, 29 April 1867, Page 2

Judging from the specimens which have been submitted to us, Mr Tensfeld's successor will fully and efficiently supply the local demand for photographic views and portraits. Mr Low comes from Auckland, and his portfolio contains many excellent specimens of the photographer's art, and will interest any of our Auckland friends. We wish the newcomer every success. 
 Grey River Argus, Issue 254, 29 August 1867, Page 2

Mr Tensfield, an artist of very deserved repute, in Hokitika, from the excellency of his productions, has just completed a very beautiful series of photographic views of Westland scenery. They compose three views of Hokitika — the entrance to the river, the block of churches, and Gibson's Quay, Greymouth, Blaketown, Ross, Westport, Charleston, Cobden, and Arthur's Pass, the mountain boundary between Canterbury and Westland. The whole series of views are in the finest style of photographic art, and enclosed in a most tastefully designed cover from the pencil of Mr Schmidt, constitute an album or portfolio of Westland scenery that will make a very handsome and acceptable present to send to friends.
West Coast Times, Issue 748, 15 February 1868, Page 2

from about 1868 to 1869

above - a portrait by John Tensfeld, Princes Street, opposite New Post office, Dunedin

Mr John Tensfield, artist, Princes street, has just published a new "Photographic Souvenir," containing twenty very good photographs of "important and interesting places" in New Zealand. Every publication of this description is interesting, not only to those who live in the Colony, but to friends and the public at Home. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand cannot fail to draw attention when exhibited in works of art like that compiled by Mr Tensfield, while the photographs of churches, public buildings, ports, and towns, so practically demonstrate the rapid advancement of the Colony that it is hardly possible to employ a more effective emigration agency than a wide diffusion of them would prove. Mr Tensfield has bound the sketches up in a neat volume, well fitted to lie on a drawing-room table.
Otago Witness, Issue 873, 22 August 1868, Page 11

Art and Manufactures.
Mr John Tensfield, artist, Princes street, has just published a new "Photographic Souvenir," containing twenty very good photographs of "important and interesting places" in New Zealand. Every publication of this description is interesting, not only to those who live in the Colony, but to friends and the public at Home. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand cannot fail to draw attention when exhibited in works of art like that compiled by Mr Tensfield, while the photographs of churches, public buildings, ports, and towns, so practically demonstrate the rapid advancement of the Colony that it is hardly possible to employ a more effective emigration agency than a wide diffusion of them would prove. Mr Tensfield has bound the sketches up in a neat volume, well fitted to lie on a drawing-room table.
Otago Daily Times, Issue 2055, 5 September 1868

An Art Union of oil paintings, photographic albums, &c, will shortly be held by Mr Tensfeld, artist, Princes street. The prizes, which are fifty in number, comprise many valuable paintings and richly-mounted photographic albums.
Otago Daily Times, Issue 2109, 7 November 1868 

Otago Daily Times, Issue 2111, 10 November 1868


Mr Tensfeld's art union of pictures, &c, came off yesterday afternoon, in the large room over Mr Hogg's music saloon. The drawing was conducted to the satisfaction of those present, Mr Wm. Gregg and Mr H. F. Hardy taking charge of the bags with the tickets contained therein, the former drawing the prizes and the latter the duplicate numbers of the tickets sold.
Otago Daily Times, Issue 2161, 8 January 1869

The Otago Fine Arts Exhibition - February 1869
No 57 — Fern Tree Creek. Greymouth, by Tensfeld, exhibited by Mr F. Dixon - is a a nice picture, with a good bit of delicate sky showing through the tops of the trees. Its pleasing effect is, however, to some extent marred by the discord caused by a too violent contrast between the bight green of the foliage and the decided brown of the stems.

Otago Daily Times, Issue 2195, 17 February 1869 

The Fine Arts Exhibition, Dunedin 1869
No. 40, a painting by Tensfeld of Fox's (West Coast), exhibited by Mr Evans, shows some good sky and tolerably fair landscape painting. 
Otago Witness, Issue 899, 20 February 1869, Page 8

Otago Fine Arts Exhibition 1869
No. 222, Fern Trees, pointed and exhibited by Mr Tenafeld, is a good painting, whose appropriate sombreness of tone is nicely relieved by a bit of cool grey sky seen through the tangled fern fronds at the top and back of the picture.

Otago Daily Times, Issue 2228, 27 March 1869

from about 1869 to 1870

Mr. Bartlett's Studio.
Some time ago we noticed the excellent portrait-painting which was being executed at the studio of Mr. Bartlett, Upper Queen street. We now learn that there has been a very large demand for these portraits, and that every day orders are coming in. We are sincerely glad of this, for an artist of Mr. Tensfeld's rare ability merits the heartiest support, and the fact that he has found full employment for his skill in Auckland is an additional proof that a cultivated taste for the higher kinds of art already exists here, young as the community is. Hitherto there has been a great want here of a really first class artist, and those who desired to have their portraits have only been able to procure them at much inconvenience and expense.

The presence of an artist of Mr. Tensfeld's ability, however, has been the means of stimulating quite a taste for high art. It was fortunate that Mr. Tensfeld found a good deal of the way smoothed before him by his connection with Mr. Bartlett, whose superior photography has made his studio famous throughout the colony. As we have explained on a former occasion, the outlines are first taken by the aid of the camera. Yesterday had the pleasure of inspecting two very beautiful paintings of dogs in Mr. Bartlett's gallery. The one is the breed of a greyhound, and the other of a terrier. Each is itself a specimen of a peculiar type of excellency. In the head of the greyhound the smooth natural curve of the outlines is remarkable, as well as the skilful manner in which the background is made to give prominence and convexity to the picture. In the other picture, that of the terrier, the chief characteristic is the excellence of the colouring, the natural play of the long wiry hair, and the intelligent expression of quiet watchfulness which is thrown into the animal's face. This, we should imagine, is one of the best feature on all Tensfeld's painting, as we have remarked it in many of the portraits painted by him. We also had the pleasure of inspecting a number of photographic views of business houses, and the scenery at the Thames goldfield. Those, we need hardly say, are remarkable for that clearness and accuracy of detail which are observable in all Mr. Bartlett's work, and we are not surprised to learn that these views are much in request in the sister provinces and the Australian colonies. Those who desire to see what colonial art can do would derive much pleasure from a Visit to Mr. Bartlett's gallery. 
Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3839, 10 December 1869, Page 4

Mr. Bartlett's Studio.
We have have had the pleasure of inspecting at Mr. Bartlett's Studio, Queen-street, some very fine photographic views which have been taken to the order of Mr. Wayte, for his new map of the Thames goldfield. The subjects consist of the principal business places, and public buildings at the Thames and Auckland; and in the selection which Mr. Bartlett has made he has displayed much taste and judgment. The photography is beautifully clear, and the focus has evidently been well chosen. This is one of the chief characteristics of all Mr. Bartlett's photographs, while ordinary photographers cannot produce a clear picture with the best camera, or in the most favourable atmosphere. The skilful artist will contrive by carefully turning to account the most trivial advantage, to compensate for natural drawbacks. Mr. Bartlett also adds to this great judiciousness of taste in the selecting of a favourable aspect for his pictures, and this is one of those points in winch inferior artists most fail, simply because they are too apt to forget that success in photography, as in many other arts, depends more upon cultivated taste and judgment, than upon mere mechanical skill. A photographer, in the best sense of the word, is not, as many people suppose, a mere mechanist, and certainly Mr. Bartlett is not one. One need only examine the views to which we refer to see this, without seeing the many other works which have emanated from Mr. Bartlett's studio. Mr. Wayte, we believe, intends to send the views to Melbourne to be lithographed, so as to issue them in connection with his large map of the Thames goldfield. We feel sure that these photographs will do credit to New Zealand. We mentioned some time ago that Mr. Bartlett had, in conjunction with Mr. Tensfield, commenced the production of lifelike portraits, and that the project bids fair to be a success. We are glad to learn now that so numerous were the orders for these portraits, that the original idea of forming a kind of art union had to be abandoned. The portraits already executed comprise those of most people of note in Auckland, but a great many more orders remain to be completed. 
Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVI, Issue 3910, 4 March 1870, Page 3

Mr Tensfield was a passenger on the s.s. "City of Melbourne" sailed 4 May 1870 from the Port of Auckland for Honolulu.

Brooklyn, New York, USA
 from about 1874

Mr John Tensfeld
He possesses a Falstaffian presence and if De Bar could have looked upon his ample proportions he would have sickened with envy; standing fully six feet in height, with a bluff, jolly bearing, he comes down upon you in the street like a mountain of good nature, shaking you warmly by the hand and fairly overwhelming you with his personality. Tensfeld is a man of the world, in the broadest sense of the term, and he can entertain you for days if he wishes with personal adventures in all parts of the globe. 

He was born in Germany, but left that country when quite young, and he has since lived in England, France, India, Australia, the Sandwich Islands, California, and in fact all parts of the world. He made a small fortune in Australia (not in art, of course), lost a good part of it in bringing a lot of cannibals to America, went back to his art in California, and finally arrived in Brooklyn, where he has been actively identified with art matters for the past five or six years. 

Tensfeld is at home at once with both high and low, and a better companion or more entertaining talker it would be difficult to find. He measures his man on the instant, with a keen knowledge of human nature that always enables him to strike upon something that will be entertaining o his listener, and then he will hold him for hours, touching upon one thing and another throughout his experience that is sure to prove of interest to his companion, and in nine cases out often leaving the latter with a tremendously high opinion of Tensfeld's acquaintance with men and manners throughout the world. 

His theory of painting is that a true artist should be universal and able to master one subject as well as another. This theory is seen in his work. At times he may be found working on a figure picture, and he will throw this aside to take up a landscape, or perhaps you will discover him at work on a portrait. Although he has engaged in the most practical lines of business, he is a true lover of art for its own sake, and undoubtedly regrets the years he has devoted to other occupations, even though they have brought him a fortune. 

During his residence in Brooklyn he has gained many friends, both among the studios and in business circles, and is to-day quite firmly established as a Brooklyn artist and more especially as a portrait painter.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 14 August 1879, page 3 

St Louis, Missouri, USA
circa 1882 to 1893

 marriage record of John Tensfeld of Chicago and Joanna Schoettler of St Louis dated 18 May 1882.
Missouri, County Marriage, Naturalization, and Court Records, 1800-1991, FamilySearch 
 Marriage licenses 1881-1882 no 1-3717 
image 594 of 651; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

Nearly all St. Louis artists have to give place to Mr. John Tensfeld, whose studio is located at 418 1/2 Olive street. Mr. Tensfeld is a native of Germany and devoted his early life to studying in that country under the first masters. His studio is located on the fifth floor, being always accessible by elevator, and the light is all that can be desired. All will remember his famous portraits of the late General Sherman, painted from life for the Ransom Post and the Blair Post. He has also just completed a realistic landscape from the Wagon Wheel Gap in Colorado, showing the Indians in full chase of buffalos with grand mountain scenery in the back-ground. His celebrated centennial picture "Good Night" is always fresh in our minds. Mr. Tensfeld is a gentleman of about sixty years of age and an indispensable authority on all things pertaining to art. - Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Saint Louis: The Commercial Gateway to the South. Chicago: Phoenix Publishing Company, 1892.

Portrait of Sarah Jones, wife of John Jones, by John Tensfeld about 1868, University of Otago Library.