Original Phar Lap images up for auction in Australia

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A photographic image of the colour transparency of Lot 15, Phar Lap. It is being sold as part of the Rose Stereograph Company collection in Australia.
A photographic image of the colour transparency of Lot 15, Phar Lap. It is being sold as part of the Rose Stereograph Company collection in Australia.

Original photographic negatives of legendary New Zealand racehorse Phar Lap are among those being auctioned online in Australia by Lloyds.

They are being sold as part of the Rose Stereograph Company collection, one of the most significant photographic collections in Australian history.

The Phar Lap images are in two sales — Australia’s Most Valuable Photographic Collection (A754) and Rose Stereograph Company, Est 1880: Negatives, Photographs, Postcards & Stock Coloured slides (A753).

The first is Phar Lap under a strong hold before the running of the 1930 Melbourne Cup, and titled “Phar Lap Winning The ‘Melbourne Cup’ 1930. Flemington, Victoria” in sale 754. Bidding is currently at $A1105.

The sale includes the original colour transparency (12.5 x 9.9cm) and minted Non-Fungible Token (NFT), a blockchain technology certifying that the digital asset is unique and provides irrefutable proof of ownership.

“This image we are auctioning physically exists (and you will receive the physical version) and has also been minted as an NFT. The ownership of the NFT will transfer to the highest bidder at the conclusion of this auction,” Lloyds said.

Melbourne Cup 1930. Phar Lap 1st. Second Wind 2nd. Shadow King 3rd. Melbourne, Victoria
A printed image of the glass plate negative: “Melbourne Cup 1930, Phar Lap 1st, Second Wind 2nd, Shadow King 3rd, Melbourne, Victoria”. (Lot 16).

There is also a glass plate negative of the finish of the 1930 Cup under auction, which also includes an NFT. Bidding is at $A490.

The other sale, A753, has an original photograph from negative of Phar Lap in a paddock. Lot 6 is undated, and 35.8 x 27.8cm in size. It is currently at $A210.

An original photo from a negative of Phar Lap. (Lot 6).
An original photo from a negative of Phar Lap. (Lot 6).

George Rose founded the Rose Stereograph Company in 1880 and was joined by Herbert Cutts in the early 20th century. The pair formed a lifetime working partnership. Assisted by George’s two sons, Herbert George and Walter, and later by Neil Cutts, the Rose Stereograph Company continued its operations for more than 140 years.

The company was initially built on stereographs, but as cinema took over and stereographs fell out of fashion, the Rose Stereograph Company developed Australia’s first commercially viable photographic postcard business. Specialising in postcards of iconic historical moments and significant landmarks, The Rose Stereograph Company became a staple of the Australian travel industry.

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