19th C. Canada Toronto CDV photo of Queen Victoria by William Notman

$125.00 CAD

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Scarce CDV photo of Queen Victoria by famed Canadian photographer William Notman.

Printed  on front lower frame:

NOTMAN & FRASER  Toronto Ont.

On back:


Photographer to Her Majesty




Medal winner London 1862, Paris 1867,

Some smudges on the front. Pinhole LL bottom frame.


William Notman arrived in Canada from Scotland in 1856 and swiftly established himself as Montreal’s most prominent photographer, with studio portraits forming the core of his work. Notman developed complex composite pictures for large groups and innovative techniques for creating winter scenes in his studio. Through his unparalleled combination of photographic and promotional skills, he was the first Canadian photographer to build an international reputation. Notman was still deeply involved in photography when he died in 1891 after a short illness.

Notman set up his first studio in a small house on Bleury Street (Montreal) , close to the central business district and to the business and political elite who, along with their families, would form his core clientele. Patrons were ushered through the Notman family living quarters on their way to the small annex at the rear of the house. 

The year 1858 proved to be a fundamental turning point in Notman’s career. He was awarded the commission from the Grand Trunk Railway to document the building of the Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence River. This was a public project on a grand scale, and Notman wasted no opportunity to draw attention to his participation. He sent copies of his photographs to a wide array of journals and even produced a commemorative maple box of the photographs to present to Queen Victoria in 1860.  Legend has it that she was so pleased that she named him “Photographer to the Queen.”

In 1868, a year after Confederation, Notman established a studio in Ottawa and soon set up branches and partnerships in Toronto and Halifax, usually with a trusted associate in charge. Notman carefully nurtured talent in his studios and offered partnerships or managerial positions in the branches as a way of retaining skilled staff. He placed John Fraser in charge of his Toronto branch and called it Notman & Fraser. 

Notman continued to work until his death from pneumonia in 1891.