Marcel Safier (contact)

Photographic Historian
Collector of Old Photographs, Old Postcards and Glass Plate Cameras

Brisbane, Australia


OLD PHOTOS, POSTCARDS and ALBUMS always WANTED for my reference archive

I grew up in Surfers Paradise, Queensland on Australia’s Gold Coast and developed an early interest in photography through using my mother’s Kodak Box Brownie, gradually upgrading to better and more capable cameras. Having already begun trawling through my mother's and aunty's old photos in my early teens, at 15 my interest in was further stimulated by a gift of early family photographs and two old folding cameras from my mother's cousin. A year later I acquired some old photos from an antique shop and I have collected them along with old cameras ever since.

In 1984 I graduated in Medicine from the University of Queensland and later started working as a General Practitioner on Brisbane’s south side which I have done for the past 28+ years. In 1992 I purchased a Brisbane family photograph album and I became more curious about local photographers. It turned out the grand children of two of the photographers whose work was in the album were patients of mine. Since then I have keenly researched the lives of Brisbane photographers. This research was eventually extended to photographers from other parts of Queensland, then Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, France, South Africa, South America and the Pacific and contact with hundreds of descendants and relations of photographers as well as many other photographic historians and institutional curators around the world.

Friendships with fellow collectors and researchers Sandy Barrie in Queensland, Warwick Reeder (Melbourne - RIP), Robert (Bob) Noye (South Australia - RIP), Dennis O'Hoy (Bendigo), Ron Cosens (UK), John Hannavy (UK), Hugh Rayner (UK), Francois Boisjoly (Lyon - who has the largest collection of French cartes de visite), super-collector Matt Isenburg (USA - RIP), Jan Schimmelman and Cindy Motzenbekker (USA) have greatly increased my enthusiasm and knowledge. My collection has grown to over 45,000 old photographs, 1500+ magic lantern slides, 2000+ glass plate negatives, 15,000+ postcards and an extensive reference library on photographic history. My collection is particularly strong in Australian and British carte de visite photos and cabinet photos, but also includes many British glass plate cameras and pre-1930s photographic catalogues.

I collaborate and provide research support for Ron Cosens' massive and comprehensive database of Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1840-1940 website and Sandy Barrie's ongoing research for an updated edition of his directory "Australians Behind the Camera 1842-1945" last published in 2002, that will hopefully be published in 2019.

I have spoken at many historical societies, collector’s groups, photographic conventions and on radio on aspects of photographic history and collecting, created photographic history websites, authored monographs on photographers, contributed to the Routledge “Encyclopedia of 19th Century Photography” and provided information and research support to authors for books on photographic history in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, India, China and the USA. I have attended a large array of photographic trade fairs, symposiums and conventions in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France and the USA and look forward to attending many more.

Sit. Pose. Snap was an exhibition based on my collection and research into Brisbane photographers and
featured over 330 photos taken in Brisbane by professional and amateur photographers.

Museum of Brisbane, 3rd Floor, Brisbane City Hall
64 Adelaide Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
24 March-30 July 2017


Currently researching:

- Photographers of Brisbane 1850-1950 (for a future publication)
all 19th and early 20th century Australian photographers
- the history of the daguerreotype, tintype, carte de visite, cabinet photograph and postcard in Australia
- postcards of the Gold Coast (Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Miami, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Kirra, Coolangatta, Tweed Heads), Gold Coast Hinterland and Brisbane regions in Queensland, Australia
- World War 1 studio and camp photography
- street and candid photographers from the 1930s-1950s



Daguerreian Society
Photographic Historical Society of Canada
Cameraholics (Photographic Collectors Club of Queensland) - webmaster
Australian Photographic Collector’s Society
Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain
Queensland Card Collector’s Society Inc - webmaster

Internet memberships:
Photohistory Yahoo group
British Photohistory online forum
Wood and Brass camera collectors group - Yahoo group - Moderator
Carte de visite - Yahoo group

Facebook groups and pages:

The Daguerreian Society

Carte de Visite and Cabinet Card Photography
Before Photography: Images and Apparatus
Photographers Imprints 1840-1960
RPPC - Real Photo Postcards
Vintage Picture Postcard Group (Worldwide)
Tintype Photography
Backdrops and Props in Photography Studios

Glass Negative Collectors
Photo Booth & Arcade Photographs
Before Photography: Images and Apparatus
Playthings:Toys and Dolls in Photography 1840-1940

The Magic Lantern Society of the US and Canada
Canadian Photographic History
Sociedad Iberoamericana de Historia de la Fotografía
History of Photography European Network
Storia Della Fotografia
Danske fotografer i udlandet (Danish photographers Abroad) 1840-1914
Cameraholics (admin)
Wood and Brass Cameras
Photographic Preservation Society of South Australia
Vintage Camera Collectors
The Antique & Vintage Movie Camera Appreciation Page

Perry Family of Somerset
Andrews Family of Somerset

Photographers of Brisbane, Australia 1850-1950

Was your ancestor or relation a Brisbane photographer? If so, please get in contact as I would be happy to exchange information. I have been researching the lives of Australian photographers and collecting examples of their work for over 25 years.
Street Photographers of Australia 1930s-1950s

Was your ancestor or relation a street or candid photographer?
Please get in contact.


19th and early 20th century Australian,
New Zealand and Pacific photographs
(especially cartes de visite plus tintypes, daguerreotypes, stereoviews, glass magic lantern slides, glass negatives, old family and other photo albums

WANTED: Dallmeyer, Ross, Beck, Wray, Optimus, Voigtlander and other brands of brass camera lenses, wood bellows cameras by British manufacturers such as Meagher, George Hare, W. W. Rouch, Houghtons, Ensign, Butcher, Sanderson, Thornton Pickard, Dolland, Sands and Hunter, Perken, Son and Rayment, Chapman and magic lantern projectors

ALSO: old (pre 1930) British PHOTOGRAPHIC CATALOGUES, photographic journals, books and British Journal of Photography almanacs

WANTED: Postcards of Australians serving in WW1 with accompanying letters and documents etc. keenly sought

WANTED: Gold Coast (Queensland) and Brisbane photographs and postcards sought from the 19th century up to the 1970s.

As one of the biggest private collectors of antique and vintage photographs, old postcards, old photo and postcards albums
and old wooden cameras in Australia, I welcome offers of old and interesting photographic items that you have for sale including
single items, collections, accumulations and deceased estates. 

Donations of unwanted photographs, postcards, albums and camera gear for my collection are also gratefully accepted and your postage costs paid.


The Gem and Carte de Visite Tintype
history of an under-researched and often derided photographic form

Brisbane Cameraholics Web Site
Brisbane based group of camera and photographica collectors who meet monthly

Queensland Card Collector's Society Home Page
I collect old postcards and am a long time member of the Queensland Card Collectors Society which is a club for collectors of postcards, cigarette cards and trade cards. 

Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840-1940
The most definitive listing of photographers assembled anywhere based on the massive photograph collection of Ron Cosens, augmented by directory research by Sandy Barrie with census and biographical input from myself.

Family History

The PERRY Family of Somerset & Australia
The SPRAKE Family of Netherbury, Dorset

The ANDREWS Family of Cheddar & Cleeve, Somerset

The BUSH Family of Wrington & Cleeve, Somerset

The THOMAS Family of Amroth, Pembrokeshire & Pembrey, Carmarthenshire

The JOHN Family of Pembrey, Carmarthenshire

The McMorran Family of Crawfordjohn, Lanarkshire

The WATSON Family of Lamington, Lanarkshire

The FALCONER family of Edinburgh

The SAFIER Family of Tarnobrzeg, Poland



Last updated 25 July 2019.  You can e-mail me at:; Marcel Safier, PO Box 239, Holland Park, Queensland, 4121, Australia