David Alexander De Maus (1867-1925). Ship photograhger.

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D.A. De Maus - Pt. Chalmers ship photographer

New Zealand Bound

Of specialist ship photographers, D.A. De Maus was one of the best-known, and his collection is one of the largest!

David Alexander De Maus (1847-1925)
D. A. De Maus came to Dunedin, NZ in 1867 in the Caribou at the age of 20. He was a brother of James De Maus, baptised 1835, Canongate parish, Edinburgh, a photographer in Dunedin, 1866-1868 and maybe as early as 1864. David was born in Edinburgh in 1847. Toured the West Coast goldfields with humorous songs and sketches. He wrote songs and composed music. He arrived in Port Chalmers and started a photography business. 'Photographer and fine art publisher, Port Chalmers.'  The studio was located at 62 George Street, "High class photographic copies of religious, secular, classical and mythological painting." He became known for his photographs of ships at Port Chalmers. These are prized by maritime institutes. 1875-1899 known dates of activity as a photographer. He married Miss Bachan in 1878. He became active in the local sports clubs and town council. Served as councillor (1877-78, 1884-1888) and was mayor four times 1899-1901, 1903-06, 1909-1910 and 1912-13. He died on 17th July 1925, aged 77 and is buried at the new Port Chalmers Cemetery. 

Otago Daily Times 1 October 1867, Page 3
PHOTOGRAPHY. Jas. De Maus, PHOTOGRAPHER and ARTIST, Begs to announce the opening of his new Establishment. No 7. Fleet street, where he hopes to merit the same liberal amount of Patronage he so long enjoyed while in Princes street.

The D.A. De Maus collection was divided on his death; the shipping photos being taken to England by his daughter, Mrs D Grayston, another group being held in Outram by another daughter, Mrs O J Armour, and a third group being left in the studio, which had passed in 1932 to Miss Catherine Euphemia Matheson. She worked as a photographer from that address. The first two groups came to the AT Library on 17/12/51, the third group were presented to the Hocken Library by Miss Matheson's brother, and returned to the Alexander Turnbull Library* on 4/11/59. Timeframes*

Hocken Library
Several thousand shipping photographs are held in the Hocken collections, and the Gordon Black Shipping Index provides a substantial card index to most of these holdings, including illustrations in the Otago Witness and shipping items in general albums.

Docked at Port Chalmers

The Wild Deer at Port Chalmers
The Wild Deer c. 1880 by D.A. De Maus

Why a white band on the hull of many emigrant vessels?

In the days when the tea clippers sailed to China, and indeed anywhere, there were pirates about and, because of this, some danger for unarmed ships. To ward off potential attacks and to give the impression they could look after themselves, ships were painted with fake gunports and, in some cases were painted to look like ships of the line or naval ships. The Wild Deer (1863 - 1883) carried 10 small cannon whilst she was a tea clipper and had real rather than painted gun ports. Once she started to ply the immigration trade these guns were broken down and stored in the forepeak but she continued to carry muskets, pistols and swords in the saloon cabin. I have no record of them being used. Merchant ships like the The Opawa and the Caroline Agnes were painted in this fashion thinking it would scare off pirates. More photos

Timeframes has a wonderful collection of DeMaus' photographs.

Agnes Muir *


American brig in floating dock, Pt. Chalmers

RMS Aorangi * The RMS "Aorangi" was a steamer of 4268 tons. She was built in 1883 by Messrs. John Elder & Company Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, for the New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd, and was used to provide a passenger service between Great Britain and New Zealand. She was sold to the shipping firm of James Huddart in 1896 and them to the Union Steam Ship Company in 1910. She was then sold to Admirality and scuttled at Orkney Islands in 1915.

Auckland * 1883

H.M.A.S. Australia *

Blenheim * Shaw Savill ship

Canterbury * painting

Caroline  * built in Glasgow in 1854, owned by N Ellis Landen and chartered by Shaw Savill.

Chance, aground at Bluff, 1902

Christian McAusland * built in 1869. She was an iron craft of 962 tons. Made 6 voyages to Port Chalmers, Dunedin, between 1870 and 1874

City of Dunedin* -crew painting*

City of Lahore *- Photograph of a painting of the ship

Coptic * built in 1881, and was sold to the Pacific Mail Line in 1906, and to Toyo Kisen Kaisha in 1916, and renamed the Persia.

s.s. Corinthic *

Crusader *

ss Delphic (large boat at rear) and Nile and the ship Thomas-Henry * The SS Delphic was built in 1897 by Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Ireland, for the White Star Line. She was jointly owned by the White Star and Shaw, Savill & Albion lines. During the Boer war she carried troops and horses from England to South Africa. On August 1917, she was torpedoed 135 miles off Bishop Rock, and went down with the loss of five lives.

R.M.S. Doric *The ship in the right foreground is the Ringarooma

Dunedin * sailing ship, built 1874 - 1250 tons. Went missing 1890

Earl of Zetland *  1875

Elginshire -wreck near Timaru. Eight years later.

Elingamite * She was later wrecked at Three Kings, Sunday, November 9, 1902

Euterpe * at Port Chalmers, Dunedin. Shaw Savill & Albion Co's export store is on the wharf alongside

Gladbrook * barque. Formerly known as the `Countess of Anglesea', at Port Chalmers. The `Dunedin is partially visible in the foreground. This photograph was probably taken as the `Gladbrook' was leaving for San Francisco, on the 15th of Jan. 1919

Granada- America steamship

ss Haupiri *

Helen Denny *

Himalaya * at Lyttelton

Hurunui * b 1875, New Castle, 1012 tons gross, N Z Shipping Co 1878-95, G A Lindblan (Finnish) 1895-1910, R Mattson (Finnish) 1910-15, Torpedoed off Isle of Wight 6.5.1915, Fleet of five sister ships, Waipa, Ruri, Maki. Reproduced in `The Sailing Ships of the NZSC' by Alan Bott (Lond. 1972), pl 54. p 83"

Hydrabad * Wreck at Waitarere Beach

Invercargill * photographed, probably in the 1890s. The Shaw, Savill & Albion Co sailing ship. under tow*

Inverurie * under tow

Jane s.s. * Carey Bay

ss Kent *

Lady Jocelyn * a  Built in 1852by Mare of London as an auxiliary steamer originally for the East India trade. Later purchased by Shaw Savill & Co. for Australasian trade, with engines removed. Made two voyages to Port Chalmers, arriving on November 6 1873 and April 15 1888. This photograph can be dated to the latter voyage, from the funnel of the refrigeration plant with which she was fitted in the 1880s. She weighed 2138 tons. She was later bought by the Shaw, Savill Company and made several voyages to Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton and Port Chalmers. Up to the year 1878 she was the biggest immigrant ship trading to New Zealand. She was also the first immigrant ship to arrive in Tauranga.

Loch Dee *(outer vessel) and Hurunui (on right) docked at Port Chalmers. Loch Dee

Lyttelton * built in 1879 but was wrecked at Timaru on June 12, 1886

Mairi Bhan*

Maitai*  The wreck of the ship Maitai *at Rarotonga on 25 December 1916

Margaret Galbraith
*  a figurehead*  In the background is a building with the sign `Shaw Savill Albion Co. Limited Export Store' printed on its roof. Sailed under the Shaw Savill flag, and made 21 voyages to the several ports of New Zealand between 1873-1900. She came to grief in 1905. She sailed from the River Plate for England with a cargo of grain, and on leaving port she stranded and became a total loss on 27 March 1905. (Source: `White Wings, Vol. I')

ss Mamari *

Marmion * and Sir Henry, alongside Joseph Sparrow's ironworks, Port Chalmers. Topsail schooner `Marmion' (left) and the ship `Sir Henry' at Post Chalmers. They are berthed alongside Joseph Sparrow's ironworks. The `Marmion' was built at Mahurangi in 1874. She went missing in 1899. (Information from `A Maritime Heritage; The Lore of Sail in New Zealand' by Clifford W Hawkins, 1978, page 55) 

s.s. Mataroa * and Port Pirie

Mataura * dry dock*. Built in 1868, and was formerly known as the 'Dunfellan'. Purchased by the NZSCo. in 1874. Fitted with Harkin's Patent Freezing Machinery and took the second cargo of frozen meat from New Zealand in 1882. She was later sold and renamed the 'Alida'.

ss Morayshire * 1899 Identical photograph, with accompanying information, in `Ships with New Zealand Association' by Rex Hardy, Vol 10, 89 

Nelson Iron ship built 1874 by Robert Duncan. Owned first by Patrick Henderson, then by Shaw Savill & Co. Sailed to Port Chalmers 14 times between December 1874 and August 1889.

Oamaru* a figurehead*, in tow*

Opawa * built in 1876 and weighed 1076 tons gross. She was operated by the New Zealand Shipping Company between 1876 and 1899. She was torpedoed in the North Sea 14 March 1917

Otago * at Chaslands Mistake, 4 December 1874

Parsee  A figurehead is also visible. Built as Greenock in 1869. Prior to coming to New Zealand she traded between the Clyde and India. She first arrived in NZ on May 6 from Gravesend with 5 saloon passengers and 98 immigrants, landing at Auckland. She made three more trips to NZ, once in 1874, once in 1883, and again in 1891, landing each time at Port Chalmers. 

s.s. Penguin * 

Peter Denny  * Was a fast ship, near 1000 tons, built for the Albion Company in 1865 by Duthie of Aberdeen Scotland, for use as a vessel for immigration. During the first five voyages from 1865-1872, she brought out a total of 376 passengers. The Peter Denny was  She made seven trips to Port Chalmers between 1865-1874. (Information from 'White Wings: fifty years of sail in the New Zealand trade 1850-1900', Volume I by Henry Brett, 1924).

S.S. Poherua* Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand steamship Poherua, 1179 tons, built 1890 ex- Croydon, 1890 purchased from W. Connor, London and renamed, 1921 laid up, 1924 scuttled. Dismantled and scuttled off N.Z. coast, February 1924.

Port Auckland *

s.s. Port Pirie *

Rangitiki *  being towed to Dunedin

Ranee * The iron barque Ranee under repair at Port Chalmers, at some time between 1881 and 1896, Shipbuilders are replacing bow plating damaged in a collision. Built in 1864 by Hart of Liverpool, as the ship Cowasjee Jehangeer. She was renamed Ranee ca 1869, and converted to a barque ca 1881. She last appeared in Lloyd's register in 1896. 

Robert Henderson * painting

s.s. Rotomahana *

s. s Ruapehu *

s.s.Rimutaka  *

Sam Mendel* b. 1861. 1034 tons. Owned by J Coupland of Liverpool but chartered to Shaw Savill & Albion 

Soukar  * at Dunedin wharf

Splendid * whaling ship 

Tahiti *and her engineers, 1915. R S Smith, Neil McCaig, W F McIntyre, W Sommerville, P M Cairns, A A Douglas, D L Mowatt, J A Thomson, L A Calvert and C Buchan. 

Tilikum * boat

Tekapo s.s.*

Timaru * built in 1874 for the Albion Line. Sold in 1900, she was wrecked in 1907. docked*

Trevelyan *

Ulimaroa s.s.*

ss Upolu * 

Victoria * in Port Chalmers graving dock

Waimea * built in 1868. She was wrecked at Algoa Bay, South Africa in 1902.

Waimate s.s.

Waipa *

Wairoa * being towed a in harbour


Waikato in dry dock. Built by Blumer & Co. Sunderland in 1874 and later sold to the Germans who renamed it `Pfluger'. It was re-named `Coronado' by the Americans.

Wakatipu* b 1876. 1796 tons gross. U.S.S. Co 1878-1924. Broken up at Sydney. Sinks the Laira* at Dunedin Wharf on 2 April 1898

Wellington * Built in 1874. With Albion Co, then Shaw Savill and Albion Co, from 1874-1904. Sold to Norwegian buyers 1904. Foundered 1906. Made 12 voyages to Port Chalmers, between February 1875 and January 1900.

Westland *

Wild Deer * The prow of the ship & crew* c. 1880

Wild Duck *

Zealandia *

Port Chalmers* in the 1880s, with Dodsons Hotel on the left
Port Chalmers wharf

Spar Torpedo boat *

Garthsnaid at sea, circa 1920s*

Daily Southern Cross, 12 December 1868, Page 4
The Otago Daily Times says: The facilities for docking and undocking vessels of a medium tonnage at Port Chalmers should be widely known by those interested in shipping throughout New Zealand and elsewhere. An example of the dispatch which the Floating Dock Company can give was shown yesterday. Early in the morning the Panama Company's s.s Airedale was undocked, and the steamer Wainui taken in the same tide. The Airedale only arrived from Northern ports on Thursday last, dropping her anchor at 9 a.m. She docked at 1p m. the same day, and during her short stay she was thoroughly scraped, cleaned, and overhauled. Her hull which was coated with two coats of patent paints was found to be in a fine state of preservation, in fact it appeared as if she had not been many months launched. A small patch of a new patent composition, for the preservation of iron ships under water, invented by the proprietors of the dock, was placed on her run for an experiment, and should it prove of value it will, no doubt, be generally brought into use. The Airedale on being undocked, was immediately hauled alongside the Company's hulk, where she received her outward supply of coal, and sailed for Northern ports last evening. The dock was pumped out dry at midday, with the Wainui inside. Her bottom was found to be very foul, and portions of the copper knocked off, and loose on the keel. A day or two will put all to rights again. Captain Kennedy, of the Airedale, expressed himself highly pleaded with the dock arrangement, and has taken north with him several photographs, by Mr. Demaus, of his vessel in dock.