Monday, March 16, 2020

Natal Photographers: Larsen Brothers

Cabinet print by E Larsen, 410 West St, Durban
Emil and Gusta Larsen with daughter Dora. Gusta was
the daughter of Thomas and Ane Dahle of Lot 30 Marburg

Twin brothers Emil and Sigvart Larsen were photographers from circa 1890s in the Dundee, Vryheid and Volksrust Triangle. On 8 October 1900 the Larsen family's home was occupied by British forces serving in the Anglo-Boer War. Affidavits about this are preserved in the State Archives. During the occupation of the house the British removed and destroyed all of the Larsen photographic plates, a tragic loss of valuable material. A Military Officer took the Larsens' keys and their home was immediately occupied by Lieut Col Gawne, OC, and a Captain Shaw. Most of Gawne's force of 900 were garrisoned on Lancaster Hill outside the town.

The Larsen brothers were expelled from Vryheid and later moved their photographic operation to Durban. They were at 410 West Street; earlier they had had a studio in Greyville, and Emil was in Winder Street, Durban, in 1904. They were gone by 1905.

For more on Larsens in South Africa go to

Acknowledgement to David Larsen.

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