Paul Stabler, Carte-de-visite Photographer of Sunderland, UK


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I am trying to find out more about my grandmother's grandfather, Paul Stabler, who had a photographic studio in Sunderland. Can you advise how I can find out more please?
Susan Mottram



Paul Stabler was born in Germany in 1833, he is believed to have lived in Frankfurt before moving to Sunderland in the UK. He came with his younger brother-in-law Martin Fries (born 1838) and his wife Amalie, Martin was also a photographer. They all became naturalised British citizens and had settled in Sunderland by 1862, and probably a few years before that.
Stabler married Martha who was born at Maryport, Cumberland, she was eight years younger than himself. They had at least 10 children, the last being born in 1881. One of his sons was Charles, born in 1864 who became an assistant photographer at the age of seventeen.
He expanded from 63 John Street in the 1860s to include 64 John Street in the 1870s. In the 1860s he must have had a member of the Royal Family in to have a photo taken (many did claim this so not unusual). One photograph back has a logo 'Nil Desperandum Auspice Deo'. and a crest - this is the motto and Sunderland Coat of Arms. By the late 1860s he had it printed that he had been patronized by the Royal Family and included a crown and coat of arms on the back of his carte-de-visite's.

In 1881 Stabler was still listed in the census as a photographer and was living at 8 Summerhill, Bishopwearmouth, Durham. His brother-in-law Martin Fries lived at 2 Burton Terrace in Bishopwearmouth and was also married with a large family. I am told that a family rumour had it that 'it was the brother-in-law who was a photographer to Queen Victoria', but this may be an exaggeration. This indicates that the two men worked together in Stabler's studio, for Stabler to have shared the honour.
The studio also sold famous people - one who was listed is George Hudson M.P. for Sunderland who's carte has 'The Railway King' printed on it.
The Royal connections continued for at the National Archives at Kew is a photograph: A Group Photograph of the Prince and Princess of Wales and Shooting Party at Wynyard Park [near Stockton-on-Tees]. Prince of Wales's left hand on his thigh. The group is posed in front of marquee with trees in the background. Copyright owner and author of photograph: Paul Stabler, John Street, Sunderland, December 27 1883.
The front and back of some photographs in my collection:


unknown gent c.1864
unknown gent c.1865
unknown gent c.1868
unknown gent c.1868
unknown gent c.1874
unknown gent c.1874


unknown gent unknown gent unknown gent


1881 Census information:

Stabler Family

Address: 8 Summerhill, Bishopwearmouth, Durham, England

Paul STABLER Head M Male 48 Naturalz B S, Germany Photographer
Martha STABLER Wife M Female 40 Maryport, Cumberland, England
Amelia STABLER Daur U Female 19 Sunderland, Durham, England
Charles STABLER Son U Male 17 Sunderland, Durham, England Assist Photographer
Martha STABLER Daur U Female 14 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar
Pauline STABLER Daur U Female 13 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar
Paul STABLER Son Male 11 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar
Letitia STABLER Daur Female 8 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar
William STABLER Son Male 5 Sunderland, Durham, England
Kate STABLER Daur Female 4 Sunderland, Durham, England
George STABLER Son Male 2 Sunderland, Durham, England
Baby STABLER Daur Female 3 m Sunderland, Durham, England
Rose JONES Serv U Female 23 Sunderland, Durham, England Dom Serv



Fries Family

Address: 2 Burton Terrace, Bishopwearmouth, Durham, England

Martin FRIES Head M Male 43 (Naturlised British Sub), Germany Photographic Artist
Amalie FRIES Wife M Female 42 (Naturlised British Sub), Germany
Paul FRIES Son U Male 15 Sunderland, Durham, England Appr Grocer
Amalie FRIES Daur U Female 13 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar
William FRIES Son U Male 11 Sunderland, Durham, England Scholar




Constructed by Roger Vaughan with help from Susan Mottram and family.



Roger Vaughan 2005

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