Sunday 17th of October 2021

a bit of aussie wool and before drone photography...


I buy books by the kilogram and some people give me theirs. I have had this book for a while but had not really gone into it for being too busy... (my excuse for being lazy)... The dedication at top: To all Esq., with the author's kind regards signed: Emile Wenz fils.



This was my introduction to a quiet family that has had some unsung influences on the way things are... Let's start with Paul Wenz, Émile's brother...



Paul Wenz (1869-1939), grazier and writer, was born on 18 August 1869 at Reims, France, third of five children of Emile Wenz, wool-merchant, and his wife Marie, née Dertinger, natives of Württemberg who had settled at Reims in 1858. Emile owned spinning-mills and later opened wool-buying agencies in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Paul was educated in Paris in 1879-88 at the Ecole Alsacienne, an exclusive Protestant college; he became and remained a friend of fellow pupil André Gide. After military service in the artillery with another friend Joseph Krug of the champagne-producing family, Wenz was trained in the family firm and spent eight months in London. He disliked the European business world, however, and left in 1892 for a long tour of the family wool interests.



Over 6 ft 4 ins (193 cm) tall, energetic and loving the outdoors, [Paul] Wenz felt immediately at home in Australia and spent two years jackarooing in Victoria, New South Wales and the Queensland Gulf country. He went briefly to New Zealand in 1896, visited the Pacific islands and worked in South America before arriving back in France in 1897. Wenz returned to New South Wales as a settler and in April 1898 purchased Nanima, a property on the Lachlan River between Forbes and Cowra. On 15 September he married Harriet Adela Annette (Hettie) Dunne (d.1959), daughter of a pastoralist. They were happily married, but childless. Wenz was a successful grazier who took a keen interest in innovative agricultural methods, particularly lucerne growing and irrigation; he invented a charcoal-burning tractor and believed in water-divining. He also oversaw his family's wool-buying agencies and travelled regularly to Sydney and Melbourne as a director of Wenz & Co.



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This biography is one of a few of farmers who herded sheep for wool in Australia, on an “industrial scale”... The story starts with the father Émile, who had migrated from the Württemberg, Germany, to France. Émile had a son also called Émile (and this was a bit confusing at first, when reserching this story). Émile fils (writer of the book above) had three brothers and a sister: Frederick, Paul, Alfred and Aline. Most of them seemed to have been enterprising and artistic. 



In 1900 L'Illustration began publishing his [Paul’s] short stories, written in French but set in Australia or the Pacific islands. Two volumes of such stories were later published: A l'Autre Bout du Monde (Paris, 1905) and Sous la Croix du Sud (Paris, 1910). These stories all bear traces of the Bulletin's influence. In 1908 Wenz published in Melbourne his only book written in English, a novella, Diary of a New Chum. Until 1910 he used the pseudonym 'Paul Warrego'. He also published several translations from English into French, notably of his friend Jack London'Love of Life (1914), and wrote other stories that were not set in Australia. His first novel, L'homme du Soleil Couchant ('The Sundowner', Paris, 1923) appeared in serial form in the Revue de Paris in 1915.


Stranded in Europe with his wife on the outbreak of war in 1914, Wenz was mobilized at once and served as a liaison officer with British and Australian troops in French military hospitals, while Hettie worked for the Red Cross. Posted to London in 1916, he accompanied an Australian mission to Morocco as liaison officer and interpreter in April 1919 before returning to Australia in November. Inspired by his war experiences, he published two small collections of stories and a novel, Le Pays de Leurs Pères (Paris, 1919). He published two more novels with Australian settings, Le Jardin des Coraux (Paris, 1929) and L'écharde (Paris, 1931), a book on his experiences as a grazier and a fanciful memoir of his childhood.


Wenz's concise style, vivid description and dry irony are shown to advantage in his short stories which achieved some success; his novels are less sure and attracted little attention. His early writings show him as an amused apologist for Australia to the French, but his post-war novels and stories express a more matter-of-fact Australian identity. He regularly visited Europe, but in the 1920s and 1930s became more actively involved in the Australian literary scene and made friends with Miles Franklin, Dorothea Mackellar, Nettie Palmer, G. B. Lancaster and Frank Clune. In 1931 Nettie described Wenz's overpowering presence: 'In he came with his Norman blue eyes from Rheims, his fresh colouring under white hair, his broad shoulders that made you wonder how the man had ever found a horse strong enough to carry him'. He endeavoured to get his novels and stories translated and published in Australia, and to have his works included in school and university curricula.



Read more: see above.







Émile Wenz (fils- 1863-1940) est le fils ainé d'Émile Wenz (1834-1926), négociant en laine à Reims, et de Marie Dertinger (1839-1925). Les autres enfants du couple sont Frédéric (1865-1940), Paul (1869-1939), Alfred (1872-1947) et Aline (1873-1958).

• Émile est un pionnier de la photographie aérienne en France par l'utilisation de cerfs-volants ;


• Frédéric Wenz est un peintre, ami de Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec;



Here also, we need to know that Émile Wenz fils (the son of Émile-père) apart from carrying on in his father’s wool business was a pioneer in aerial photgography before planes and drones, and a traveller who wrote a book, Mon Journal, Journey around the world, 1884-1885


The main purpose of this journey, apart from seeing the world with intense wonderment, was to acquire in Australia, the essential knowlege about wool — from sheep to mills… so he could carry on in his father’s footsteps.



Émile was the first son of Émile Wenz and Marie Dertinger. He married in 1888 with Mairie Pauline Chaponnière (1861-1945), born in Marseille. From their union were born three children: Marguerite (1889-1988); Jean (1890-1916); Isabelle (1893 -?).

As was customary, he entered the family business of wool trading at the lowest level to learn all the inner workings of the organization. Later, when his father died in 1926, Émile and his younger brother, Alfred, took over the management of the company.

Émile had a strong personality and was passionate about science and technology. At the age of 21, in 1884, he took a fashion tour. The account of this trip was published in 1886:
 Mon Journal, voyage around the world 1884-1885, Paris, Plon, 1886. The Reims museum was enriched by objects he brought back, and in particular by a mummy from Pharaonic times.

Since around 1880 he was passionate about photography and published numerous studies in the Works of the National Academy of Reims, of which he was elected a full member in 1913.


He also participated in the organization of the first Great Aviation Week in Champagne in 1909, the first in the world.

Kite photography

Aerial photography under a kite began in 1888 with Arthur Batut. The camera, initially attached to the kite and triggered by the help of a wick, was too dependent on the movements of the latter. Émile Wenz perfected the method by using electricity for the trigger, bamboo for the frame of the kite and he replaced the paper with cotton cloth. During the month of August 1890, he made his first aerial photos by kite on glass plates at Berck plage (Pas-de-Calais). From then on, many “aerophotographers” followed one another, making Berck-Plage the most photographed site from the air before the First World War.




Meanwhile, Frédéric Wenz is a painter and a friend of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Frédéric’s “woman",  was often used by Toulouse-Lautrec as a model for some of his paintings possibly right until she died…



Jeanne Wenz is a model of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in the years 1886-1888. She may be a sister-in-law or a companion of Frédéric Wenz who took over his surname, but she is not his wife.

The biography of Jeanne "Wenz" is almost completely unknown. Even her last name is not known for sure. She is neither the sister of Frédéric (who was called Aline), as stated in the catalog of the exhibition 
Three women: Early portraits by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the Fogg Art museum in 2002, nor his wife (who is called Louise).

A plausible explanation for this confusion can be found in a letter written by Toulouse-Lautrec to his mother in 1885: 
I am painting the portrait of the sister of a friend of mine .... The portrait in question is that of Jeanne, La femme with a pink bow



Frédéric and Jeanne lived in the same building as Lautrec, rue Caulaincourt, they were friends and the latter was perfectly aware of their relationship. It is probable, for convenience with respect to his family, that Lautrec prefers to speak of the "sister" of a friend than of the mistress of a friend. This is how Jeanne X becomes “Jeanne Wenz” for art historians.

Frédéric Destremau proposes as a hypothesis, that Jeanne was the elder sister of Louise Vincent and that Frédéric and she lived together without being married from 1885.


The only facts that seem certain are:



Jeanne appeared in the entourage of Frédéric, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Aristide Bruant in 1885 and she was probably Lautrec's first model, outside the family and academic workshop.


Between 1886 and 1888, Jeanne was the subject of a dozen portraits and drawings.


Jeanne worked as a waitress at the bar "À la Bastille", made famous by Aristide Bruant's song "Nini peau d’ Chien"


She must also have frequented Aristide Bruant's cabaret Le Mirliton, as Bruant also wrote a song about Jeanne's life.


Between 1888 and 1890 she disappeared, to reappear in 1890 with Suzanne Valadon [see :] in some photographs taken by François Gauzi.



Jeanne was an alcoholic and most likely died prematurely around 1891 (because of it).



Toulouse-Lautrec was fascinated by bars and those who frequented them. His keen eyes had certainly spotted Jeanne's future, though she would become an alcoholic and died of it a few years later. The pictures are painted in his studio; We recognize that he quite coldly portrayed the phases of her downfall.



The names of the paintings were given by Aristide Bruant, when they were exhibited in his cabaret Le Mirliton.



The beginning: "The Woman with the Pink Knot": a first portrait of Jeanne in a fairly neutral contact. Here, the drama he senses is evoked by the dark-brown color of the background, while the foreground is drawn in a fairly academic way.


The observation: "At the Bastille": The empty glass that she holds in front of her while gazing skullly at the painter exposes the situation. She has a drinking problem.


Shame: "The absinthe drinker": The woman, seen from behind, face hidden, looks at the pedestal table; she pushed the glass of absinthe to her left.


The negation: "Rice powder”:


The reality: "Hangover" (Geule de bois [head like a piece of wood]) or "the drinker":


read more:




Translations with help for Jules Letambour...



Meanwhile, Frédéric Wenz sold most of his paintings in the USA and from now on, it’s "Gus guess" that Frédéric Wenz went to the US and settled there as the Frédéric Wenz dynasty seemed to have continued with Frédéric Wenz, the famous baseball player… (If you know that’s not the case, let us know in the contact column)...




Frederick Wenz, 79, of Branchburg, NJ, passed away on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at his residence. Born in Bound Brook, NJ, 

Frederick resided in Bound Brook before moving to Branchburg 51 years ago.

Fred graduated from Somerville High School in 1959.

Fred was the owner and operator of Garden Oaks Specialties for over 50 years.

Fred was an avid baseball player. He played for the Louisville Sluggers, Boston Red Sox and The Phillies as a relief pitcher. He acquired the nickname “Fireball” because he threw over 100 mph. Not only was Fred a great baseball player, he was also a great story teller. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Fred was a large collector of liquor water pitchers. One thing Fred loved the most was spending quality time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Fred was larger than life itself and will be missed tremendously.

He is preceded in death by his beloved parents Hannah Bartok and Frederick C. Wenz Sr., his grandparents, a son Dr. James Wenz and a daughter in law Dr. Lydia Wenz.



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Its theme is simple: a tale of Miss Susan Brady, a woman with ideas above her station, who is spurned, and whose jealousy corrodes her life and drives her to try and sabotage the happiness of John Iredale, the prosperous South Australian grazier who has broken her heart... Classy stuff, this - the fruit of delighted observation, of a sensuous and irrepressible joie de vivre. You cannot fake this quality, it is remarkable... there lingers in one's mind the rare and special pleasure of the sense-texture which Wenz has created a poignant gift from a Frenchman to Australia, his adopted country. - Helen Garner, from her Foreword.



Read more:



The Thorn in the Flesh 


by Paul Wenz (Author), Helen Garner (Introduction), Maurice Blackman (Translator) 

aussie wool for china...



In recalling their experiences of travelling to China for the trade of Australian-grown wool, many of the woolgrowers, brokers and representatives interviewed in this book discuss their arrival, via state airline, at Hongquio airport. Situated in the middle of the countryside and surrounded by paddy fields, the not-too-distant memories tell a vastly different picture to that which we know of modern China, in which skyscrapers and high-speed bullet trains surround that same airport.


And today, the Chinese textile and apparel market is worth a staggering $300 billion as part of China’s transformation into a global powerhouse following its decision to open up to the international economy. With 1.4 billion people driving a new consumer culture and an economy growing at more than 7% per year, today it seems the only constant in China is change, but what endures is the country’s vast appetite and passion for Australian Merino wool and its deeply committed relationship with Australian woolgrowers.

The first exports of wool to China started more than half a century ago, with some records dating back to the 1920s, and today it is Australia’s largest customer, taking on average 75% of its total wool exports. Prior to 1980, Australia shipped less than 10 million kilograms (mkg) greasy each year to China as China’s small wool textile industry was largely supplied domestically. Australia has been one of the world’s largest producers of wool and boasted one of the largest sheep flocks for decades. However, Australia’s exports to China has risen since 1980, with a series of increases and falls driven by events both within and outside China.

The trade has expanded substantially since 1990 when China accounted for only 4% of Australia wool exports. Since 1980, Australia’s exports have grown from 21 mkg greasy worth A$64 million per year to 271 mkg greasy worth A$2.76 billion in 2017. The peak in the value of Australia’s wool exports to China was in 2017. However, the peak volume was reached in 2007 when 283 mkg greasy was exported from Australia to China. At the time, Australia’s shorn wool production was at 430 mkg greasy, compared with the current production level of 345 mkg greasy. While China has become the dominant partner for Australia’s wool in total over the past five decades, there has also been a significant trend towards China buying more fine and superfine wool from Australia. In 2017, 47% of Australia’s wool exports to China was 19 micron and finer wool. This compares with 10% in 2000 and only 3% in 1990.

“China and Australia are innovating towards a shared future in Australian Merino wool by developing new wool textiles and manufacturing techniques on a breathtaking scale that offers unlimited potential.”


As new Chinese designer brands emerge and consumer tastes mature faster than anyone had imagined, China’s relationship with Australian Merino wool has grown to encompass luxury, designer and mainstream retail, high-tech processing facilities and, above all else, even higher demand for the world’s preeminent natural fibre. With the country — and its economic and creative output — evolving apace, this year we celebrate more than half a century of a cross-cultural partnership. Spanning trade, economy and creativity we not only look back, but more importantly, look forward to the future of the Merino wool partnership between Australia and China — an age-old fibre and a technologically-advanced manufacturing industry — that is generating ever-increasing benefits for two countries that enjoy a deep creative, cultural and commercial relationship.

At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping emphasised the need for innovation and international collaboration. “We should develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model,” he told the forum. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is unfolding at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Countries have the right to development, but they should view their own interests in the broader context.” With its profound knowledge and experience in the processing of raw fibre, China is set to continue leading consumption of nature’s miracle fibre. In line with the Chinese president’s philosophy, China and Australia are innovating towards a shared future in Australian Merino wool by developing new wool textiles and manufacturing techniques on a breathtaking scale that offers unlimited potential.


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Please note that the Woolmark Company was one of the sponsors of Luna Rossa, the Italian challeger for the America's Cup... Cheers. G