Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Miss Retberg
21 February 1862

Volume 6, page 51, sitting number 7073

[The sitter is identified as ‘Miss Retberg’ in the Silvy daybooks. The name only occurs once on the 1861 census.]

Johanne Retberg appears on the 1861 census living at at 9 Cleveland Gardens in Paddington, a short walk from Silvy’s studio. She was governess to the seven children of James Cosmo Melville, the Assistant Under-Secretary of State for India. Also present on the night of the census were seven servants, including a butler and a footman. 

Johanne Henriette Louise Retberg was born at Bremen in Germany on 18 November 1833, the daughter of Georg Augustus Retberg of Bremen. 

On 9 January 1863 at Holy Trinity in Paddington she married Cornelius Stockmar, a merchant. 

‘STOCKMAR-RETBERG. — On the 9th inst., at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Paddington […], Cornelius Stockman, Esq., of Bremen, to Johanna [sic] Henriette Louise, daughter of the late G.A. Retberg, Esq., of Bremen’ (Morning Post, 12 January 1863). 

The marriage produced four daughters, all born in Bremen between 1864 and 1870. 

According to a tree on Ancestry, she married secondly on 31 January 1879 Karl Friedrich Gaus at Stapelage, a small village in the principality of Leppe. Her first husband appears to have still been alive, so presumably their marriage ended in divorce. 

Still according to the same source, she died on 22 July 1896 at Bad Sascha in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

[Two weeks after this sitting took place, James Cosmo Melville, the eldest son of Miss Retberg’s employer, visited the studio and sat for Silvy.]

code: cs1890
Johanne Henriette Louise Retberg, Johanne Retberg, Johanne Henriette Louise Stockmar, Johanne Stockmar, Cornelius Stockmar, Karl Friedrich Gaus, Johanne Gaus, Retberg, Camille Silvy, Silvy