Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Marcus Tartakover

c. 1804-1882


Marcus and his son Samson conducted a pawnbrokers’ business in Smith Street. It has claims to be one of the longest-running businesses in the shopping street, since it apparently existed from 1858 until the mid twenties. Marcus was an Austrian-born Jew and married his French wife in Paris, where he was occupied as either a pawnbroker or jeweller.

The family arrived in Victoria in early 1853 and headed for Ballarat where Marcus described himself as a storekeeper; in 1857 he was naturalised, and moved to Collingwood shortly afterwards. The family lived at the Smith Street shop. Samson married Catherine Raphael in 1873 and the young couple moved to George Street Fitzroy where a number of children were born.

During 1874 father and son began regularly advertising themselves as follows:

82 Smith-street,
Collingwood Established 1858
TARTAKOVER and SON grant LOANS on personal security from £5 to £500, repayable by weekly instalments of 1s in the £, also on deeds and other available security.

While the existing building at 82 Smith Street housed the Tartakover business, it is unlikely to be the 1850s building, which was possibly replaced around the 1870s as one of a group of shops. Tartakover was always a tenant.

Mrs Fleurette Tartakover died in 1878. In 1881 Samson took over sole conduct of the business while his brother Mitchell ran another branch in St Kilda. In 1882 newspapers around Australia syndicated an exciting story of criminal activity and detective work, when police finally succeeded in arresting two notorious burglars from Western Australia after they broke into Tartakover’s shop.

A large quantity of watches, jewellery, clothing, and miscellaneous property, valued at about £265 [was] stolen. The property consisted of 38 watches of almost every kind, several chains and scarf-pins, nearly 200 rings of various descriptions, gold necklets, brooches, &c.; coats, trousers, overcoats, boots, and underclothing, a portmanteau, several books, and a great variety of miscellaneous articles only to be found at a pawnbroker's.

By then Marcus was living at his son’s residence at 24 Gore Street Fitzroy, where he died a month after the burglary. Samson and Catherine eventually moved residence to St Kilda. By 1925, a few years before Samson’s death, a Thomas McFarlane was involved in the business in association with him; by 1926 McFarlane was operating it under his own name.

Life Summary

Birth Date Birth Place
c. 1804 Brode, Austria
Spouse Name Date of Marriage Children
Fleurette Hauteville (c. 1794- 6 May 1878) 1828, Paris Celestine died in infancy, Alfred c. 1829-1902, Sarah c. 1835-1895, Mitchell c. 1836-1929, Samson c. 1843-1928.
Home Addresses
Home Street Home City Status of Building
82 Smith Street Collingwood extant
Work Addresses
Work Street Work City Status of Building
82 Smith Street Collingwood extant
Death Date Death Place Cemetery
23 June 1882 Fitzroy

The Argus; The Age; The Mercury

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