Ca. 1900s-1910s. Oblong Folio (ca. 27,5x35,5 cm). 24 card stock leaves. With 87 original gelatin silver photos, including eleven large images ca. 19x24,5 cm (ca. 7 ½ x 9 ½ in), the other photos are from ca. 15x20 cm (ca. 6x8 in) to ca. 9x13,5 cm (3 ½ x 5 ¼ in). All but one photo with period pencil captions in German on the mounts, over thirty photos numbered, captioned or signed in negative. Original Japanese lacquered album with gilt-tooled leather spine (gilt lettered title “Albun” [sic!] on top), moire endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in the original cloth-covered padded box. Box soiled and with minor splits on the joints, a couple of images mildly faded, one photo missing a corner (not affecting the image), but overall a beautiful album with strong interesting images.
Beautiful lacquered album with an extensive collection of excellent photos of German Samoa, Fiji, the Caroline and Marshall Islands, housed in the original padded box. The album was compiled during the German rule in Samoa, most likely by a resident or naval officer stationed in Apia, who carefully annotated the photographs in German.
The album opens with twenty-three excellent photos, attributed to noted local studio of Alfred Tattersall (two photos signed “A.T., Apia” in negative). Sixteen photos show the Upolu Island, starting with a view of the Apia waterfront and a naval brass band, S.M.S. “Adler’s” wreck, and S.M.S. “Cormoran” in the harbour. The other views show Apia harbour with the first building of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (1857) and the trade house of Peter Fabricius (1853-1908, a sign “P.C. Fabricius” is seen on the top of the building); nearby Vailele coconut plantation and Letuga village; the gardens of a German “station” at Cape Fatuosofia near the Mulifanua village (north-western Upolu); Lanoto’o crater lake, a picnic party at the “Fagali’i” (Vaisigano) River falls, Letogo River fall, a house of a Samoan fisherman with drying nets in the front, and two portraits of Eugen Roserus with his wife and infant daughter posing in front of their house in Vailele (Roserus was apparently a manager of the Vailele coconut plantation). There are also eleven classic studio portraits of Samoan girls in traditional outfits, with one portrait captioned in negative as “High Chief’s daughter”.
About forty smaller photos of Samoa, which were attributed either to Alfred Tattersall or another local studio of Thomas Andrew, include five portraits of the King Mata’afa Iosefo with his family and suite onboard the S.M.S. “Leipzig,” and Mata’afa’s official portrait dated 1901, a group portrait of “Turtle Fishers” (erroneously captioned by the compiler as depicting Fiji, but in fact it’s a photo of Samoan people by Alfred Tattersall, https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/1453689); three group portraits from a German picnic at the “Fagali’i waterfall” (taken from the distance and close-up); five scenes of traditional Siva Samoa dance, portraits of Samoan families, views of the Apia harbour, wreck of S.M.S. “Adler,” a volcanic crater and sea volcanic eruption on Savaii, a church of the London Missionary Society damaged after the 1905 volcanic eruption on Savaii, numerous portraits of Samoan people, etc.
There are also seven portraits of the Fijian people (all either captioned or numbered in negative, one signed by O.J. le Favre in negative), showing dancing men in traditional costumes, women bathing in a waterfall, “Kadavu Girls,” etc. The other photos show children from the Sunda Islands, a staged “alligator hunt” on Celebes, children from a Catholic mission on Jaluit (Marshall Islands), women from the Marshall Islands, warriors from New Pomerania (New Britain, Papua New Guinea), a group portrait of German naval officers and native people from Eton Island (the Carolines); there is also a view of Palau Island (the Carolines), and seven photos of Ponape (Pohnpei, the Carolines) showing the waterfront, German naval graves on a local cemetery, and native prisoners accompanied by German and native policemen. Overall, an excellent collection of sound, well-preserved, unusual photos of the German Pacific colonies and Fiji.
Alfred John Tattersall “was a New Zealand photographer who lived in Samoa for most of his life and contributed a significant collection of images of the Pacific Island country and its peoples during the colonial era. Tattersall moved to Samoa in 1886 to work as an assistant in the studio of J. Davis. When Davis died in 1893 Tattersall over his studio and negative collection. He went on to live in Samoa from 1886 to 1951, including the volatile era when Britain, Germany and the United States were vying for control of the Samoan Islands. Many of his photographs are significant in the history of Samoa and covered eras such as German Samoa (1900-1914) followed by the country’s administration under New Zealand which saw the rise of the pro-independence Mau movement” (Wikipedia).
“Thomas Andrew arrived in Samoa in 1891 and opened a photographic studio in Apia. His photography was wide-ranging including portraits, landscapes and major events including the funeral of writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1894), the Mau Movement working for independence and the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Matavanu (1905–1911). A collection of his work is held by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa” (Luminous-Lint).
Price: $7,500.00 USD
Status: On Hold