Ca. 1887. Quarto album ca. 26x22 cm (10 ¼ x 8 ¾ in). 18 stiff card leaves. With 39 mounted original albumen photographs of various size, including 31 larger photos from ca. 17x24 cm (6 ½ x 9 ½ in) to ca. 15,5x16,5 cm (6 x 6 ½ in), and eight smaller photos, from ca. 11,5x19 cm (4 ½ x 7 ½ in) to ca. 10x13,5 cm (4 x 5 ¼ in). The majority of photos with period manuscript ink captions in English on the mounts or on the images. With a loosely inserted piece of “Wallpaper, Longwood Dining Room, St. Helena” (ca. 2x4,5 cm), mounted woodcut clippings depicting Napoleon’s house at St. Helena, and a mounted title page of W. Forsyth’s “History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena” (London, 1853). Period brown full cloth binding fastened with a string. Binding rubbed on extremities, both covers darkened and soiled, a few images slightly faded, two photos with minor tears on the margins, but overall a very good album of interesting strong images
Interesting collection of unusual views, scenes and portraits taken on St. Helena in the late 1880s, supplemented with a piece of original wallpaper from Napoleon’s exile residence in Longwood. The album most likely was compiled by St. Helena’s colonial official, who was an acquaintance of the island’s governor, Sir William Grey-Wilson (1852-1926, governor of St. Helena in 1887-1897). Two group portraits from the album taken at picnics or outings feature Grey-Wilson (captioned as “Governor”). The album includes eight views of Jamestown – two smaller views of the town and harbour taken from the sea, a classic view taken from the background hills, photos of Jacob’s Ladder, “Upper Jamestown,” two views of the coastal fortifications, and an interesting scene of “Masonic Demonstration. Queen’s Jubilee 1887. Jamestown Church. St. Helena.” Napoleon-related photos include a “distant view of Longwood,” two smaller views of Longwood House, two different views of the “Road to Longwood,” three photos of Napoleon’s grave, and a view of “Balcombe’s House – the Briars. Napoleon visited here frequently during the first years of his exile.” There are also three views of the Plantation House (from the distance and closer), Hutt’s Gate, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sandy Bay, “Deadwood (Sandy Bay),” “Waterfall under High Knoll,” a photo captioned “Ascension?” etc. Two group portraits (one with the names captioned in pencil) apparently depict British civil and military residents of St. Helena. The album also houses five views of Madeira – general view of Funchal, “Funchal harbour, quarantine station,” a portrait of British council and his family in front of “H.B.M. Consulate – Madeira,” scenes with British men being driven in a Monte toboggan, and an oxen cart, and a photo of a native village and people. Overall an interesting album with early unusual views of St. Helena.
Price: $2,250.00 USD