Ca. 1920s-1940s. Over 350 loose gelatin silver photos (with six coloured photos), including a large four-part panorama ca. 17x94 cm (6 ½ x 37 in), a two-part panorama ca. 11x32 cm (4 ½ x 12 ½ in), over twenty large photos ca. 19x23,5 cm (7 ¼ x 9 ¼ in); the rest of the photos are from ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) to ca. 5,5x5,5 cm (2x2 in). Several images present in two to four copies, some of the different sizes (the total number of copies is ca. 30). About sixty photos mounted on period paper leaves (one to three photos per leaf), ca. 27x21 cm (10 ¾ x 8 ¼ in) or smaller. Over a dozen photos are captioned in negative, over 200 photos with pencil or ink manuscript captions on verso or typewritten/manuscript captions on the mounts. About 30 photos with the ink stamps “Photograph by the Philippine Bureau of Science, Manila” on verso. Several mounts with small marginal tears, a few photos with minor creases or tears on extremities, several images slightly faded, but overall a very good collection of strong interesting images.
A historically important unique extensive archive of original snapshot and studio photographs taken and collected by a pioneer in Philippine fishery science, Dr. Albert W. Herre during his work on the islands. A Stanford graduate (received his Ph.D. in Ichthyology in 1908), Herre became the first Chief of the Bureau of Science of the Philippine Islands’ Department of Fisheries in 1920, where he served until 1928. To continue his research he returned to the Philippines several times in the 1930s and after the end of WW2, extensively touring the islands. Herre discovered and described several new species of fish in the waters around the Philippines, including the smallest fish in the world – Pandaca pygmea (1925). He published over 100 articles and several books about Philippine fishes, including the “Checklist of Philippine Fishes” (Washington, 1952) which is still considered one of the most comprehensive works in the field.
Our collection includes photos from at least thirty different locations around the Philippine Islands and the surrounding seas and perfectly illustrate Herre’s description of his work in the region: “For many years it has been my privilege and delight to travel in all parts of the Philippines, to wander over all the large islands and to visit most of the inhabited islands and many, many on which no one lives. Many long and often difficult trips were taken in order to learn something of the fishes, coral reefs and mountain lakes, of the great rivers of Luzon and Mindanao, and of the bays, channels and seas that surround the thousands of lovely islands that lie between Formosa and Borneo. In the esteros about Malabon and Lake Buhi, may be found the smallest fishes in the world, while in the sea not far from Sibutu, I have seen the whale shark, the largest fish in the world swimming about the surface of the water. To learn more about fishes, I have watched them day after day, drifting in a banca, and have examined thousands, living and dead. They were obtained from baklad and bobo; fishing from pantalans, taken from tide pools and the open sea; and from rice paddies, rivers, and lakes all over the islands” (Preface/ Herre, A.W. Stories of Philippine Fishes. Manila, 1938).
The collection includes several photos featuring Albert Herre himself – posing with a caught barracuda; with “Dr. Feliciano” at Zamboanga (western Mindanao) in front of a building with the sign “Dept. of Agriculture & Commerce, Division of Fisheries, Fisheries’ district No. 10” (dated “Sept. 1940”); posing with the warriors of the Sultan of Masiu (Lake Lanao, Mindanao) gathered for a battle with their opponents from Taraka River; and posing at the veranda of the Sultan of Sulu’s palace at Jolo with the Sultan, Chinese Consul General, and Carl Moore (the Governor of the Sulu Islands in the 1920s). There are also two photos of the Bureau of Science in Manila where Herre used to work, taken after WW2: “2 story part is where my office & the library were, all burnt our and gutted, toward the rear is in ruins.” Several photos portray Herre’s colleagues (“a fishing party at San Ramon penal colony, Zamboanga, the big man is the doctor, on his left is Dr. Feliciano”), “a view from my veranda, Coron, Busuanga Island” (Calamian group, Palawan province); the interior of Herre’s dining and living room; “Hasienda Waterous, the “big house” + residence of Dr. Waterous” (Willard H. Waterous, of San Juan, Rizal, established a medical clinic in Manila in 1923).
Over twenty photos depict different species of caught fish, including over a dozen views of whale sharks “Rhineodon typus” “caught by Coral Fish owned by Policarpo Orais. San Vicente, Malitbog, Feb. 1, 1930” (captioned in negative), captured near Bacolod (Negros Occidental province) and in Manila Bay on Jan. 19, 1925 (as follows from the caption, the latter photo was published in the “Fishery Resources of the Philippine Islands”, 1927; Herre noted: “this fish was over 10 meters long”). The other photos show “Forbes & Johnston” with the fish caught in the Malampaya Sound (Palawan Island, one of its richest fishing grounds, a marine protected area since 2000), several views of caught cat-sharks, wahoo, and two fish of the “Canthidermis viola Herre” species which Albert Herre was the first to describe (“Philippine Journal of Science,” 1926, vol. 3, p. 534, pl. 1). The photo of the “Canthidermis viola Herre” is dated “Angaur, 1949” (one of the Palau Islands, about 500 miles southeast of the Philippines). There are also interesting views of “shrimp traps near exit of Laguna de Bay” and “dip nets in use, Butuan Bay, Mindanao.”
Over fifty photos depict the people and settlements of the Mindanao Island. Over twenty photos were taken in the Agusan River valley and show the Manobo people, their traditional houses and dances (the photos are mostly mounted on period paper leaves with ink manuscript captions): “A belle of Campostella on the Upper Agusan, the breast plate is of ivory, and armlets are from a large shell, a quid of betel and tobacco is in her mouth”; “interior of a wealthy Manobo Datu’s house” (with the detailed description); “a Manobo war dance, the men are Bagani”; “a house on the mid-Agusan with bamboo roof, the entire house is of bamboo;” “Manobo dance, the male dancer and the agong beater at his right are Bagani;” “Manobo houses in construction” (with a detailed description); “this house is not so high above ground (8 or 9 feet only) as it is in a well policed village;” and others.
Over twenty photos depict the Maranao people from the Lake Lanao district (most photos are also mounted on period paper leaves with ink manuscript captions): “a Marinao Datu (Lanao province) and his 3 wives;” “a Marinao Datu’s house with cogon roof”, there are also interesting views of “a mosque on the shore of Lake Lanao,” “a side view of the decorative carvings seen on the better Marinao houses,” a “Moro House” (with a waving U.S. flag), etc. Three photos were most likely used for Herre’s article in the “Scientific Magazine” (possibly, “Philippine Journal of Science”) and are supplemented with three typewritten captions mounted on a separate leaf: “In a Marinao Village on the eastern shore of Lake Lanao;” “House of a Marinao Datu…” “Close-up of the elaborate carving characteristic of the homes of wealthy Marinao.” There is also a printed version of one of the photos, apparently detached from the publication. Ten photos depict a “battle” between warriors of the Sultan of Masiu and “an opposing faction from Taraka:” “No museum could show such a wonderful collection of blade weapons from all parts of the Malayan world as were displayed that day. The poorest had silver mounted weapons, and many had gold or ivory mounted krises, kampilans, and daggers.” One of the photos from this group shows “Mr. C.O. Douglas, head of the farm school at Lumbatan” together with the Masiu warriors.
Other photos of the Mindanao island show Malaybalay, Zamboanga, close-up views of the travelling boats on the Agusan and Rio Grande Rivers, “native market near Cotabato,” “houses – Cotabato, on Rio Grande de Mindanao,” etc.
Over fifty photos were taken in the Sulu Archipelago southwest of Mindanao Island. Very interesting are the photos of the Sitangkai Island, its settlements and people (a panoramic view taken from the sea, Bajau people, their villages and floating homes, “a Chinese village, lat. 4°40’ where Chinese buy and dry fish caught by Bajaus,” two portraits of “Mrs. Perry L. Machlan”, “fleet of Bajau boats”); Jolo Island (Jolo city harbour, Sultan’s palace, scenes of Jolo war dance, “Moro children in front of mosque, Maimbung, Jolo, June 1921,” “young men at the market, Maimbung, Jolo, June 1921,” “a Samal at Jolo,” several group portraits featuring Datu Mama, Chinese Consul General & Covernor Moore at the new palace of the Sultan of Sulu), Simunul Island (people in front of the mosque, “a Samal cemetery at Simunol”), Tabigan Island (Samal fishermen and their boats), Siasi Island (village, a datu, a native boat), Manukan Island (Moro house), South Ubian Island, house boats on the Sibutu Islands, “Datu Mama – a Tau Sug nobleman with ten of his fourteen wives,” “Tao Sug fighting men,” “grave of a wealthy Samal,” etc. An interesting group portrait shows “Governor Carl Moore, Datu Japaal, and the village elder, seated on the grave of Makdum, at Tandu Banak, Sibutu. Makdum was the first Mohammedan missionary to reach the Philippines”.
Over seventy photos show the Luzon Island. Very interesting is a large four-part panorama of the grounds of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila; a two-part panorama shows “a typical coconut grove, Pangasinan.” There are also five large aerial views of the Taal Volcano and Lake dated 1926. Three photos are captioned in negative (“bombers practicing over the largest natural “bull’s eye” in the world – Lake Taal, Batangas, Luzon”), one photo has an ink stamp of the “6th Photo Section, Air Service, U.S. Army, Camp Nichols, Rizal” on verso. Other large photos show the Pasig River, Mt. Mayon, a sugar factory in Calamba, the Pagsanjan Falls, Manila Cathedral before its destruction during the WW2, rice terrace fields, etc. The smaller photos show fishing boats, an “Ilokano granary”, a street with the building of the “British & Foreign Bible Society,” Mt. Bulusan, Bayombong (market, church), “old style sugar mill at San Juan heights, Manila,” “carabao & cart,” Augustinian convent in Manila, Orion church, a view of the beach “in front of our house near Old Fort, Malate,” etc.
The other photos show the Palawan and nearby islands (Busuanga and Balabac Islands, Tubbataga station), the city of Iloilo on the Panay Island (coastal views taken from the sea, oxen-driven freight trucks unloading to the railway cars with the signs “Philippine Railway,” “Iloilo High School, science building, students drilling”), Leyte Island (Tacloban, Maasin), Samar Island (Sohoton Cave & Basey River), Marinduque Island, Mactan Island (the Magellan Shrine, built by the Portuguese in 1866), Cebu Island. There are also large interesting ethnographical portraits of different groups of the Filipino people (“Tingian women hulling rice,” two Muslim men with their seven wives, children, peasants threshing rice with carabao), details of carved decorations and the interior of native houses, views of rivers and waterways with surrounding jungle, native markets, cleared forest slopes, estates, waterfalls, rice fields, monasteries, street scenes, a “hand car on one of the bridges coming from Mr. Landon’s mines,” etc.
The collection is supplemented with a typewritten letter to the Municipal President of Cotabato (Mindanao) Jose Heras from “Pedro B. Bonoan, R.N. A.B.” of the “American Red Cross, Philippine Chapter, Officer of the School Nurse, Cotabato” (April 7, 1923, 2 pp., in three copies). The letter asks Heras to install two toilets in the Cotabato school, using elaborate expressions, such as “temple and nursery of human freedom,” “electric spark of continued service in cementing the solid structure of lasting and enduring education,” etc. There is also a reply from the municipal president Jose Heraes, supporting the construction of the toilets (April 9, 1923, 1 p., in three copies). One typewritten letter from a Municipal District Councillor Adam Omar (Maguing, Lanao, Dec. 9, 1924) to the Division Superintendent of Schools asks not to close his school. There is also a short article typewritten on verso of three library catalogue cards with the descriptions of three works on ichthyology; the encyclopedia-style article with Herre’s manuscript corrections briefly describes the geography & population of the Philippines and the Mindanao Island.
Overall a content-rich extensive and well-annotated collection of original photos of the Philippines from the archive of a renowned American ichthyologist, with rare views of the remote regions of the Philippines and its people.
Price: $7,500.00 USD
Status: On Hold