Beautiful Hand-Coloured Albumen Photos of Japan and Scenes of Japanese life, Many Unusual.

[Attractive Lacquered Album with 50 Original Albumen Hand-Coloured Photographs of Japan, Including Interesting Images of Nikko Temples and Processions, Tea Houses, Villages and Hotels around Lake Hakone, Streets of Tokyo, and Nara, Panoramas of Penang and Hong Kong, Scenes of Execution in Canton, Portraits of “Maoris” and Samoans, etc.].

Ca. 1890s. Oblong Folio (ca. 32,5x40 cm). With 50 mounted hand-coloured albumen photos, each ca. 19x24,5 cm (ca. 7 ½ x 9 ½ in). Eight photos numbered and captioned in negative. Photographer’s ink stamp on the rear paste-down endpaper “K. Tamamura, Photographer, Benten-dori, Yokohama, Japan, 11 September 1891.”. Original Japanese lacquered album with morocco spine; marbled paper endpapers; all edges gilt. Front cover with gilt-stamped and colour relief depicting frogs hunting a mantis; the relief on the back cover depicts Japanese mythological creatures. Extremities of the album with mild wear neatly repaired, a couple of photos mildly faded, but overall a very good album.

Beautiful lacquered souvenir album with hand-coloured albumen views of Japan and scenes of Japanese life, taken by Kozaburo Tamamura. Having started in Tokyo in 1874, Tamamura became prominent in Yokohama where he opened a studio in 1883. His main specialty was souvenir albums of hand-coloured photos of Japan, intended for western customers. Tamamura’s studio flourished in the 1890s, and his prolific activities made him one of the founders of the “Yokohama Shashin” or Yokohama-style photography.
The album includes views of Yokohama, Mississippi Bay, Honmoku seaside village, Enoshima Island, a street temple procession, a small wooden “ferry boat” with passengers, the interior of a traditional Japanese house, etc. Several photos depict different stages of growing and harvesting rice, and over a dozen images show workers harvesting silkworms and weaving and packing silk fibres. There are also classical portraits of geishas (playing musical instruments, doing calligraphy, playing a table game, sleeping), a criminal demonstrating elaborate tattoos on his back, sumo wrestlers (and a scene of a public sumo match with a crowd of spectators), Buddhist monks, a samurai, a team of housebuilders, peasants, load carriers, etc. Overall an attractive collection of well-preserved early hand-coloured Japanese photographs.
Captioned photos: “1017. Hoeing field,” “1016. Rice planting,” “1006. Main St. of Yokohama,” “987. Honmoku,” “986. Mississippi Bay Yokohama,” “1104. A ferry boat,” “1107. Enoshima,” “1101. Cave at Enoshima.”.

Item #300

Price: $3,250.00 USD

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