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.”.
Price: $3,250.00 USD