Extensive and Well-Annotated Collection of Lively Early Photos of Cuba

[Album with 132 Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of Cuba, Showing Streets and Landmarks of Havana, Several Street Scenes from the Havana Carnival, a Portrait of the President of the National Bank, Views of Guanajay, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Guaos, Cumanayagua, Las Vegas, Guines, Yumuri River valley, Premises and Operations of the Manicaragua Tobacco Company, Portraits of Native People and American Residents, etc.]

Ca. 1900. Oblong Folio album (ca. 28,5x37 cm). 25 card stock leaves (8 blank). With 130 gelatin silver photographs, ca. 9,5x12 cm (3 ¾ x 4 ¾ in), mounted in windows. Over 120 photos with period white pencil captions on the mounts (related to individual photos or groups of photos); some also have period pencil captions on verso. With two loosely inserted photos ca. 11,5x16 cm (4 ½ x 6 ¼ in), mounted on card ca. 24x30 cm (9 ½ x 12 in). Period brown full cloth album with a gilt-lettered title “Photographs” on the front board. Album rubbed and worn on extremities, corners bumped, a few images mildly faded or with mild silvering, but overall a very good album of interesting photos.

Extensive and well-annotated collection of lively original photos of Cuba, taken in the early 1900s by an American traveller or resident. The album includes over sixty images of Havana and environs, showing the harbour with the Morro Castle, La Punta, La Machina, Casablanca, the wreck of USS “Maine” (sank in 1898 and relocated in 1911), several bird’s-eye view panoramas, Havana streets and landmarks (Malecon, Havana Cathedral, Hotel “Inglaterra”, Prado, Obisbo, and O’Reilly Streets, Presidential Palace, offices of the United Railways and Western Railways, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, city cemetery, Muelle de Luz, “residence of S.M. Jarvis on the Malecon,” Guanabacoa neighbourhood, etc.). Very interesting are five street scenes taken during the yearly Havana carnival. There are also photos of the exterior and the interior of the National Bank of Cuba and a portrait of “E.G. Vaughan, President of the Banco Nacional.”
The other photos include views of towns, villages and plantations across Cuba, showing Guanajay (city square), Matanzas (San Juan River embankment, street view, “harbour of Mazantas from Hermitage of Monseratte”), Cienfuegos (“villa” in the harbour, “Hotel Union,” “loading sugar” in the harbour, street view), Guaos (a street with pack mules), Cumanayagua (“Spanish block house”), Las Vegas (“water wagon,” three views of the “Experimental station, Santiago de Las Vegas”), Guines (“truck garden,” four photos of operations on a sugar cane plantation – “plowing,” “loading cane on the cars,” “cutting and loading cane,” “hauling cane”), views taken “on the road to Guanajay,” “road to Oyo,” “the road to Guines,” “cattle near Guines,” Yumuri River valley, etc. Several photos show the premises and operations on the “Manicaragua Tobacco Company’s” plantation (hauling, picking, unloading tobacco, “Manicaragua valley from Company warehouse,” “Home and warehouse, Manicaragua Tob. Co.,” “the road to Manicaragua,” etc.). The album also contains portraits of American residents (one is captioned “the photographer” on verso), native people and children. Overall a lively first-hand visual account of Cuban life in the early 20th century.

Item #421

Price: $3,250.00 USD