Ca. 1910s. Oblong Small Folio album (ca. 22,5x31 cm). 26 card stock leaves with tissue guards. With 197 mounted gelatin silver photographs from ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) to ca. 3,5x4,5 cm (1 ¼ x 1 ¼ in); most photos are ca. 8,5x11,5 cm (3 ¼ x 4 ½ in) or slightly smaller. Mostly uncaptioned; two photos with period ink or pencil notes in German on verso. With two loosely inserted gelatin silver photos ca. 6,5x9 cm (2 ½ x 3 ½ in); both with period captions on verso (one with a handwritten caption in Spanish, the other one with a typewritten caption in German, the latter one also with an ink stamp of La Rochester photo studio on verso). Period brown crocodile leather-patterned sheep album, fastened with a string; decorative endpapers. Several images slightly faded, one large group portrait with a crease, but overall a very good album.
Interesting extensive collection of original vernacular photos illustrating the life of Germans in Mexico shortly before and during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). The album’s compiler was apparently a German resident of Mexico City, possibly of Jewish descent. His nationality was ascertained on the basis of the captions on verso of two photos. The first one is a group portrait of five well-dressed European men dated “26 Juli 1914,” and the second one is a view by “La Rochester” studio captioned “Molino de Rosas, Felspartie – im Hintergrund Eingang zur Kapelle.” One of the photos portrays a young girl dressed in a traditional Bavarian dress, sitting next to a stand with two painted stars of David. The other German connection is a group portrait of four family members or acquaintances posing during a parade (most evidently, in Mexico City) next to the float of “Pebeco” toothpaste. Produced by the “Beiersdorf” company from Hamburg (also known as the manufacturer of “Nivea” and “Labello”), “Pebeco” became a top-seller and company’s first global brand before WW1. Possibly, the album’s compiler was connected to the companies distributing “Pebeco” in Mexico. Another photo, showing the storefront of the dentistry office of Dr. Jose Maria Soriano in Mexico City (Empedradillo, 3), adds to this theory.
The album also includes several lively views of Mexico City, showing the National Palace, Basilica de Guadalupe, streets, shops, markets and street sellers, a Ferris wheel with the sign “El Polo Norte,” etc. Three photos show the destruction in the city after the bombardment in February 1913; one of the damaged buildings has the YMCA sign. There are also numerous group portraits of the family members, posing in front of their houses in Mexico City and in the countryside (one of the photos features the storefront sign of the local “Bazar de Ropa Hecha”), during picnics, hiking, boating, seaside and hunting trips, posing with the local people and children. A group of European (German) and Mexican hunters is photographed with the game and a box of beer by “Compania Cervecera Toluca & Mexico.” Another interesting photo shows Mexican peasants fixing a wheel on the “Yellow Kid” threshing machine (with a sign “Avery Company, Peoria, Ill.” on the side). There is also a portrait of a local mother and her two young kids with a part of a poster advertising Rudolph Sacks’ agricultural machines in the background. Rudolph Sack (1824-1900) was a German entrepreneur; his company in Leipzig-Plagwitz was one of the world’s leading producers of agricultural machinery in the 20th century. Overall an interesting collection of lively photos showing the life of German residents in Mexico in the early 20th century.
Price: $2,750.00 USD
Status: On Hold