Ca. 1908-1911, 1914-1923. Oblong Folio album (ca. 30,5x46,5 cm). 50 album leaves of various colours. With 276 mounted gelatin silver photographs of New Caledonia, including a large five-part panorama of Noumea ca. 16x106,5 cm (6 ¼ x 42 in) and three smaller panoramas from ca. 11x33 cm (4 ¼ x 13 in) to ca. 7x30,5 cm (2 ¾ x 12 in). The rest of the photos are of various sizes from ca. 17x22,5 cm (6 ½ x 8 ¾ in) to ca. 4,5x5 cm (1 ¾ x 2 in). Most photos with period ink captions in French on the mounts, many also with period ink dates. The first leaf with the manuscript title also bears the compiler’s manuscript monogram and date “AD, Noumea, 21/5-10.” The inner side of the front cover with a pasted diploma of the 2nd prize for photography, given to Dupouy at the artistic competition in Noumea in September 1910.
Also with 200 mounted and three loosely inserted gelatin silver photos of various sizes, from ca. 17x22,5 cm (6 ½ x 9 in) to ca. 4x4,5 cm (1 ½ x 1 ¾ in), related to Dupouy’s family life and military service in Tonkin, France and Madagascar in 1914-1923; many photos are thoroughly captioned and often dated on the mounts. Period brown quarter sheep album with cloth boards; marbled endpapers. Binding rubbed on extremities, corners bumped, the large panorama with several creases and tears neatly repaired, one photo with scratches affecting the image, a few images mildly faded, but overall a very good album of interesting photos.
An outstanding photograph collection, rare in such extent and quality, presenting a detailed picture of everyday life and military service in French colonial New Caledonia in the early 20th century. The compiler, André Dupouy, was a French military officer who served in Noumea in ca. 1908-1911. According to the other photos from the album, in February 1914 he was on service in Tonkin (modern-day northern Vietnam), and during WW1, served with the French Sixth Army on the Western front. He became the Knight of the Legion of Honour in December 1916 (three photos at rear show Dupouy receiving the cross of the Legion of Honour in March 1917 in Bordeaux). In ca. 1919-1923, Dupouy served in various posts in Madagascar, where his wife and young son also joined him. In 1922-1923 he was apparently the chief of the district of Ambovombe. Dupouy was an avid amateur photographer, and his images are distinguished by high quality and a wide variety of subjects. The inner side of the front cover has a pasted printed diploma of the “Salon Calédonien – Concours Artitisque,” which took place on September 24, 1910 and celebrated the 57th anniversary of New Caledonia becoming a French colony. The diploma testifies that Dupouy received the second prize in photography.
The album contains several excellent panoramas of Noumea, including a large five-part photo taken from the elevation behind St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral and showing the city’s downtown core and harbour. The other panoramas of Noumea show it from the Artillerie quarter and the infantry barracks; another panorama depicts the infamous penitentiary on the Nou Island. Many photos show French military barracks, posts, troops and revues across the Grande Terre Island - infantry barracks in Noumea (in everyday state and decorated for the 4th of July celebration), the monument to Colonel Gally Passebose (military commandant of New Caledonia, killed during the uprising in 1878), military posts in Ponérihouen (the North Province, including one photo of the post after a cyclone) and La Coulée (the South Province), the revue in Noumea on July 14, 1909, training on the battalion grounds, numerous portraits of French officers, interior views of their private quarters, the grave of French infantry soldier Silvaine Maynadier, scenes of a party in the battalion’s canteen and soldiers washing at the “bathing grounds”, &c.
Interesting views of Noumea show St. Joseph Cathedral, the church of Immaculate Conception, the shop of “Maison A. Barrau & Cie,” the quay, numerous French steamers in the harbour, the musical pavilion, the statue of Jeanne d’Arc (decorated for the inauguration in January 1910), “le restaurant Massoubre,” etc. Two photos show the ceremony of laying the first stone and the initial construction of the nickel mine of “Société des Hauts Forneaux de Nouméa” in Noumea’s neighbourhood of Doniambo; there is also a photo of the mine’s inauguration on July 10, 1910. A large photo shows French and native workers posing in front of the first oil derrick in New Caledonia (“Premiers coups de Sonde au Pétrole”). Several photos show the Noumea-Paita railway – the Auteuil station, passengers posing from the train in Dumbea, and scenes of the construction of the extension from Dumbea to Paita. There are also views of Catholic churches and bridges in St. Louis and Paita and a couple of views taken on the Nou Island.
A series of photos show various sport and entertainment events in Noumea: a bike race in December 1908 (portraits of the contestants and their bikes, views of the race track and competition scenes), portraits of “the battalion boxers,” and a series of photos of “une leçon de Boxe,” “Noumea-Sport” (a running competition on the velodrome grounds in 1909), “Concours de Gymnastique 24 September 1909,” several scenes from “l’entrainement au foot ball,” group portraits of French officers during fancy dress parties, picnics at the Yahoué waterfalls near Noumea, dinners in the restaurant in Dumbea, etc.
Over twenty photos show the native inhabitations of New Caledonia (warriors, families, children, “groupe de canaques,” “Grands Chefs canaques au Poste,” a group portrait “dans la brousse,” “un belle mere,” “les Grandes Chefs canaques en tenue,” a group partying with French officers). Ten photos depict the scenes from the traditional pilou dance performed on September 24, 1909; three others – the pilou dance performed on July 14, 1910. Another group portrait shows children and French missionaries in front of a native school “in the bush.”
The later photos include portraits of Dupouy, his wife and young son Jean-Pierre, and mostly scenes and views from their life in Madagascar (Ambovombe, Poste Nivet, Fort Dauphin, Cap Diego, Ampotaka, Tsiombe, Beloha, &c). Six photos at rear show Dupouy on military service in Tonkin in February 1914, and the last three photos depict the award ceremony in Bordeaux in March 1917, when Dupouy received his cross of the Legion of Honour.
Overall a rare content-rich visual source on the history of New Caledonia in the early 20th century.
Price: $7,500.00 USD