[Album with 263 Original Gelatin Silver Photographs Showing Guatemala City (Yurrita Church), Antigua Guatemala (La Merced Church, Santa Clara Convent), Chichicastenango (Church of Santo Tomas, Pre-Columbian Maya Statue of Pascual Abaj, City Market), Palin, Santa Cruz del Quiche, Lake Atitlan, Railway Tracks and Stations, Portraits of Local People in Traditional Costumes, Scenes of Festivities and Everyday Life, &c.].
Ca. 1930s. Folio album ca. 37,5x27,5x5 cm (14 ¾ x 10 ¾ x 2 in). 62 leaves of toned wood-pulp scrapbook paper (5 blank). With 263 mounted gelatin silver photos (tipped in cellophane corners); the majority are ca. 8,5x12 cm (3 ¼ x 4 ¾ in); one large photo is ca. 12,5x17,5 cm (5 x 6 ¾ in); six smaller photos are ca. 6,5x8,5 cm (2 ½ x 3 ½ in). Six leaves and one individual photo with period pencil captions on the mounts. Housed in period black card boards and additional outer covers wrapped in Guatemalan woven patterned textiles; all fastened with brass screw bolts. Mounts are slightly brittle, some with minor tears and losses on extremities, not affecting the images, but overall, a very good album of interesting strong photos.
Historically significant extensive collection of original photos of Guatemala in the 1930s, with numerous views of cities, churches, natural landmarks, Mayan religious sites, scenes of festivities and everyday life, and portraits of local people wearing traditional costumes. The travellers (likely, Americans) went by a train of the Northern Railroad of Guatemala from Puerto Barrios on the country’s Atlantic coast to the capital, Guatemala City. They also visited the Guatemalan central highlands, stopping at Antigua Guatemala, Palin, Chichicastenango, Santa Cruz del Quiche and Lake Atitlan. Among the identified images are views of the Yurrita church in Guatemala City, still under construction (built by the Yurrita family in 1927-1941); Catholic sites of Antigua Guatemala (exterior and interior of the Church and convent of La Merced, ruins of Santa Clara convent); Lake Atitlan and nearby San Pedro and Atitlan volcanos. A series of photos of Chichicastenango show the Church of Santo Tomas and the nearby famous street market; arched bridge with painted decorations and the sign “1932” on top; three images of the pre-Columbian Maya statue of Pascual Abaj (in its original state, before it was defaced in the 1950s), and a portrait of a porter from the “Mayan Inn” (a hotel in Chichicastenango, opened in 1932 and still working today), &c.
A series of photos captioned “Quiche” include scenes of a religious festival in Santa Cruz del Quiche (with the building of the “Palacio Municipal” in the foreground), showing a crowd on the square in front of the city cathedral, a procession of masked participants, musicians playing drums and traditional Mayan marimba instruments, &c. Several photos show the tracks and stations of the Northern Railroad of Guatemala and automobiles fitted with railcar undercarriages to move along the railway tracks. There are also views of Mayan ruins and stelae, villages, churches, fields, countryside roads, waterfalls, highlands, &c.
Photos of Guatemalan people portray street and market sellers, bull carts drivers, carriers of goods, farmers, Catholic priests, elders, families with children, women wearing traditional costumes and headdresses, women and girls washing clothes in outdoor basins, weaving, dying cloth, grinding grains, making tortillas and other food, &c. Five photos of the interior of a textile factory show women working the looms and spinning machinery. Several photos most likely portray the travellers posing with the locals. Overall, an important extensive collection of original photos of Guatemala and its people in the 1930s. The ornament on the textile used for the binding is very similar to the cloth, depicted in one of the photos.
General captions on the top of the mounts: Barrios to Guatemala City; Palin; Antigua; [Lake Atitlan?]; Chichicastenango; Quiche. The caption to the individual photo: A porter at Maya Inn, his wife & family.
Price: $4,500.00 USD