[Collection of Twenty-Two Rare Early Albumen Cartes de Visite, Portraying Indigenous People of British Guiana].
Ca. 1860s – 1870s. Twenty-two loose albumen photos, each ca. 9,5x5,5 cm (3 ¾ x 2 in), all mounted on period card ca. 10,5x6 cm (4 x 2 ½ in). Nineteen cards mounted on card with printed red borders on the recto and printed credentials of the photographers on verso: fifteen images with printed credentials “Wellcome & Anderson, Photographers” and four images with printed paper labels of “J.R. Anderson, Photographer.” Three cards with period ink notes “Bucks or Red Indians, B.[C?]” on verso. Mounts slightly waved and soiled, a few photos mildy faded, but overall a very good collection of these rare early photos.
Rare collection of early carte de visite albumen photo portraits of the indigenous people of northern South America, most likely of British Guiana (modern-day Guyana). Fifteen portraits are mounted on the official card of a little-known “Wellcome & Anderson” studio, and four more – on the card of its partner, J.R. Anderson, who continued working as an independent photographer after the dissolution of his partnership with Wellcome. According to a British Guiana’s newspaper, “The Colonist” (Georgetown, 1864-1884), “B. Wellcome, late photographer of the firm of Wellcome and Anderson,” died at Barbados in January 1875 (The Colonist, Wednesday, January 6 1875, p. 2, col. 6; quoted by: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~nyggbs/Colonist/1875Colonist.pdf). As follows from an online Index of Photographers from the collections of the Royal Commonwealth Society Library, “little is known about J.R. Anderson. However, some information can be discovered in 'The British Guiana directory and almanack'. In the 1876 edition, Anderson is listed under 'Photographers' with a studio in 'Water Street, corner of Murray Street [Georgetown]' (p.177). Anderson is similarly listed in the 1877 and 1878 directories. In the 1879 directory Anderson is listed at 'corner of Water-Street and Holmes-Street [Georgetown]' (p. 188). Anderson is not listed in the 1880 directory” (https://wwwe.lib.cam.ac.uk/CUL/rcs_photographers/entry.php?id=33).
The photos mounted on “Wellcome & Anderson’s” and Anderson’s official cards portray families, women and children in two studio settings. People wear traditional dress and jewelry; a man in one of the photos is posing next to a woven basket and a wooden (?) bird. The three photos mounted on blank cards have period ink captions on verso, saying “Bucks or Red Indians, B.[C?],” but, judging by the costumes of the portrayed people, similar to the ones on “Wellcome & Anderson’s” pictures, these images also depict native Guyanese. The photos display a metal pot, a net-covered bottle and a set of plates, possibly used in a traditional household. Overall, an interesting collection of rare early photograph portraits of native Guyanese people.
Price: $6,500.00 USD