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Lot 1004: Antique Victorian Family PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM Van Lennep Post-MortemPlatinum House
November 18, 2012
Ithaca, NY, USALive Auction
Details: This small Victorian photograph album measures only 5" x 6" x 1", but is completely filled with 17 very fine quality pictures of Henry J. Van Lennep, his wife, and their children. These professionally made pictures were taken in Hartford, CT and Great Barrington, MA studios, and are about evenly divided between head shots and full-body poses, including a hand-tinted one of a deceased toddler. The embossed album is finished with a beautifully ornate brass clasp.
Henry J. Van Lennep (1815-1889) was a noted nineteenth century minister, missionary, writer, illustrator, and educator. Born in Smyrna, Van Lennep was educated in the U.S. but returned to Turkey upon ordination, where he served as missionary for 29 years. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout western Asia and Egypt, aided by his proficiency in many languages. A skillful artist, he wrote and illustrated several books based on his travels. Published during a time when public curiosity about "the Orient" was high, these books were very popular, showing the scenery, people, and customs of Asia Minor, and discussing these elements with Biblical and archaeological references. He also illustrated scientific texts with the noted geologist and President of Amherst College, Edward Hitchcock. After losing his sight in 1869, he returned to the U.S., where he spent the last twenty years of his life teaching natural sciences and languages at Ingham University, a women's college in Le Roy, New York, and later serving as co-principal at the Sedgwick Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his son, Edward.
The provenance of this material can be traced directly back to Henry Van Lennep through four generations of his descendants.
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Condition / Notes: This album shows wear around the edges, but is otherwise in very good condition, with a firm binding and undamaged pictures.
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