Lot 196: Stunning album with over 50 photographs by Stafhell & Kleingrothe

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

June 19, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Description: PHOTOGRAPHY - STAFHELL, Herman & KLEINGROTHE, Charles. Sumatra. Sumatra, Indonesia, 1890s. Large oblong folio. Lacquered wood boards (scratched with some loss of lacquer, corners showing, joints cracked) with mother-of-pearl front cover decorations (partly gone), all edges gilt. Original album with 53 vintage albumen prints mounted on both sides of the leaves (incl. 5 cabinet and 48 full-page photographs) with ink captions on mount, most prints signed, located 'Stafhell & Kleingrothe Medan Deli Sumatra' and/or numbered in the negative, some of the tissue guards still present. Leaves loose/loosening and sl. foxed and chipped at edges, 1 leaf with small marginal tear, minor imperfections to the photographs (occasional light foxing stains, silver mirroring and superficial scratches), overall photographs in very good condition.
Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.2 cm. (cabinet) & c. 27.5 x 36 cm. (full-page)
Literature: Rudi Kousbroek. Regen van een halve eeuw geleden; Foto's van de tabakscultuur op Sumatra in het Tropenmuseum, NRC 16 oktober 1992
Notes:
The largest collection of vintage prints by Stafhell & Kleingrothe (North and West Sumatra) in one single album. The Nederlands Fotomuseum holds a similar handmade album with the same subjects: the production of tobacco, the environment and the people, natives as well as foreign workers ( http://collectie.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl/nl/de-fotografen/weergave/record?id=79a4eeca-5d19-bc61-2d37-e259be0ed307 ). Because the photographs used to be selected by the customer, plantation owners and tourists, the few surviving 'copies' differ in composition. An extraordinary collection of vintage prints, including some of the most impressive photographs of Indonesia from the end of the 19th century. As even single prints are hard to find the album offered here provides a unique occasion to explore these "photographs of unequalled beauty" (Rudi Kousbroek, 1992).
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