19th CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS - PAGE 1
On many of the pages of this total site, I have referred to some very famous 19th century photographers whose fine work I have featured. In order to save space and avoid repetition, I'll provide here such limited data that I know about each of those photographers, and then link to this page. But it may take a while to re-locate the data I have elsewhere on this total site and copy it over. So bear with me!
I have started to provide access, re each photographer, to images located elsewhere on this total site. Or intended to soon be located elsewhere on the total site. The images may however have been cropped to focus on the subject matter of the applicable page. So the images I present may not be of the whole of the images as they were originally published. But so far there are only a handful so linked. Just 29 today, I think, including 2 where the photographers name is not known, to the webmaster at least.
The images? The webmaster is not a dealer in antique images. So mainly, in all truth, the images came originally from e-Bay with the occasional image provided by a kindly site visitor. Finding e-Bay images? That is not easy either, though it sounds so very simple. Clearly e-Bay vendors do not post listing images to suit the webmaster's needs ~ and nor should they. They have quite different objectives which do not include inclusion of their images in a site such as this, a site which is however non-profit and informational in nature. A miniscule fraction of all of the listing images that the webmaster sees (when he has the time to search) are, in fact, of a size, quality or subject matter that would likely interest you, the visitor. So the site grows but slowly. And to those whose images grace these pages, often alas without their knowledge and generally long after the item is sold, I am truly grateful. Only infrequently am I able to name them.
But I will provide a link to one e-Bay vendor, who consistently provides large quality images of his for-sale items - photographs of all types. To help a purchaser and I presume to help with sales also! With more vendor names to be later added, I am sure. A short-cut if you will to permit a visitor to locate such vendors. The first such vendor is 'photosphotos' whose store is here. There will be more such vendors added in due course, I am sure.
Since all the above words were written, I have started to add in other photographers' names - and there must be hundreds of them. If data is scarce about the more famous photographers, it may prove to be essentially non existent re the 'lesser' names. But we will start the process and see whether site visitors can expand upon the information.
The page is already far too big. Soon I will move some of the data to a second page.
Page 1 Agius, H.
Lehnert & Landrock
Mulnier, Ferdinand J.
Sébah, P. or J. P.
Soule, John P.
Soule, William S.
Zangaki, G. and C.
An Albumen Print?
A Photoglyptie Print?
A Woodburytype Print?
I read in an expired e-Bay listing, that Horatio (Orazio) Agius was born in about 1840 and died in January 1910. From the 1860s until he died, he operated various studios in Malta. Described as a prolific photographer of views of Malta and of its people and costumes - and noted also as a portrait photographer. In 1866 he 'contributed work to the London Exhibition'. Now every WWW photographic reference I could find to Agius relates exclusively to the Island of Malta - and most Agius references generally, indeed, relate to Malta also. So it would seem that that name is still most closely associated with Malta today. Can you help with more data?
This Cambridge University Library site suggest that there may be two photographers with the name of Agius - H. Agius and O. Agius, both described as commercial photographers. But I wonder from the above data whether both H. and O. Agius are, in fact, the very same individual.
There were a few images available on e-Bay, as this page was long since updated, attributed to H. Agius. The first such image was sold in May 2006 for U.S. $46. I thank 'ntrcollectibles' of the U.K., and D. Raynes, the vendor, whose e-Bay store is, however, now long gone. He had, in fact, two H. Agius images for sale as this page was first written. What I have on this site (the stairs image) is however modified to make the albumen image look more contemporary - with better contrast and in black and white. Of interest also, I have seen a reference to an H. Agius panoramic view of the harbour at Valetta, Malta, a fold out image of 96 x 20.5 cm. in size. Which clearly relates to the second thumbnail below which is of a portion of that panorama. 'ntrcollectibles' did have a similar panorama for sale in May 2006 which sold for U.S. $81.00
Some H. Agius images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version.
For most of the photographers named on this page, information seems to be rather scarce. And that may be more true for H. Arnoux perhaps that for most of the others. If you can help with more biographical data, do please do so.
I know only that H. (Hippolyte) Arnoux was French. He was, I understand active from the 1860s to the 1890s. In the 1860s, he would seem to have filmed the excavation of the Suez Canal and published the resulting photographs as Album du Canal de Suez. He worked occasionally with the Zangaki studio in Port Said.
A Google search produced, alas, nothing additional.
But Dr. Nikos Kokkinos, Wingate Scholar and Research Fellow at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College, London, has advised the following most interesting data - 'that some photos of the Suez Canal taken by Arnoux, particularly those depicting locations south of Port-Said, were to be found later with the names of the Zangaki Bros or Peridis & Georgiladakis attached. I imagine that the Greek photographers somehow 'inherited' the negatives of Arnoux. Or, possibly, they worked for Arnoux before they started their own businesses (in Port-Said and later Cairo), and that they may even have taken the photographs themselves in the first place on behalf of Arnoux. Unfortunately we do not know much about their relationships or exact dates - but Arnoux must have been the oldest, already working in 1869 in the opening of the Suez canal. Alternatively, the Greek photographers may have bought the negatives in the open market after the death of Arnoux. This is an area on which I am still gathering information, and bibliography is very thin on the ground.'
Stay tuned! Hopefully more data will emerge.
Some Arnoux images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere (or hopefully will soon appear elsewhere) in these total pages.
A. (Antonio) Beato is a noted photographer of subjects Egyptian. He was born in Veneto, Italy (the area of Italy that includes Venice) c. 1830 but became a British citizen. Active as a photographer from 1862 to about 1900, he had a studio on Mouski Street in Cairo from 1862 but in 1870 moved his studio to Luxor, Egypt, where he died in 1903.
He is not to be confused with his brother Felice Beato (born about 1830 in the same area of Italy and died after 1904 in Mandalay, Burma, now Myanmar). Felice Beato would seem to have lived in Japan and produced quality photographic work from an entirely different part of the world.
Some Antonio Beato images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere in these total pages.
It would appear that there was more than one photographer known as 'Bonfils' - Félix Bonfils, (1831-1886). Followed by Adrien, Félix's son (1861-1929). And then Lydie (Marie Lydie Cabanis - 1837-1918), the spouse of Félix and mother to Adrien.
Félix Bonfils was born on March 8, 1831 in St. Hippolyte du Fort (Gard), France. He took up the trade of bookbinder, but in 1860 joined General d'Hautpoul's expedition to the Levant to end an outbreak of factional fighting. Evidence suggests that Félix became a photographer sometime after his return from Lebanon, possibly as an amateur. Then, however, when his son Adrien fell ill with respiratory problems, Félix remembered the cool green hills around Beirut and its dry climate and sent him there to recover. With him went Félix's wife Lydie Bonfils, and when she returned, apparently as enthusiastic about the Middle East as Félix had been, they decided to return en famille.
Félix was by then working in Alčs as a printer, producing heliogravures - a photographic process invented by Abel Niepce de St. Victor, cousin of the man frequently called 'the father of photography', Joseph Nicephore Niepce - he decided to try and support himself in Lebanon by taking up the trade of photography. It turned out well; in 1867, the Bonfils family settled in Beirut and Félix set up a photographic studio there.
His photographic output is staggering. 15,000 prints of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and 9,000 stereoscopic views. His works can be found in the world's superlative art collections - the Louvre in Paris, France, the Ashmolean in Oxford, England, and in many collections in the U.S. (Metropolitan Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Princeton).
Félix Bonfils died, it would seem, in Alčs, France. In 1885 or perhaps in 1886.
Some Bonfils images, as they become available. (But never 15,000!) Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere (or hopefully will soon appear elsewhere) in these total pages.
All I can advise is the briefest of references to A. Cavilla. That he was known to have had a studio in Tangier in the 1880's.
I know very little about this photographer! References to him are few, but his first initial would seem to be 'J' (I do not know what the 'J' means, however). I saw one reference to his being French There are a number of his images available via a Google search, including postcard images, but I could see no biographical data about the photographer whatsoever. Almost everything that I have so far seen seems to have originated in Tunis (one image placed in Algeria).
There are Garrigues images here. Michel Mégnin of France would seem to have many postcard images on his site and a number of them are by Garrigues. There are seven towards the bottom of this page, and others most certainly throughout his website. And e-Bay? There are a number of Garrigues items for sale as this page is written and probably every day. One I saw had these words on the back of what I think is a 'cabinet' card - 'J. Garrigues Photographe DE S. A LE BEY DE TUNIS'.
Just two images so far. And I am not absolutely sure that the first one is by Garrigues at all! But I think that it is from the faint text at bottom left. Can anyone correct me if I am wrong.
I read that Rafael Garzón was a most famous photographer, based in Granada, Spain. His studio was on the Alhambra Hill in Granada but he also had studios in Sevilla and Córdoba. I have also seen photographic references to an F. Garzón from Seville. Same person? I do not know yet.
The few Garzón images I have seen are identified as being 'Garzón' together with 'fotógrafo Granada' or 'fotóg' or just 'ftg.'.
This Cambridge University Library site advises me that Georgiladakis was active in North Africa in the 1880s (they say ca. 1880/1889) and produced scenic and topographical views, much in the manner of Zangaki. Seven images would seem to be in the Library archives. That is all that I can so far find.
In view of photographs being identified as being 'Peridis & Georgiladakis', (see Peridis below) he must have had a professional association with Peridis at some point in his career. Or maybe it was she! Because that Cambridge University site linked above states that they do not know whether Georgiladakis was a man or a woman!
Vassilaki (or Basile) Kargopoulo (1826/1886) was an Ottoman Greek who opened a photographic studio in Beyoglu (or maybe in Pera) in 1850. I really do not know where those places are but probably both are located in central Constantinople now Istanbul, Turkey. In 1879 he was appointed court photographer to Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha, the Turkish Sultan, known as Abdülhamid II. In the years that followed Kargopoulo extensively documented not only the Ottoman Court, but also the city of Constantinople and its varied people. He produced an extensive body of work, it would seem. In 1886, he died of a heart attack, soon after, I read, receiving 'a gold medal for fine arts'. He was succeeded by his son Konstantin who however held the position as court photographer for a short while only until a date in 1888. The photographic studio was closed in 1895, I read, and the family moved to Aydin, which I learn is inland, but close (about 65 km) from Kusadasi on the Aegean coast.
The above data comes mainly from here (I trust I have paraphrased it reasonably correctly) which describes an extensively illustrated book about the photographer which volume, per that site, is entitled 'Vassilaki Kargopoulo: Photographer to His Majesty the Sultan' - written by Bahattin Öztuncay. Bahattin Öztuncay is noted for a number of volumes about aspects of early photography in Turkey. Published in an English edition indeed. 319 or thereabouts pages. The cover of the volume seems however to spell the photographer's name differently - Vasilaki Kargopulo, i.e. different spellings for first and family names. Vassilaki (or Vasilaki) was also known as Basile, I read, presumably the English equivalent of the name.
The volume I refer to is a specialised volume indeed (ISBN: 9756648015, published, in hard & soft cover it would seem, by Birlesik Oksijen Sanayi A.S. (BAS) of Instanbul in 2000), and like all such volumes is not particularly cheap. Check 'Book-Finder' for current availability. It is not likely, that the webmaster will be able to own a copy. Hopefully however, from a site visitor or from some other source we may, in the future, expand and enhance the few words above. And perhaps include exact dates of birth and death if available.
An image of the photographer is available here and since it is so appropriate that his image be on this page I have used that image here, at left. Colour modified to remove the yellowing of age.
I do hope that it is in order to use the image on this non-profit and informational site. If not, I will remove it upon request and hopefully substitute another image in the future.
I trust that I will soon be able to show you more of his work. Just one image today! Stay tuned, however. Material does seem to turn up, often from unexpected sources. Maybe you can help in that regard? The one Kargopoulo image I show now is identified as being 'B. Kargopoulo, Phot.', with B. meaning Basile, I presume. I have also seen references to Kargopoulo images identified as being by 'Basil' and 'Cléoméne'.
Rudolf Franz Lehnert and Ernst Heinrich Landrock were both born in 1878, Lehnert in Austria and Landrock in Germany. They met, I read, in Switzerland in 1904. Both were photographers and both wanted to visit and work in the then fashionable and exotic 'Orient'. Lehnert remained the photographer while Landrock became the businessman. Landrock managed the laboratory, made the photographs, and generally ran the store if you will. Their relationship succeeded and they worked together for 26 years, from 1904 to 1930.
Before the partnership, Lehnert had gone to Tunisia alone, and was impressed by the beauty of North Africa. Lehnert and Landrock became partners, established a shop (through 1914) at 9, Avenue de France in Tunis, Tunisia, but it was forcibly closed by the French Governor at the time of WW1 (enemy aliens) and their property was confiscated. It would seem that Lehnert was on a photographic trip at the time and upon his return to Tunis he was imprisoned for a brief period in Algeria and then in an internment camp in Corsica.
Landrock was then in Switzerland. The two partners were re-united in Davos, (I have also read that they met again in Leipzig) where Lehnert had later been interned. Lehnert met and married Eugenie Schmitt, and as a result of the marriage became a French citizen. After the war, Lehnert regained, I have read, his precious glass plates which had been confiscated. In 1920, the partners moved with their families to Cairo, and Lehnert resumed his photographic trips, most notably to Palestine and to Lebanon. Their Cairo store, the 'Oriental Art Publishing House' at 21 Maghrebi Street was actively involved in the lucrative trade of the printing and sale of postcards. It would seem that Lehnert worked for a brief period (1922-24) in Algiers for Jouvet. In 1930, Lehnert returned to Tunisia where he became a renowned portrait photographer. He 'leaves all the copyrights of his art work to Landrock'. Landrock continues the Cairo business until 1938 when he sells 80 per cent of the company to Kurt Lambelet. Starting from September 29, 1938 the company's name became "L & L Succ. Ernst Landrock & Co.". Lehnert died in Redeyef, Tunisia, on January 16, 1948 and was buried at Carthage. Landrock died on April 30, 1966 in Kreuzlingen, Germany.
I have read many references that state that all their photos are signed "L&L". But many images I have seen for sale on e-Bay are in fact signed 'Lehnert & Landrock, Tunis' or 'Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo' or 'Lehnert & Landrock, Photogr.' I have many postcards on my collective web sites marked 'LL' - and I thought perhaps that contraction was reserved for the limited space available on a postcard? But not so. The 'LL' postcards are, so Dr. Kokkinos advises, nothing whatsoever to do with Lehnert & Landrock. Rather they are the initials of Lucien Levy of Paris, France, who began a family company producing postcards, which business continued later under a different name with his sons. Many of the Lehnert & Landrock images are of places, often apparently quite deserted! But many of them are also images of nudes, which fact I find quite strange viewed from this point in time and with today's sensitivities. Am I permitted to show one exotic (or perhaps erotic indeed) postcard which was available for sale on e-Bay, on the very day this page was last updated? Of date unspecified. Of mild content, in fact, compared to the content of a large percentage of the WWW today!
To this very day there is a small bookshop in downtown Cairo, named Lehnert and Landrock of course, located at 44, Sherif Street. It is today run by Edouard Lambelet (1937- ), one of Landrock's grandsons. It continues to sell, amongst other items, quality prints of the original Lehnert and Landrock photographs.
I read but did not understand words on one site which used to state that the Lehnert and Landrock photo plates now belong to the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne. Can anybody explain that? A comment on this page may help in that regard - A relative of Landrock donated all the known plates to the musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne. But then this comment - It is believed the glass printing plates for these amazing images were destroyed during the American & British bombardment of Germany in World War II. I presume that the plate collection was very large and became separated and dispersed?
The photographs on the WWW? What I have so far seen is largely a disappointment in my view, mostly too small and of too poor a definition to do justice to the fine original work. Or covered with gallery logos that I find amazingly intrusive and probably you will also. But you be the judge by conducting your own search! The best informational site I have seen about them is located here, written re a 1999 show of their work at the Mubarak Library in Cairo, Egypt. I recommend that you drop by. They even have a fine image of the store! To see some larger and better quality images, check out e-Bay, an extraordinary resource indeed, from time to time!
It would seem that Chris Langtvet of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, has advanced the reproduction of the images from the glass plate negatives themselves, producing exhibition prints using 19th-century technology. I have tried to locate more info about Chris's interesting project but a Google search for him produced very little other than the fact that he produced prints which were displayed in the 'Sony Gallery'.
There is detailed historical data available at this fine site, far more than I can include here. It includes an image of Dr. Edouard Lambelet. The above data comes from a number of sources and surely needs to be both refined and expanded. Hopefully images of the two partners might someday become available for inclusion here? Can anybody help?
Perhaps, soon, we will add some thumbnail images of the most notable of Lehnert's splendid 'scenic' images. As I have started to do with other photographers presented on this page. Just one image so far. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere (or hopefully will soon appear elsewhere) in these total pages.
I should add that there are 2 volumes of Lehnert & Landrock images, written by Michel Mégnin, of France. In French, of course. The covers of those volumes are visible on this page.
G. Lekegian, I read, established a studio in Cairo in 1887 and rapidly developed a reputation for quality work. I have seen the 'G' to be said to mean 'Gabriel' and also 'Gaberial'. He signed, it would appear, most of his photographs “Photographic Artistique G. Lekegian & Co”, which was a French based company perhaps. He won the Gold Medal at the International Photography Exhibition in Paris in 1892, and the Grand Prize at the International Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. His work is found today in many major photographic collections. I have not found, in my limited search of the WWW, what I would term proper 'biographical data' about the photographer. It would seem, however, that he was active from the 1880s through the 1890s. Can anybody clarify?
But I do learn that he was an Armenian, who had arrived from Istanbul. His studio, near the legendary Shepheard's Hotel gradually turned the area between Qasr al-Nil Street and Opera Square into a golden triangle of Cairo photography. Armenian's were dominant in photography in Egypt at that time. As this site says "certain professions were the exclusive domain of specific communities. The Greeks ran the cafés and grocery stores; the Italians had engineering and print shops; the Maltese were lawyers or journalists. With an oriental sensibility but free of any religious prohibition on representational imagery, the Armenians were probably best placed to introduce and develop this latest and bizarre manifestation of western technology in Egypt. Although many of them (like the proprietor of Studio Venus, who specialized in shots of gas stations for Shell) may have seen this new profession only as financially rewarding business, the art of the photographic portrait was also to become an Armenian specialty."
Some Lekegian images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere in these total pages.
Ferdinand J. Mulnier was a French (but see my final words below) photographer, active in the period of 1870/1876, whose studio was located at 25 Boulevard des Italiens, in Paris, France. I cannot yet locate his dates of birth and death. But I have read that he opened his studio in Paris in 1856. 'E-Bay University' advises me that he left Paris in 1885 and joined the photographic studio of 'Mayer and Pierson' in Brussels and indicates therefore that items with references to 'Boulevard des Italiens' can date from no later than 1885. I have seen him described as 'flamboyant'.
'Galerie Contemporaine des Illustrations Françaises', published and republished in the period of 1876/1894, contained 81 essays about prominent citizens of the day including painters and sculptors, and all the essays, it would seem, were illustrated with Ferdinand Mulnier photographs.
I read that Mulnier, in 1885, contributed with many other famous photographers in the 8 volume, 'The Contemporary Gallery of Illustrations of the Frenchwoman'. The series contained 131 portraits of prominent female personalities of the day.
An e-Bay item in July 2006, a CDV of French painter Alexandre Cabanel, stated that Mulnier showed his photographs in 'the Société Française de Photographie in 1861, 1863 and 1864, in Brussels in 1861, and won several prizes at exhibitions, including the 1867 and a Silver medal at the 1878 Universal Exhibitions of Paris.' The rear of the card, which had illustrations of the above medals, bore also the coat of arms of a municipality that the vendor could not identify. Nor could the webmaster. Probably related to Paris?
Items by Mulnier come up quite frequently on e-Bay. A CDV, by 'Pierson & Mulnier', originating at a studio address in Brussels, was available on e-Bay in late July 2006. It would seem to date from the 1860s. Related to Ferdinand Mulnier, I wonder? My added words above re Brussels, would seem to confirm that it does relate indeed. If so, perhaps he was not French but rather Belgian? And may have started in Brussels and returned there again after many years in Paris. Can you add more? A much later e-Bay item referred to the studio in Brussels being entitled 'MAYER PIERSON et MULNIER' of 32 rue des Fripiers, Bruxelles.
It is a puzzle that such a prominent photographer's dates of birth and death appear to be unknown.
I have virtually zero information about this photographer, so any help that visitors could provide would be both welcomed and appreciated.
A few albumens by Peridis can be seen via a Google search as this section is written, but the Google references just list the name and provide no biographical data whatsoever. The dates were stated, where there was a date indicated at all, as being ca. 1875 or ca. 1880 and, judging by the subject matter, he may well have been based in Cairo or Suez. That would jive with postcards I have now seen of Egyptian scenes published by P. Peridis of Cairo, so just maybe his initial was P. and he was Cairo based.
E-Bay, my most trusty of research tools, has produced, as this page is updated, an image credited to 'Peridis & Georgiladakis' and another 'Peridis' expired listing referred to those photographers as being Greek (no surprise with those names!) and active at the same period in time as were the Zangaki brothers. I constantly seem to debate with myself whether it is right to show e-Bay images on this non-profit and informational site. In this case, because data about Peridis is to date so very scarce, I have decided to do so. The item (long gone now) was sold via e-Bay in May 2006. I thank 'bosch1969' of Germany whose e-Bay store is here. Do drop by! What I have on this site is however modified to make the image look more contemporary - with better contrast and in good black and white. Not a difficult task for the webmaster who is, however, a novice in such matters.
Some Peridis and Geogiladakis images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere (or hopefully will soon appear elsewhere) in these total pages. Soon, maybe, some images just by Peridis.
P. (Pascal) Sébah was a Turkish photographer, active during the period of 1856-1900.
Now the purpose of this page is to provide the visitor with such biographical data about each photographer as I can locate. Re Sébah it would seem that there already are two comprehensive and informative web pages and both of them state that their accounts are based upon a 1999 volume by Engin Özendes entitled 'From Sébah & Joiallier to Foto Sabah: Orientalism in Photography'. Engin would seem to have her own most extensive website, (English version is here) and a puzzle to me is that while she refers to her many books, she does not refer, that I can see, to that particular title.
The two pages are very similar. The American College of Greece (ACG ART) page seems to be complete with proper accents on the words and names, however. But I give you the second link also, since I do not know who wrote the basic texts.
I invite you to visit those links and have nothing to add today other than the fact that Pascal Sébah was, I think I have read, a mathematician also. Am I correct about that? Which is not mentioned in those texts. And to specifically mention one reference in the texts - that Sébah's prints, it would seem, were signed 'P. Sébah' while the later images, or some of them at least, were signed 'J. P. Sébah' with the additional 'J' referring to Johannes (Jean) the son. I wonder where 'Ferikoy' is, where Pascal Sébah was buried?
Some Sébah images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere in these total pages. Or will hopefully soon so appear.
Georgio Sommer, Studio Monte Di Dio 4, Maggazino S. Caterina 5, Napoli
Another photographer about whom I today know virtually nothing. An American photographer, however. He photographed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in 1865, while it was being constructed and had a studio at 199 Washington Street in Boston. But I have also seen a card with the following on its rear - 'John P. Soule, Photographer, 528 Broadway (Head of James St.) Seattle, Washington.' Multiple offices or studios it would seem. There are a great many stereo cards published by him in the 1860s, particularly a series entitled 'American Views' and another entitled 'Soule's Stereoscopic Views of' ... wherever (a list). A 1907 image carried a reference to Soule Art Pub. Co. of Boston. Maybe his company?
Need I say it? If you can add a paragraph or data about this photographer (or indeed any photographer mentioned on this page, I would be most happy to present it here. And gladly credit the source. Many links on this page as to how you can reach me. Including one at the very bottom of the page.
I have not found yet an image by John P. Soule of a size and condition suitable for presentation on this page. Though I have seen many John P. Soule images already. Sorry to say that John, wherever you are! It is not your fault. Images, alas, fade over time. And yours are very early indeed. But someday soon, I will hopefully feature some quality examples of your work! Rather than images of the works of others that you published.
There also was a pioneer photographer of the American west - William S. Soule who filmed native Americans at Fort Sill, then in Indian territory, Oklahoma. A book on the subject indeed, entitled 'WILL SOULE, Indian Photographer, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1869/1874', by Russell Belous and Robt. Weinstein, was published by Ward Ritchie Press in 1969. He was John P. Soule's brother, I learn. A 'carte-de-visite' portrait of him is for sale as this page is amended in May 2006. You may have to empty your piggy bank to buy it, however! Most valuable, it would seem. Available (or probably was available) here. Maybe, when the item is successfully sold, I will show a portion of his image to you, on this page. Hopefully the vendor would then have no concerns about its display here.
I can tell you very little about Zangaki, since so little appears to be known about them. Them? Yes them, because there were apparently two brothers of Greek origin who were famous photographers in roughly the period of the 1860s through 1880s. Their initials were G. and C., and their work was simply signed Zangaki. They specialised in images of Egypt and Palestine and worked, I read, out of Port Said. Apart from those few facts, I can find little else about them.
An e-Bay item in May 2006 mentioned 'Adelphoi Zangaki' and I thought 'Adelphoi' might have been the another name for one of the brothers. But, silly me, I am advised that the word simply means 'brothers'!
But in April 2006, an extraordinary albumen was sold via e-Bay, by photobazaar of Austria, whom we thank. I trust that using the material on this non-profit and informational site is in order. Described as - 'Please note this sensation: This very rare photography of the Sphinx is showing one of the Zangaki brothers standing on the right of the Sphinx. AND: The world famous "Dark-Room-Car" of the Zangaki brothers is standing on the left side of the Sphinx (Greek-letters!). Absolutely rare and never seen!!!' How amazing! Clearly others thought so also because the image sold for U.S. $765 after no fewer than 21 bids. The date of the image is unknown but it is believed to be about 1870/1880. The image was titled, numbered and signed by the photographer in the negative. # 398 was I think the number but I may have read that incorrectly. About 8" x 10" in size.
The vendor provided four large images. I show here a composite image which has a small version of the main image and also 'Zangaki' and the mobile darkroom! Dr. Nikos Kokkinos advises me, (thanks!) that the words on the 'darkroom' read "Brothers Zangaki Photographers".
Some Zangaki images, as they become available. Click on each thumbnail for the larger version that appears elsewhere (or hopefully will soon appear elsewhere) in these total pages.
Some fine early images where the photographers name is unknown to the webmaster. If any site visitor can identify the particular photographer re any image, the webmaster would be most grateful.
Albumen prints were the most common photographic prints in the late 19th century. Ordinary paper was coated with an emulsion composed of light-sensitive salts of silver suspended in albumen or egg white. The coated paper was then used for contact printing of the then popular 'collodion' glass negative with typically very long exposure times. Albumen prints were often mounted on cardboard to avoid curling of the paper and damage to the image from splitting. Albumens have cream coloured highlight areas and a glossy surface. After 1855, albumen prints were almost always toned with gold chloride, which enriched their colour and increased their permanence. And permanence is a problem. They should, I read, be kept in the dark to avoid damage due to the effect of light on the albumen layer. Or they fade and go yellow or brown. None the less, from about 1850 to 1895 albumen prints were in widespread use until gelatin came along. Many experts consider the depth of tones in a quality albumen to still be exceptional.
The term 'woodburytype' refers to a photomechanical process invented and patented by Mr. Walter Bentley Woodbury (Jun 26, 1834/Sep 5, 1885), who was born in Manchester, England, and lived for some time in Australia and Java. The process was patented in the U.K. in 1864 and demonstrated to the Photographic Society on 5 December 1865. (I find the dates a bit confusing and have read that it was only patented in 1866 also). Woodbury claimed that images created using his process would not fade. And they do not fade, apparently because the images do not rely on light-sensitive materials, but are rather made up of a stable pigment suspended in gelatin. The process was used through to the turn of the century, and was abandoned then because the process was difficult to master, could not be automated and required an enormous amount of hydraulic power in the preparation of the lead printing plate that was used. It was replaced by cheaper methods, including photogravure, collotype and later offset litho.
The process, however, produced remarkable images, richly detailed, with no grain and a tonal quality which was and indeed still is to this day quite remarkable.
The actual process? A photograph is created in large size on film for contact printing. A thick slab of gelatin, sensitized with a potassium bichromate gelatin emulsion and mixed with carbon pigment, is exposed through the film, and then washed under hot water to remove the areas that were not hardened by exposure to light. The result? A surface relief in the gelatin that contains the detailed tonal information. The gelatin slab, once dried and hardened with alum, is placed on a hydraulic press between a sheet of steel and a sheet of lead. Under very great pressure, the details of the surface of the gelatin are transferred to the lead sheet which then was used to make actual prints by being lightly oiled, a warm mixture of pigmented gelatin applied and a sheet of paper laid on top with light pressure. When the gelatin has sufficiently cooled, the paper is removed, taking the gelatin with it. About 100 images could be printed from a lead plate, I read. Woodburytypes were always trimmed to the image area - to remove the excess gelatin squeezed out in the process. Carefully scrutinized, a 'woodburytype' print will be seen to exhibit minute relief and small differences in gloss resulting from the varying thickness of material deposited. The result was glued to its appropriate page in the final volume. Prints were expensive and time consuming to produce and publishers who wanted to 'tip-in' photographic images into their books or magazines often found it to be cheaper to purchase large quantities of real photographs that had been printed individually by hand rather than purchase the equivalent in woodburytypes.
The above is a distillation prepared after viewing a great number of WWW sites which tried to explain the meaning of the term. In French, a 'woodburytype' print is called a 'photoglyptie'.
If any visitor can clarify (or correct) or provide more information about any of the photographers or other matters mentioned on this page, I would truly welcome their help.To the Special Pages Index.