Ca. 1890. Hardcover. Album with 40 albumen photographs of Melbourne, Auckland, Honolulu and San Francisco. The album begins with 12 photos of Melbourne, Australia, mostly street scenes by Charles B. Walker, including images not found on the State Library of Victoria website; 5 prints of Auckland, New Zealand; 13 prints of Hawaii, some by J.A. Gonsalves; and 10 prints of San Francisco. The photographers are mostly unidentified. The prints range in size from 8 x 6" to 9 x 7" mounted two per page.
Charles B. Walker (b. London 1834, d. Melbourne 1901) was an English professional photographer who migrated to Australia later in life. An important and elusive Melbourne photographer, his "Melbourne photographs offer evidence of technical and aesthetic experimentation" (Ian Morrison.) Active in Victoria from 1886-1890, he documented the explosive growth of Melbourne during the late 1880s. Some of the photos are held in the Baillieu Library ['Boat builders' sheds on the Yarra River, below Princes Bridge...]; (Brighton Beach), Image No: b21984; [View of Melbourne looking south-west from Bourke Street West between Queen and William Streets] , Image No: b22004. There are alternate views of two others: [Horse and carriages, "Grand Hotel sign left side, Princess Theatre while staging "Fool's Revenge" and view of Spring Street, showing Mayger's Imperial Hotel and the Windsor Hotel] , image no: b21953; [The Federal Coffee Palace, Collins Street, Melbourne] , image no:b22006. We were unable to locate the other 7 photos on the SLV website.
The prints of Hawaii date from the period of the annexation of Hawaii by the United States, around 1898. The first photograph is a sweeping view of Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the distance, Hawaiians standing in the water, and a single small dwelling at the left; mounted below on the same page is a bird's eye view of a residential neighborhood with mountains in the distance. On the next page is a broad avenue lined with palms, and below it a building with wide balconies; another residential street scene, mounted above a bird's eye view of the Aliiolani Hale. This building ("the house of the heavenly king") was built in 1872, and though intended to be a palace for Kamehameha V, served instead as the central Hawaiian government building. The next two photographs are of Hawaiian women, the first group of five dressed in Western clothing and seated with a painted backdrop of a Hawaiian canoeing at Diamond Head. The image below depicts 5 Hawaiian women with leis and garlands in their hair, seated in front of local building (by J. A. Gonsalves, 1855 - 1931). This is followed by two prints of palm trees in an elegant garden; a harbor view with masted ships at dock and a small boat flying the American flag. This is followed by buildings along a tree lined canal and an image of a stone church.
The five photos of Auckland include the harbor from an elevated vantage point with a beautiful two story house with gingerbread cast iron work at the roof overhangs; a street corner at the Union Bank of Australia, Cox's Dining Rooms, horse carts and horse trams, taken from Victoria St looking northwards to the harbour; "Auckland North Ore" (?); "Auckland Harbour'; "View in Albert Park Auckland 28".
The San Francisco images include two with streetcars, one (No. 14) with the streetcar route "Market St. & North Beach. Park, Cliff House and Ferries, via Jackson and Washington Sts". The following pages with street scenes; the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, the oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America; the harbor with tall masted ships and Mt. Tamalpais in the distance; beach scene with Cliff House at Ocean Beach; interior courtyard of elegant hotel (perhaps Cliff House) with horse drawn carriage drawn up; and Seal Rock with sunning sea lions.
Sml. folio album half brown leather and brown buckram, gilt rules at spine. Chip at base of spine, corners and extremes rubbed, buckram a little marked. Most photos are reasonably bright; some are a little faded. Overall, an interesting assemblage of images from the turn of the 19th century in the Pacific. Item #19172