British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

TWO FINE EARLY PORTRAIT ALBUMEN STUDIES OF FIRST NATION MEN OF

TWO FINE EARLY PORTRAIT ALBUMEN STUDIES OF FIRST NATION MEN OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, IN AN ALBUM RELATING TO Major General R.C. MOODY, ROYAL ENGINEERS.

To be sold at auction by Bonhams “Travel and Exploration” sale on December 4

 

The album contains 2 Salt Prints and approximately 90 Albumen Prints. Of particular interest are the photographs of British Columbia subjects. The photographer was probably Lt. Arthur Reid Lempriere (later Major General), who was in charge of photography for the detachment. These include: Half-length portrait of a First Nation man, (160 x 150mm) and a First Nation man shown standing in front of a member of the Royal Engineers seated in doorway of a wooden cabin, (210 x 190mm). This officer is believed to be Moody as a report dated, “New Westminster November 21st 1859” by Captain R. M. Parsons, RE states that one in a list of prints is of “Colonel Moody and Indian”.  (http://www.royalengineers.ca/Lempriere.html) These represent some of the earliest known photographic images of British Columbia First Nation peoples.

 

Another print shows two prints members of the Royal Engineers (one shown in the previous image) seated in the doorway of a wooden cabin, (197 x 208mm), one appears to be Moody and the other is believed to be Captain Luard RE. It is probable that these photographs were made outside the map hut. The Royal Engineers are well known as early pioneers of photography and Moody’s interest in it is clear from the album which also includes a studio portrait of six Officers of the Boundary Commission, inscribed in ink on verso "Col. Moody, Royal Engineers", (195 x 248mm).

 

Richard Clement Moody (1813-1887) was made Brevet Colonel on 28 April 1858, and that autumn was appointed Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Commissioner of lands and works (with a £1200 salary) in British Columbia, returning to England in October 1863. Officers and men of the detachment of Royal Engineers were accompanied by wives and children. The album shows prints of ladies, some of which are in theatrical costumes and a pencil drawing captioned "1863. From the Marine Way across the Ravine looking N." believed to show Moody's home at Sapperton, signed "Crease."

 

Many of the prints appear to relate to a Grand Tour of France, Italy, and Belgium which may have been undertaken after the marriage of Moody to Mary Suzanna Hawks in 1852. She was the daughter of a prominent Newcastle Banker, the connection to her family is represented in the album with 2 salt prints (Cullercoats, and Burfield Priory, approximately 197 x 260mm). Cullercoats is a fishing village near Newcastle upon Tyne, and Burfield Priory, Goucestershire where Mrs Moody’s Aunt Mary Hawks lived.

 

Prints of France, Italy, and Belgium captioned in pencil include views of chateaux, landscapes and towns together with studies of Breton costumes, an early montage showing people Breton people in regional dress and architectural studies, in England, France and Italy. That Moody was interested in architecture is clear from the 1887 obituary notice published by the Institution of Civil Engineers that states “He turned his attention particularly to architecture, which was his special delight, he being an accomplished draughtsman”. The album resembles a ‘scrap-book’ and includes views of houses with which Moody may be associated with in England and Scotland, some of which include people that are thought to be members of Moody’s family. A wood-engraved print of Port Stanley where Moody was appointed as the first Governor of the Falkland Islands in 1843 is captioned in pencil "The valley... is known in the Colony as 'Moody Valley'”

 

PROVENANCE:

Purchased by the vendor at Dorchester, England sometime between 1972 and 1974

 

Prints are mounted between one and mainly 4 per page, mostly verso only, some captioned in pencil, nineteenth century half morocco, lacks spine, 4to, [1850/60s]

 

Contact:               Jonathan H Robbins by email: tci.jhr@gmail.com or +65 82231489 Singapore Time Zone to view a limited selection of these images or to discuss.

 

   

Views: 174

Attachments:

Reply to This

© 2022   Created by Michael Pritchard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service