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Taber, Isaiah West (1830-1912); Johnson, Charles Wallace Jacob (1833-1903); Savage, Charles Roscoe (1832-1909), and others. Album with 46 Rare Original Albumen Photographs, Showing Monterey (Chinatown, Monterey Bay, Hotel del Monte, First Adobe Buildings, Custom House, “The First Jail,” “General Fremont’s Headquarters during the Mexican War,” &c.), San Francisco (“Mrs. Mark Hopkins and Gov. Stanford Mansions,” “Court, Palace Hotel,” “Bazaar in Chinatown,” “The Entry – Chinese Theatre,” “Chinese Grand Restaurant,” “Mission Dolores”), Salt Lake City (“Brigham Young’s Grave,” “The Eagle Gate near Brigham Young’s Residence,” “Temple Block,” “Beehive and Lion House”), Chinatown in Los Angeles, &c. Ca. 1886.


Ca. 1886

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Oblong Quarto album ca. 18x28 cm (7x11 in). 23 card stock leaves. With 46 mounted albumen photos from ca. 12,5x20 cm (4 ¾ x 8 in) to ca. 9,5x19,5 cm (3 ¾ x 7 ½ in). Over thirty photos signed and/or captioned and/or numbered or dated in negative. About thirty photos with period ink captions in English on the mounts. Period ink noted on the inner side of the front board: “April to September 1886. Mr. & Mrs. Franklin Smith; Mr. & Mrs. Elmer F. Smith.” Period brown full sheep from the Isaiah Taber’s studio, expertly rebacked using the original boards. Gilt-lettered title “Photographs, Taber Phot., S.F.” on the front board; the inner sides of both boards with moire paper; all edges gilt. Several mounts with minor chipping on extremities, the first and the last leaves with minor losses of the outer layer of paper, not affecting the images, a couple of photos mildly faded, but overall a very good album of rare interesting photos.

Attractive album with large early photos of California and Utah, taken by the prominent local studios of Isaiah Taber, Charles Wallace Johnson and Charles Savage, including rare images of Chinatowns in Monterey, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and portraits of Apache and Quechan Native Americans. The photos were apparently collected during an American family’s trip in April-September, 1886 (see the inscription on the inner side of the front board).

The album opens with about a dozen photos of Monterey and its environs by Charles Wallace Johnson (three images are unsigned but attributed to him), showing a panorama of the Monterey Bay “from Gen. Fremont’s old fort,” the grounds of Hotel del Monte (general view, tennis courts, a cactus in the “Arizona garden,” “interior of Bathhouse,” dated in negative “Sept. 6th & 5”), a street in Monterey Chinatown with the locals sitting at their doorsteps, “Old California State House in Monterey, used for a school house, Oldest Government Building in California,” “Old Adobe building used for a time as Barracks, Monterey,” adobe building of “the first jail,” “Midway Point showing cypress trees,” “exterior of Carmel Mission near Monterey,” and “Old Custom House, Monterey.”

Nineteen photos by a prominent San Francisco photographer Isaiah Taber show: “Veranda, Hotel del Monte,” “Lake and Ornamental Grounds, Hotel del Monte,” “The oldest building in Monterey (Adobe), over 100 years old,” “Old Adobe building at Monterey, occupied by Gen. Fremont’s Soldiers during the Mexican War,” “General Fremont’s Headquarters during the Mexican War, Monterey,” “Cypress tree near Cypress Drive,” “Midway Point,” “Interior View of Carmel Mission, est. 1770,” “Big Trees, Felton, Santa Cruz Co.,” “Beach Drive from Cliff House,” “View of Cliff House from the Ocean.” Six Taber’s photos of San Francisco include the views of “Mrs. Mark Hopkins and Gov. Stanford Mansions,” “Court, Palace Hotel,” “Bazaar in Chinatown,” “The Entry – Chinese Theatre,” “Chinese Grand Restaurant,” and “Mission Dolores, est. 1776.” There are also interesting views of “Los Angeles, Cal. The Chinese Quarter” and “Horton House, W.E. Hadley, Proprietor, San Diego.”
Also included are five views of Salt Lake City by prominent Utah photographer Charles Roscoe Savage depict “Brigham Young’s Grave, S.L. City,” “The Eagle Gate near Brigham Young’s Residence, Salt Lake City,” “Scene nr. Bronco, Truckee Canyon, Southern Pacific Railroad,” “Temple Block, Salt Lake City,” and “Beehive and Lion House, Salt Lake City.”

The album also contains two studio photos by A. Frank Randall (1854-1916) – a portrait of Augustine Virgil (Chief of the Jicarilla Apache Nation) and a portrait of two Apache babies in cradle boards, captioned in manuscript “Apache Papooses” (the same photo is attributed to Randall by the Huntington Library). There is also an unsigned but numbered studio portrait of a Yuma (Quechan) mother with two toddlers. The album closes with six unsigned albumen studio views of Niagara Falls taken from the American and Canadian sides.

Overall a historically significant collection of rare early well-preserved albumen photos of Monterey, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, housed in the special publishers binding of Isaiah Taber’s studio. 

Item #PB19
Price: $6500.00