Rare views of Cuba, circa 1892-1894

You can also follow us now on our instagram account :  https://www.instagram.com/gregoryleroyphoto/

We just acquired a rare set of Cuban early photography titled Album Panoramico de Yateras, Guantanamo, Isla de Cuba, fotografos : Maurice Hargous y Hermano.

cafetal photography

Cafetal l’Ermitage (owned by Henri Lescaille).

Maurice Hargous, born in Bayonne, France, in 1864, moved to Cuba in 1891, along with his brother Paul (born in 1868). Maurice settled in la Havana, while Paul opened a photographic studio in the Eastern province of Guantanamo. Both brothers left Cuba for Haïti in 1895. We can therefore easily date these photographs around 1892-1894.

Cover of the album

Cover of the album

Almost all the photographs are views of coffee plantations (cafetal in Spanish) from the lush and mountainous Yateras area, around 20 kilometers north-east of the city of Guantanamo.

Most of these cafetales were owned by French colonists, which would explain how this album ended up in Paris. Coffee growing in Eastern Cuba started at the beginning of the 19th century, as the Haitian revolution drove the French out of Hispanolia across the narrow Windward passage to Cuba. Most of them settled in the underdeveloped Guantanamo province. In 1854, the Yateras municipality had thirty-six cafetales, most of them owned by French families. This album was probably owned by a “F.P.”, most likely Fernand Pons, owner of the San Fernando plantation – the photograph of his cafetal is the first in the album…

Cafetal San Fernando

Cafetal San Fernando, Fernand Pons on his horse ?

cafetal photography

Cafetal Santa Rita

cafetal photography

Cafetal Bella Vista (owned by Jean Begué)

cafetal photography

Cafetal San Cornelio

cafetal photography

Cafetal San Dionicio (detail)

cafetal photography

Cafetal San Dionicio

cafetal photography

Cantina de Jesus Navaro

cafetal photography

Cafetal Grignon

cafetal photography

Cafetal la Güira

cafetal photography

Cafetal Silencio

cafetal photography

Cafetal la Deseada

cafetal photography

Cafetal Dios Ayuda (owned by Miss Philipps).

Most of this cafetales were small plantations, with less than 200 acres of cultivated land. Typically, plantations included the owner’s house, terraced drying floors, production areas for milling and roasting, and workers’ quarters.

The entire area of Yateras, and these nowadays ruined plantations, have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.

The UNESCO website states, concerning the integrity of the area : “The Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba has survived intact primarily due to the fact that the area was mostly abandoned in the early 20th century as this region’s traditional coffee growing techniques were increasingly unable to compete with new methods adopted elsewhere in Latin American. The large area included within the inscribed property, of 171 plantations in over 800 square kilometres, has permitted the preservation of a cultural landscape for coffee production from the agricultural level, to its processing, and the roads, trails and bridges that linked the product to market. Individual plantations include the owner’s house (often based on Basque traditions), aqueducts, flourmills, fermentation tanks, drying sheds, and barracks.

Current threats to the inscribed property are primarily due to its status as a largely abandoned archaeological site and the reclamation of the landscape by nature. Efforts have been made to clear and fence plantations in order to protect them from intrusions. The region is an active tectonic zone with a history of earthquakes. In future, this area may come under increased threat from uncontrolled tourism and the exploitation of natural resources although currently accessibility to the majority of the cultural properties is very limited due to its isolation. Additional potential threats to the site are the possible effects of climate change on coffee plantations, particularly drought.”

http://grimh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=746&lang=fr

https://www.ecured.cu/Yateras_(Presencia_Francesa)

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1008

Early views of Brazil by Guilherme Gaensly

We acquired before the summer a large group of early Latin-American photographs, most of them titled in German. The album includes a interesting group of views of the state of Pernambuco, less travelled and photographed than Rio de Janeiro. The albumen prints are all attributed to Guilherme Gaensly (1843-1928) and dated from the late 1870’s to the mid 1880’s.

The port of Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

The port of Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

Born Wilhem Gänsli in 1843 in Switzerland, Gaensly moved to Brazil in 1848 when his father opened a cotton export company in the city of Salvador de Bahia.  In the early 1870’s, Gaensly worked in the Pernambuco studio of German photographer Alberto Henschel, at the time the most successful photographer in Brazil.

In 1875, Gaensly opened his own studio in Bahia, and in 1882 partnered with Rodolpho Lindemann to create the Gaensly-Lindemann studio. Around 1894, Gaensly moved to Sao Paolo, where he lived until his death in 1928.

Olinda, Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

Olinda, Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

 

Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

Pernambuco, attributed to Guilherme Gaensly

The port of Bahia, Gaensly & Lindemann

The port of Bahia, Gaensly & Lindemann

On the bank of the Rio Vermelho, Bahia, by Guilherme Gaensly

On the bank of the Rio Vermelho, Bahia, by Guilherme Gaensly

The port of Bahia, by Gaensly & Lindemann

The port of Bahia, by Gaensly & Lindemann

Rio Vermelho, Bahia, by Gaensly & Lindemann

Rio Vermelho, Bahia, by Gaensly & Lindemann

Guilherme Gaensly credits, circa 1875

Guilherme Gaensly credits, circa 1875

Gaensly & Lindemann credits, circa 1882

Gaensly & Lindemann credits, circa 1882

Portrait of a Brasilian gentleman, by Alberto Henschel

Portrait of a Brasilian gentleman, by Alberto Henschel

Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado, by Marc Ferrez

Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado, by Marc Ferrez

Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado, by Marc Ferrez

Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado, by Marc Ferrez

Panorama of Rio de Janeiro, by Marc Ferrez

Panorama of Rio de Janeiro, by Marc Ferrez

Indian studio portrait by an anonymous photographer.

Indian studio portrait by an anonymous photographer.

 

Old Photographs of Havana and Cuba, circa 1880

City Hall, Havana

City Hall, Havana

There is surprisingly few 19th century photographs from Cuba, especially compared to Mexico or Brazil, or even countries further South like Chile or Argentina. It was therefore quite a nice surprise to find this group of decent prints dating probably from the late 1870’s or early 1880’s.

We don’t have much documentation on early Cuban photography, and would be grateful for any help in identifying the photographer.

These prints are mounted on a thick cardboard and captioned in ink in German. We translated the captions in English.

Cathedral of Havana

Cathedral of Havana

Plaza de India, Havana

Plaza de India, Havana

Street scene in Havana

Street scene in Havana

Hotel Telegrapho, Havana

Hotel Telegrapho, Havana

The Hotel Telegrapho is still in Operation in Havana, and is rumoured to be the oldest in town. It got its name by housing the first telegraph of Cuba.

The new Market, Havana

The new Market, Havana

Sugarcane fields, close to Havana

Sugarcane fields, close to Havana

The city of Matanzas

The city of Matanzas

The house of a sugar farm, Cuba

The house of a sugar farm, Cuba

An old slave

An old slave

An old slave

An old slave

A laundress in Havana

A laundress in Havana

Public carriage in Havana

Public carriage in Havana

Mexico in colour by William Henry Jackson, 1884-1885

Mexico in colour by William Henry Jackson, 1884-1885

Zocalo and Cathedral, Mexico City

Zocalo and Cathedral, Mexico City

You can also follow us now on our instagram account :  https://www.instagram.com/gregoryleroyphoto/

We just acquired a group of twenty photochrom prints of Mexico taken by William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) in 1884-85 and listed in the catalog of the Detroit Photographic Company. Jackson took photographs of street scenes, buildings, markets, ranches, and other subjects in Mexico City, Amecameca, Aguascalientes, Chapultepec, Chihuahua, San Marcos and Tacubaya.

The Photochrom is a photomecanical printing process invented in Switzerland in the mid 1880’s.  The prints look deceptively like color photographs. But when viewed with a magnifying glass the small dots that comprise the ink-based photomechanical image are visible. The photomechanical process permitted mass production of the vivid color prints. Each color in the final print required a separate asphalt-coated lithographic stone, usually a minimum of six stones and often more than ten stones.

The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr. and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss “Photochrom” process for the Americas.

Chapultepec

Chapultepec

Xochimilco gardens

Xochimilco gardens

Shops in Tacubaya

Shops in Tacubaya

Lavanderas, Mexico City

Lavanderas, Mexico City

The market in Aguas Calientes

The market in Aguas Calientes

Popocatepelt, view from Amecameca

Popocatepelt, view from Amecameca

Amecameca and the Iztaccihuatl

Amecameca and the Iztaccihuatl

Popocatepelt and Amecameca

Popocatepelt and Amecameca

View of Orizaba

View of Orizaba

Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes

Cathedral of Lagos de Moreno

Cathedral of Lagos de Moreno

Arbol de la Noche Triste, Popotla

Arbol de la Noche Triste, Popotla

San Angel Inn, circa 1920

San Angel Inn, circa 1920

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn, circa 1920, viewed from where is today the Casa Estudio de Diego Rivera

We just found in Paris these charming photographs of the beloved San Angel Inn, and are happy to share them, especially with our chilango friends. Apparently, the place has not changed much in the last hundred years…

At the beginning of the XXth century, San Angel was still a mostly rural community, away from the limits of the City of Mexico. The hacienda Goicochea, originally built as a monastery in 1692, was turned into a restaurant in 1906, under the patronage of a Madame Roux – another instance of a successful French-Mexican collaboration.

E. Portilla is (barely) known as a photographer and postcard seller in San Angel Inn as early as 1908. These prints seem to date from the late 1910’s or early 1920’s.

On a more personal note, I’ll warn our non-mexican readers that San Angel Inn serves the best margaritas in the world – hands down – but also the meanest…

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

View from the roof of San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

According to legend, Pancho Villa’s and Zapata’s horses drank in this fountain while the two generals were dividing the country’s territory into North (Villa) and South (Zapata), during their triumphant arrival to the nation’s capital with the Conventionalist Army in 1914.

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn