King Billy, Tasmania
Vintage albumen print, vignetted view of a male Tasmanian aborigine circa 1882. Mounted on a gray period album page measuring 11 x 13.5 inches (28x34 cm) with period inscription in ink "King Billy / Last Male Aborigine of Tasmania". Print size 7.75 x 6.5 inches (20x17 cm). ( Inventory# ic749.17 )
CONDITION: Print in excellent condition with rich tones and no sign of fading. One tiny brown spot upper left, fold glued down in upper right, imperfections in the albumen coating in extreme upper right. Mount may have browning, chipping or other minor imperfections at edges.
This photograph comes from a group of travel albums descending from the family of Charles Goddard Weld (1857-1911) and believed to be Weld's personal albums, as several bear his bookplate. Weld, a Boston-area physician, traveled to the East at the end of the 19th century and had important connections to Asian art as well as to the photographer Edward Curtis. He donated a collection of over 100 original Curtis images to the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, Massachusetts and an important collection of Asian art to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. These photographs were likely gathered by Weld during his travels in the East.
Below: Book plate from one of Weld's travel albums:
Images and text copyright © 2001-2014 by Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs