Three Photographic Albums of Japan with 150 Handcolored Albumen Prints
Place Published: Yokohama
Publisher: A. Farsari & Co. Photographer
Description: Three original lacquered albums of early hand-colored photographs of Japan, with inside front cover stamp "A Farsari & Co. Photographers, Yokohama", each containing 50 hand-colored albumen prints of Japanese sights and scenes from the early 1890s. Total of 150 hand-colored photographic prints. Large quarto oblong formats, with original beautiful and unfaded lacquered boards inlaid with gilt and ivory (depicting rural and seashore views and Fuji in the background). Although the original leather spines have badly deteriorated and the front board of one album is detached (but present), all the photographic mountings are still sound, with all album edges gilt. Each album contains fifty hand-colored albument prints, with the tissues guards still present. All 150 prints are quite bright and fresh, with only a minimal amount of color fading. The English-captioned photographs depict numerous shrines and temples in great architectural detail at Nikko, Nara, and Ise, plus a large number of Tokyo scenes of the Imperial Palace and its gardens, along with many Ginza and other street scenes in that city. Also photographed are a number of landscapes, waterfalls, and country houses around Lakes Yumoto, Hakone, and Chuzenji. Detailed architectual views of painted ceilings, tomb carvings, statuary, bridges, torii gates, pagodas, stone lanterns, bell towers, and other features abound. There are street scenes, a music pavilion, and hotels and guesthouses. Adolfo Farsari (1841-1898), born in Vicenza and living in America for some time, arrived in Japan in 1873 and began his photographic career about 1885 with Tamamura Kozaburto. In February of 1886, all of his negatives were destroyed in a studio fire, so he toured Japan for many months thereafter, retaking new photographs for his re-opened studio in 1887. While catering to the early Western tourist trade in Japan, he employed carefully chosen illustrators, resulting in surviving prints now as a major visual record of Meiji Japan. The Ginza scenes show very primitive power poles, and one scene depicts the early facade of the 1890 Imperial Hotel. Lack of any motorized traffic indicates the photographs must be before 1900. Farsari died in 1898, so the images can probably be dated to the early 1890s.
Book Id: 037684