Feb 15, 2018 - Sale 2466

Sale 2466 - Lot 15

Price Realized: $ 23,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 9,000 - $ 12,000
Select group of 19 spectacular ethnographic portraits of indigenous women of Pernambuco and Bahia that was compiled by the Swiss photographer Hermann Kummler. With subjects of Indian and mixed-race descent, including vendors, wet nurses, maids, mothers and children, and merchants, including a mistress punishing a native child. Salted paper prints with trimmed corners, the images measuring 7x3 3/8 to 7 1/4x4 1/2 inches (17.8x8.4 to 18.4x11.4 cm.), 7 are hand-colored with gouache; the original mounts, 9 bright blue or green, 6 double mounted, measuring 9 1/4x7 to 8 1/4x11 1/4 inches (24.1x17.8 to 21x29.8 cm.), most with Kummler's caption notations, in ink, and each with his red hand stamp on prints (one) or mounts recto. 1861-62

Additional Details

From the Collection of Hermann Kummler; acquired directly from the family. Kummler was a Swiss photographer who accompanied Als Kaufmann to Brazil, where they traveled extensively from 1888-91. Kummler apparently purchased vintage prints by local photographers (which he stamped and annotated), and eventually set up his own commercial studio in the town of Aarau. During the three year period he was in Brazil with Kaufmann, Kummler apparently made more than 130 photographs. Their journey was the subject of a monograph entitled Als Kaufmann in Pernambuco, Ein Reisebericht mit Bildern aus Brasiilien von Hermann Kummler, copiously illustrated with his images.

Tradeswomen are depicted with a teapot on a table, a comb, a basket laden with bottles or wares carefully balanced on their heads; maids hold embroidered cloth and a wet nurse is shown with an infant. A native lady-in-waiting (and a young child) attend to a gorgeously dressed aristocrat, who wears a long veil. The hand-colored prints reinforce the sense of individual style associated with these remarkable figures; two of the indigenous women (one of whom wears a cross), simply pose in the studio sans tradewomen's objects.