Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 79

Price Realized: $ 562
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CALIFORNIA.) Riggs, Roderick W. Group of 10 composite photographs of "Pine Ridge Teamsters." Albumen photographs, 4 x 2 1/2 inches, each on plain mounts; minor wear; signed and captioned in the negatives, each with the whimsical backmark "R.W. Riggs, Fotografer phrom Phrezknow." Fresno, CA, circa 1906?

Additional Details

Roderick Waldegrave Riggs (1858-1940) was a Fresno photographer known for creating composite photographs of early town residents, arranged thematically. All ten of these cards depict men identified as Pine Ridge Teamsters, Pineridge being a small community in the hills northeast of Fresno. The portraits are arranged somewhat chronologically in four series, the first two showing teamsters from 1851 to 1876, the era "before Fresno was on the map," and the last showing teamsters from 1896 to 1906. Each card depicts about 30 different teamsters, each captioned with his name or nickname in the negative. This suggests a question--were there really hundreds of teamsters operating in the hills near Fresno in the late 19th century, and if so, what drove Riggs to collect their photographs systematically over such a long span of years? Now we know the faces of "Peelie" Vergara and "Podger" Nelson, and we thank Riggs for his efforts.