# 18043

Photographer unknown.

A German plantation owner’s wife with native servants and horses, Neu-Mecklenburg (New Ireland), circa 1910

$125.00 AUD

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Large format photographic magic lantern glass slide, 90 x 120 mm, the mount with paper label bearing contemporary manuscript caption in German ‘Matantetuk, Westküste v. Neu-Mecklenburg (Pferde)’ and the imprint of the Bavarian magic lantern firm Lichtbild-Anstalt G. Bachschmid, Kempten-Allgäu; in superb condition.

This photograph, showing a scene on a copra plantation on the west coast of Neu-Mecklenburg (later New Ireland), was taken not by a professional photographer but by a German visitor to the Bismarck Archipelago around 1910, and is almost certainly a unique image. At this time the entire archipelago from the Admiralties (lying just to the north of the island of New Guinea) across to New Ireland in the east was under German administration.

It is an almost surreal image in that the central portion of the composition (a German woman posing beside her saddled horse, partially obscured by a foal in the foreground) could almost have been transplanted from a European bucolic scene; this is sharply juxtaposed against the steamy tropical landscape, the shirtless indigenous men, and the thatched plantation house, raised above the ground as protection against the rains and vermin.