DUFTY, E.H. (Edward Henry), 1850-1905 (attributed)
A Kanak warrior posing with a bird-headed war club, New Caledonia, late 1870s.
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 103 x 65 mm (mount); verso with contemporary inscription in ink: ‘”Kafaya”, son of a New Caledonian chief’; no photographer’s imprint; the albumen print in very good condition, with a couple of tiny marks on the left edge; the mount is clean and free from foxing.
This photograph of an identified young Kanak warrior was almost certainly taken in the Nouméa studio of E.H. Dufty between 1875 and 1880. It was sourced along with several other photographs of New Caledonian subjects which had the E.H. Dufty studio back mark.
Born in England and each migrating to Australia during the mid nineteenth century, the four Dufty brothers were to make a substantial contribution to the photographic record of indigenous peoples of Fiji and New Caledonia. Edward Henry Dufty (1850-1905) arrived in Melbourne in 1865. Along with his brother Walter, who came to Australia in 1871, Edward settled in New Caledonia in the early 1870s, where the pair set up a portrait studio. Their brothers Frank and Alfred established themselves in Fiji from 1871. At their studio in Nouméa, Edward and Walter devoted much attention to photographing the indigenous Kanak people of New Caledonia. After 1875, when Walter left New Caledonia for Norfolk Island, Edward continued to run the Nouméa studio by himself; the studio imprint on portraits from the late 1870s bears his name alone.