DAMMANN, Carl; DAMMANN, F.W.
[ABORIGINES] Ethnological photographic gallery of the various races of men
Cover title: Races of mankind. London : Trübner & Co., . First English edition. Oblong folio, green embossed cloth, upper board with gilt lettering (boards with a little discoloration), silk endpapers, all edges gilt, title page and 24 pages of plates comprised of 167 albumen print photographs mounted recto and verso of 12 leaves of card, each page with printed frames and captions, thin white paper interleaving intact, sparse foxing, but the leaves in remarkably fresh condition and the albumen prints for the most part strong and with good tonal range. An excellent copy.
Rare and important, one of the earliest photographic works on ethnology. Only three copies are recorded in Australian collections (State Library of New South Wales; State Library of South Australia; Royal Geographical Society of South Australia).
Carl Dammann's comprehensive Ethnological photographic gallery of the various races of men was completed by his brother Friedrich (a language and music teacher living in Huddersfield, Yorkshire) following Carl's sudden death in 1874. The sections are arranged as follows: I. Germanic types II. Romanic types III. Slavonians, Finns IV. Types of the Balkan Peninsula V. Arabia, Persia VI. India, Western part VII. India, Eastern part VIII. Sunda Islands IX. Philippine Islands X. China XI. Japan XII. North of Asia XIII. Mediterranean Africa XIV. Niger District XV. Congo XVI. Zanzibar Coast XVII. Cape Colony XVIII. N. America, Northern part XIX. N. America, Southern part XX. S. America, Eastern part XXI. Amazon District XXII. Cordillera District XXIII. Continent of Australia XXIV. Polynesia, Oceania.
Carl Dammann was a Hamburg photographer who, in the early 1870s, had been engaged to copy a large part of the collection of ethnological photographs in the Goddefroy Museum, Hamburg for the Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte. Many of these photographs were eventually published by Dammann in his major work, Anthropologisches-Ethnologisches Album in Photographien (1872-4). Table 3 in AEA has seventeen albumen prints of Australian Aboriginal subjects, none with any acknowledgement of the original photographer. Three are identifiable as having been taken in northwest Victoria in the late 1860s by Thomas Washbourne, and several others were taken around the same time in Brisbane by Daniel Marquis and Rockhampton by Joseph Wilder. Of these seventeen prints, five are included in the album presently offered, namely Watschandi (top row, far left, labelled in the AEA as being from the Gulf of Carpentaria); the pair of shots of the Ashburton Ranges (Northern Territory) man (top row, centre); S.Australian woman (top row, far right); and S. Australian (bottom row, far right).
The eight photographs of Australian Aborigines, Plate XXIII, are mounted recto of the final leaf and are all in standard carte de visite format (each approximately 88 x 53 mm). The printed captions beneath these photographs are: Watschandi (1); Ashburton Ranges (2-3); S. Australian woman (4); S. Australian man (5); Woman and child. Queensland (6); Women of Queensland (7); S. Australian [man] (8). It appears likely that the original photographs were collected by Amalie Dietrich of the Goddefroy Museum, Hamburg, between 1867 and 1872 (see Morton, Christopher. Curator of Photographs and Manuscripts, Pitt Rivers Museum. Rethinking Pitt-Rivers : Ten Queensland Photographs in the Founding Collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Online article published by the Pitt Rivers Museum, revised May, 2011).
The verso of the Australian Aboriginal page, Plate XXIV, is titled Polynesia, Oceania, and includes subjects from the Caroline Islands, Fiji, Tonga, New Caledonia and Tahiti.