# 14236

Photographer unknown.

Photographic portraits of Germans and natives, Neu-Mecklenburg, Bismarck Archipelago, circa 1910

$900.00 AUD

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Two large format photographic magic lantern glass slides, each 90 x 120 mm, the mounts with paper labels bearing the same contemporary manuscript caption in German Neu-Mecklenburg (the German name for New Ireland) and the imprint of the Bavarian magic lantern firm Lichtbild-Anstalt G. Bachschmid, Kempten-Allgäu; both slides are in superb condition.

These intimate portrait photographs were taken not by a professional photographer but by a German visitor to the Bismarck Archipelago around 1910, when the entire archipelago from the Admiralties to New Ireland was under German administration. The photographs reveal aspects of the physical relationships between Germans and the indigenous people of the archipelago which are seldom seen. The young native women have been asked to pose in their bark cloth rain capes, smoking their beloved clay pipes; the German woman was still in the process of making an adjustment for the woman on the left when the photographer captured the moment. The other photograph is a little more sinister. It shows two German men – possibly sailors – posing lasciviously behind five native women, two of whom are barely pubescent girls. Judging by their attire, these women were in all likelihood employed by the Germans as domestic servants.