# 39764

SPITZ, Charles Georges or HOARE, Sophia (attributed)

[TAHITI; MUSIC] Airs tahitiens : Arue! Arue!

$250.00 AUD

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[Circa 1885]. Albumen print photograph (160 x 210 mm) of two pages of music notation (the original was most likely handwritten and then lithographically printed before it was photographed); generic title legible as Airs tahitiens at the head of the left-hand page, with the title of the individual tune Arue! Arue! (= Praise! Praise!) at the head of the right-hand-page; the print was laid down on a sheet of folding card (175 x 220 mm) by its original owner, Papeete resident Mary Young (see below), to create a unique “homemade” piece of sheet music; the albumen print has a few small small surface scratches but is otherwise in good condition; the card mount is toned and lightly foxed.

This unusual photograph of a transcription of traditional Tahitian music was probably taken in Papeete by either Charles Georges Spitz or Mrs Sophia Hoare, the only two professional photographers working in Tahiti in this period.

Provenance: Mary Young (Stringer) (1854, Tahiti – 1918, Auckland), wife of merchant James Lyle Young (1849-1929); by descent through the Australian branch of the Young family. Mary journeyed by herself from Australia (where she had been visiting relatives) to San Francisco, via Hawaii, at the end of 1888. She gave birth to their son, Walter Lyle, in San Francisco on 2 June 1889, before returning with her newborn to Tahiti in August. Later in life Mary settled in Homebush, Sydney.

James Lyle Young (1849-1929) was a Pacific Islands trader based in Tahiti. He was the cousin of Irish politician, diplomat and historian James, 1st Viscount Bryce (1838-1922). Young was a founding member of the Polynesian Society. He collected many important Micronesian and Polynesian artefacts which were either donated to the Auckland Museum, New Zealand, or sold to the Bishop Museum, Hawaii. His journals and miscellaneous papers are held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney.