10.11.2021 A tangible multiverse? Daguerre invites you to touch and inspect forty albums of travel photography (Sale on December 2, 2021)

Un multivers tangible ? Daguerre vous invite a toucher et inspecter quarante albums de photographies de voyage (Vente du 2 décembre 2021) SUR RENDEZ-VOUS CHEZ DAGUERRE 5bis RUE DU CIRQUE

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A tangible multiverse?

Daguerre invites us to collect the albums of travelers from the past.

An old album of travel photographs is a world within reach of our curiosity. Compared to a painting, an engraving or a singular photographic print, as beautiful and important as it may be, there is an additional dimension, in the mathematical sense, a dynamic experienced by the traveler and which persists until our present. A collection of forty albums becomes almost a forty-dimensional universe, even if several of them sometimes unfold in parallel directions, such as several German ships on their way to Tsingtao.

And then again, there is this duality that appears immediately, this dialogue between on the one hand the artist or photographers, professional or simple amateurs, and on the other hand the creator, the first possessor of the album, who assembled with patience and pleasure the prints, adding captions, notes, newspaper cuttings, even watercolors.

This sale, this catalog, is an opportunity to consider photograph albums as a format, a theme of collection, with their specificity and a modest attempt at description, a very hasty summary, because some of them are real exhibitions stored in a suitcase. These surviving albums – they escaped the dismemberment and dispersion that each generation imposes on the majority of collections – were accumulated towards the end of the last century by a compulsive collector of paper.

If collectors wish, future sales will follow with the rest of the albums, trips around the Mediterranean, to Italy, and to Russia. For almost all of the albums, there are still many photographs to be attributed, places to be identified, and annotations to be deciphered. In order to give an idea of the extent of the investigations to be pursued, some fifteen singular proofs encountered in the pages of the forty albums are proposed here as an introduction to the catalog itself.


Charles Grassin (1828-1900). Departure of the Schooner “Victoria” for England, Boulogne-sur-mer, ca. 1865, signature in the negative (album 34)

Justin Kozlowski (no dates known). Activity in the Commerce Basin of the Port of Suez during the construction of the canal, 1866. Almost nothing is known about the life of this Polish-born photographer, who took refuge in France in the 1830s, except that he photographed the construction of the Suez Canal in 1866, four prints in the BnF. (albumen print, album n°1)

Louis Cuvier (no dates known). Construction of the Suez Canal, 1867. These images of Egypt are the only ones known to Louis Robert Cuvier, taken between 1866-67 during the construction of the Suez Canal, and printed in only 7 copies at the express request of the Canal Company, concerned about possible economic espionage. An album of 20 prints in the collections of Musée d’Orsay. (albumen print, album n°1)

[Slavery, slave ship]. “Boutre arabe servant à la traite, Arabian Boat Used in the Oriental Trade”, Red Sea, ca. 1880. (albumen print, album 28)

Gold seekers in West Africa, “Washing gold-bearing sands, Senegal”, ca. 1870

Photographs documenting gold fever are rare in general, and those of Africa, in particular. “Despite the great wealth of the region, the amount of gold collected is often minimal in some places. In Galam, in 1875, the export was only 12,000 francs. This gold is often worked into rings by the natives, and it is sometimes in this form that it arrives in European ports of call, in Senegal with the French and on the coast of Guinea in the English establishments.” (Africa Explored and Civilized, ETH Zürich, 2021) (albumen print (detail), album 34)

Charles Laurent (not fully identified). Bathing Scene in the South American Jungle, Sailors Naked in Paradise, late 1850s (albumen print, album 32)

José Christiano de Freitas Henriques Junior (1832-1902). Afro-Brazilian workers, page from an album of a trip with Commander Ernest Mouchez to the coast of Brazil in 1857-1860 (albumen cdvs, album 33)

Mexican forced laborers, Boleo mines, Baja California, circa 1884. Copper deposits were discovered in 1868 by a Mexican rancher named José Rosas Villavicencio. Soon after, a young French engineer, Georges de la Bouglise, discovered the geological potential of this metal. It was the geological report he wrote with Edouard Cumenge (present in a photo in the album), on December 15, 1884, that convinced the Mirabaud et Cie bank and that of the Rothschild family to invest massively in Baja California, by buying this “Compagnie du Boléo” (albumen print, album 34).

Pascal Sebah (1823-1886). Dosseh ceremony, Cairo, March 1878. When the caravan returned from Mecca, the volunteers lay flat on their stomachs to create a road of flesh and bone under the hooves of the dignitary’s horse. Getting up unhurt was a miracle – or redemption? (épreuve albuminée, album n°1)

Francis Sandford Oehme (1817-1898). On the road to Lahore, India, ca. 1868 (albumen print, album 16)

Lai Fong (attr.). Vegetable market, Hong Kong (albumen print, album 8)

Raimund von Stillfried (attr.). Japanese Geisha in European Dress, circa 1880 (albumen print, discretely colored, album 28)

VIEWING IN PARIS during the month of November 2021

5 bis rue du Cirque, 75008 Paris – by appointment

Contact – Domitille de Franclieu – info or


Expert – Serge Plantureux – serge or +33

EXHIBITION AT DROUOT – Wednesday, Dec 1st, 2021 – from 11:00 to 18:00
SALE – Thursday, Dec 2nd 2021 – at 4pm

Serge Plantureux
Atelier 41
Via Fratelli Bandiera 41
60019 Senigallia (AN)Preferences | Unsubscribe

Catalogue Daguerre albums voyage 2 decembre

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