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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jamaica As It Used To Be

A striking collection of old photographs recording Jamaica at the turn of the 20th century will shortly go to auction at Bonhams in London. Gathered from the pioneering photographic studios of the era, they give a startling sense of life for Jamaican families at work and play in the country.


There are more than 170 images up for sale from the album. Many of them do not have captions, nor locations. We do know, however that this image of women carrying baskets of fresh local produce was taken by the Duperly studio.

The similar composition of this image suggests that is by the same photographic studio, although this is not confirmed.

This image of a family outside a simple rural house was J.W.O Brennan.

However, nothing is known of the sitters or photographers in this other rural shot.

The strikiing expressions in this image were captured by local photographer JW Cleary

These men look poised to gather the large jack fruits.

The information for this very striking image reads simply "Log wood, Kingston"

This one is marked King Street. Although Kingston isn't specified, it seems likely to be the Jamaican capital.

A relaxed pose, captured by the Valentine photographic studio.

Another relaxed image captured by the same studio

This was taken over Jubilee Market, showing stores on west Queen Street, probably in Kingston.

While this shows the Market Exchange at the south-west corner of Duke and Harbour Streets in Kingston.

The auction will take place on December 4. See here for more information on the auction lot

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