Swann Galleries cat.: (RUSSIA.) Souvenir de Russie, 1868. Title from contemporary storage box, approximately 115 studies of estates, farms, gardens, etc., in Russia (88), Denmark (18) and Clinton County, Iowa (10), interspersed with group portraits of family and friends, occupational studies, and individual portraits, albumen prints, carte-sized to 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches, on mounts, all identified and some dated in the same contemporary hand in ink on mounts, the Russian and American photographs captioned in German, the Danish photographs in Danish, 4to, loose in a contemporary storage box constructed to simulate a bound volume, stamped in gilt on the spine. 1866-1869
An outstanding collection of photographs by a talented, anonymous photographer, who - possibly with his or her family - traveled from Russia to Denmark, and then to Clinton County, Iowa, in the space of a few short years.
The Russian photographs, dated from 1866 to 1868, encompass villages, estates, serfs, clergy, and the aristocracy in the principalities or towns of Ryazan, Kursk, Orlov, and the Ukraine; the Danish photographs, dated 1868-1869, are of farms and estates near the seaport town of Prasto; the Iowa photographs, dated 1869, are of the family farms of the Goehlmanns, the Petersons, Nicolaus Ingwersen, and O. and R. Hanssen in Clinton County. Many of the photographs are skillfully and artfully heightened in almost imperceptible gouache or wash; a few have minimal touches of hand-coloring.
The title on the box's spine, "Souvenir de Russie, 1868," would seem to indicate that the photographs were brought to America by a native Russian or Russian Family emigrating to the United States.