Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Four portraits of Jamaican women
J. S. Thompson of Jamaica (after the Duperly Brothers)

Four carte-de-visite portraits, each depicting a Jamaican woman engaged in a trade or activity. One of the women is clearly a beggar, another is posed as if in the act of cooking, and a third is carrying a tray of wares, possibly fruit and vegetables, on her head.

The photographer of three of the portraits is identified as J.S. Thompson of Jamaica, although these were almost certainly reprinted in the 1870s from negatives taken by the Duperly Brothers a decade earlier. The balustrade seen in the character study of the beggar woman was a studio prop much seen in Duperly portraits. (See Victorian Jamaica, edited by Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest, Yale University Press, 2018).

Published by the Scottish businessman and newspapers editor James Gall, who was also proprietor of the Myrtle Bank Hotel. The design of the backplate involves the legend ‘A Souvenir of Jamaica’ printed on a garter, enclosed in which appear the words 'James Gall / Myrtle Bank / Kingston.' The photographer is identified verso only along the lower edge.

The photographer of the fourth portrait, the woman with the tray on her head, is unidentified [reverse is blank].

Condition: the tonal range of two of them could perhaps be a little punchier, and one of them presents a small void at its upper left-hand corner, but the prints are otherwise all in good to excellent condition. The mounts are all firm, solid and reasonably clean, with crisp edges and sharp corners. 

price:  £325
code: cat005
black history, black history month, Jamaica, Jamaican, Jamaicans, Adolphe Duperly, Duperly