Erinnerungen an Nassau N.P. Bahama Inseln.
COONLEY Joseph Frank. (1895.)
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27 silver gelatin prints measuring 170 by 225mm (23 by Coonley with English captions in the negative), a folding map & a ship's advertisement. Oblong 4to. Original blue pebble-grain cloth, embossed with title gilt to upper board, extremities lightly worn, some minor foxing, but very good indeed. Nassau, c.
A rare series of large format photographs depicting late nineteenth century Nassau, twenty-three of which are by Jacob Coonley. The album was compiled by a German who has made the odd pencil annotation.
These photographs provide an excellent overview of the community at Nassau, showing local life amid city streets and natural landmarks. Nearly all of the images include Bahamians. Featured are the market, Bay-Street sponge wharf and the Sponge Exchange, the Shouters Chapel, Queen's staircase. Local landmarks include the huge silk cotton tree, the Coconut grove, Banana Garden, a pineapple field, and two shots of the caves to the west of Nassau. There are also three images of Grantstown: "Street View", "A Native Hut" and a 'Winter Scene."
Born in New York City, Coonley (1832-1915) practiced as a sign-writer before retraining as a photographer in about 1857. He studied under George Barnard and they opened a studio together. In the mid-1860s, Coonley travelled throughout the south - Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia - to photograph the construction of the railroads. He finally moved to Nassau in 1890 and set up a studio on the corner of Bay and Parliament streets and he was still listed as a photographer there in 1901.
Many of Coonley's photographs are held at Cambridge University.
Stock Code: 225827