AUSTRALIA, Norfolk Island
Album of photographs of the scenery and people of Norfolk Island in the South Pacific Ocean
Norfolk Island: circa 1900. Oblong small folio. (13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches). 42 carbon prints on 42 cream card album leaves, each mounted within ruled frame with printed caption below, the photographs measuring approximately 6x8 inches.
Contemporary red morocco, upper cover titled in gilt within a gilt border, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: Hon. B.R. Wise, Attorney General (lettered in gilt on upper cover)
Early photographs of a remote Pacific Island.
Norfolk Island, a largely autocratic dependency of Australia, was first sighted by Captain James Cook on his second voyage and settled by the First Fleet in 1788. For the first half century of the 19th century, the island was largely used as a penal colony, with many of the worst offenders transferred from Australia to the remote island. In the 1850s, after use of the island as a penal colony was abandoned, the island was settled by the Pitcairn Island descendents of the Bligh mutineers. In the 1860s, the Anglican church established a large Melanesian mission on the island.
The present images, by an unknown but likely Australian photographer, comprise views of Kingston, various lagoons and bays, landscape scenes featuring the island's iconic pine tree and other vegetation, images at the Melanesian Mission and group portraits of the island's inhabitants (presumably including Bligh mutineer descendents). The original owner of this album was Bernhard Ringrose Wise (1858-1916), whose name appears on the upper cover; Wise served as the Attorney General of Australia from 1899-1904.