Monday, February 06, 2006

Confounding Camel Confusion! EBAY Camel In 'San Pedro' Photos Multiplying Like... Rabbits!!

When LA OBSERVED linked to the 'unique' camel photo from c. 1863 - which was taken in Wilmington and not San Pedro - I thought it looked familiar. I quickly found it in W. W. Robinson's 1953 book - PANORAMA. And every detail down to the shadows is identical in each image, though the book's image appears to be a clearer print and it is dated 1865, and not c. 1863.

Then checking back with LAO, Kevin now links to that same photo at the LA Library collection, crediting it as C. C. Pierce image.

And it is from the pioneer photographer C. C. Pierce's Collection part of was sold to the Huntington Library but the bulk of it - including this image - was then later sold to the Title Insurance Company. The TI collection was still later donated to the USC Library. The image, though, was not taken by Pierce, though, as he arrived in LA in 1886, but he did buy many earlier collections.


Finally followed Kevin's link to LA Public Library and it does credit the same photo as the one on the eBay site - which APPEARS - to be less clear of a print than the one in the Robinson book. But the TI collection is now at the USC library and not the LAPL collection. Are there THREE prints out there?


While TI collection was never acquired by the LAPL - the LAPL did independently acquire 3,000 prints from the Pierce Collection. Now if they were originals, or copies made from the TI collection of negatives of photos taken by Pierce - which the camel was not - I do not know.


Finally found image at California Historial Military Museum the eBAY seller referred to - and it appears to be same image once in the TI collection and it does appear to be possibly somewhat retouched to make the camel image (and the men standing by the camel) clearer, but equally as likely may not be retouched.

But this photo is credited to a private person, Herbert M. Hart, and not TI or any library. Is it a fourth image?

1 comment:

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