ESTEBAN GONNET (1830-1868)

Recuerdos de Buenos-Ayres [And:] Recuerdos de la Campana de Buenos-Ayres. [Buenos Aires: 1864]. 2 volumes, oblong 2° (344 x 247mm). 40 albumen prints, mostly in landscape format approx. 210 x 127mm, mounted, together with 9 others of similar vintage (various sizes) of Argentine subjects, mostly of indigenous peoples, loosely inserted. (Some light spotting to mounts.) Original publisher's purple cloth, lettered in gilt to upper cover, ivory-coloured silk liners (extremities lightly rubbed, head- and tailcaps worn, liners lightly marked).

EXTREMELY RARE EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY OF BUENOS AIRES AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE. Early 19th-century Argentine photography was principally concerned with portraiture, but with the decline of the daguerreotype and its replacement by the negative-positive system, interest in photographing exteriors developed. The present volumes have only recently been established as the work of the French photographer Esteban Gonnet; previously they had been attributed to Benito Panunzi. Their date of publication can be determined by an advert placed in La Tribuna in October 1864 for the Recuerdos de Buenos-Ayres with the notice: 'A photographer from Buenos Aires has had the welcome idea of shooting the main vistas of this capital city. These make up a precious album worthy of any library'. ONLY THE CAMPANA VOLUME CAN BE TRACED IN WORLDCAT (Harvard & New York Public Library only).

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