R. Boock (photographer)
Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway: A pair of presentation albums containing mounted albumen print photographs, [circa 1890]. 2 volumes, oblong 2 (28.7 x 37cm.) 66 photographs by R. Boock, each 15.8 x 21.9cm.on individual grey card mounts with decorative gilt printed surround, with general title, photographer's credit and individual titles printed in black, two mounts with additional pen-and-ink notes. (Some fading to photographs, occasional small tears to mounts.) Original blue morocco-backed cloth, lettered in gilt 'Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway' and 'Henri Letellier' on upper covers, g.e. (some old dampstaining). Provenance: Henri Letellier (bindings).
A fine series of photographs forming an eloquent visual witness to the success of the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway. 'Antofagasta, a town and port of northern Chile and capital of the Chilean province of the same name, situated about 768 m.[iles] N.[orth] of Valparaiso...Antofagasta is the seaport for a railway running to Oruro, Bolivia, and is the only available outlet for the trade of the south-western departments of that republic. The smelting works for the neighbouring silver mines are located here, and a thriving trade with the inland mining towns is carried on. The town was founded in 1870 as a shipping port for the recently discovered silver mines of that vicinity...belonged to Bolivia until 1879...[and] was definitely ceded to that republic in 1885.' (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1910, vol.II, pp.147-8).
The first album concentrates on Antofagasta as a town, a railway depot and a port. It includes views of the various manufactures and two of the various members of the "Oficina Administracion" (all indentified in ink), together with a series of views of the their houses. The second album concentrates on views along the route of the railway, from Antofagasta on the coast up to the Bolivian border. (2)