Sitka: [ca. 1887]. Five photographs, each 4.25 x 7.5 inches, mounted on 5 x 8.5-inch cards. Mounts curling slightly. A few flecks and minor fading at edges of images. Very good. Item #1636
Three attractive boudoir photographs that depict the town of Sitka, Alaska, and two groups of Native Americans, by Edward de Groff, a noted resident photographer. De Groff owned and operated the Northwest Trading Company post in Sitka, having previously worked for the company in Killisnoo and Harrisburg (Juneau), and sold the images that he took of Alaska and its indigenous population from the store. The five photos in the present group are captioned at follows:
4. Indian River Road, Sitka, Alaska.
42. Klawack Harbor, Alaska.
50. Basket Makers, Sitka, Alaska.
224. Mt. Vostovia from "Pinta," Anchorage.
236. Sitka Indian Training School from Bay, Sitka, Alaska.
In the photograph of the Indian River Road, four Tlingit girls sit in a line across the road, while in the distance a man pushes a wheelbarrow towards the camera. The second photo shows the tiny town of Klawock, Alaska perched on the edge of the bay; today this is a popular harbor for tourist departures to the interior and by boat. The third photograph shows a row of four elderly Tligit women sitting on a roughly-hewn porch in front of a white house, engrossed in various stages of basket weaving. The fourth card present is a shipboard view of Mt. Verstovia and the town of Anchorage, one of the very few De Groff images depicting locations farther north in Alaska. The final view is of the Indian Training School at Sitka, and shows two buildings; this image is slightly faded. Each card has De Groff's promotional information and facsimile signature printed on the verso. A nice set of images from an Alaska photographer whose work is rather desirable and scarce on the market -- a group of seven De Groff boudoir photographs brought over $4000 at a 2012 Cowan's sale.