Original sepia photograph, by the important late nineteenth century South African photographer Robert Harris, of the iconic baboon “Jack the Signalman” and his master, James Wide – also known to his friends as Jumper Wide. The story is well known to many and there are several detailed accounts online, which I recommend to browsers and buyers, as the tale is most fascinating. (Try: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/559031/signalman-jack-baboon-worked-railroad-south-africa).Briefly Jack the baboon was trained by his handicapped owner (double amputee following a train accident) to reliably perform the duties of a Railway signalman and was ultimately officially employed as such. The image measures 210 x 140mm. and is laid down on a slightly larger mount with a Christmas greeting in gilt at the bottom. In very good condition.
Robert Harris was a major eighteenth century South African photographer. He had a studio at Donkin Street, Port Elizabeth, 1880-1890 (Bensusan 1963, p.236). He exhibited photographs at the Port Elizabeth Exhibition 1885 and the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886. From 1891 to 1894 Harris was in partnership with Thomas McKnaught (Bensusan 1963, p.236). In 1888 he published the important and highly collected volume of original photographs entitled “South Africa”.
- Overall Condition: Very Good
- Size: 210x140mm.
- Name: Ronald Levine - Modern First Editions
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