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Portraits of a British merchant family in Brazil, between 1845 and 1865

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Portraits of a British merchant family in Brazil

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection of cased photographs comprises 35 photographs, mostly portraits of the extended Youle family, a British merchant family residing in Recife, Brazil, in the mid-nineteenth century. Included are 14 daguerreotypes, 18 ambrotypes (17 collodion positives and one collodion negative), one tintype, and two albumen prints. Most of the items are in leather cases or wooden frames with glass. Although most of the sitters are unidentified, three daguerreotypes portray Alfred Phillips Youle, while five ambrotypes are portraits of Annie Stewart Schwind, who married Alfred Phillips Youle in Bahia in 1851, and her parents. All of the photographs originating from the Youle family collection are unsigned.

Three of the daguerreotypes are not from the Youle family. They are stamped on their gilt mats: Electrotypo-Fredricks e Weeks (1) or Electrotypo-Fredricks é Weeks (2), identifying the photographic partnership of Charles DeForest Fredricks and George H. Weeks. They all date to 1851 when Fredricks and Weeks were briefly active in Recife. A full plate daguerreotype depicts a view of Recife harbor. The two daguerreotype portraits depict, respectively, two small girls standing and holding hands and a Black woman seated in three-quarter view holding a light-skinned infant in her lap. This is one of the earliest known photographs of a Black person taken in Brazil.

Arrangement

Arranged in a single series:
Series I. Portraits of a British merchant family in Brazil, between 1845 and 1865.




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