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RCS contains:
<-- See earlier
Y3082A South Australia. Views in Adelaide, Suburbs and Country Districts
Y3082B Village settlements: River Murray
Y3082C Six photographs of South Australia
Y3083A Views of Port Darwin Harbour and Gold-mining District
Y3083B Views on Mr C B Fisher's Northern Territory Cattle Stations
Y3084A Photographs of New Guinea
Y3084B Three photographs of Papua
Y3084C Enlarged photographs of unknown New Guinea
Y3084D Capt. A. Liston Blyth, F.R.G.S., F.R.A.I., F.R.C.I., Resident Magistrate, Delta Division Papua and Native Constabulary
Y3084E 2 photographs taken at the opening of the second House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea
Y3085A Watson's Queensland album of photographic scenery
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Photographs of New Guinea

Title Photographs of New Guinea
Reference GBR/0115/Y3084A
Creator Angerer, C, fl 1884, photographer
Covering Dates 1884
Extent and Medium 39 images in 1 album
Repository Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library
Content and context

Thirty-nine mounted prints mainly measuring 285 x 230 mm., and mainly covering the declaration of the British Protectorate along the south-eastern coastline of New Guinea, from Motu-Motu in the west, to Killerton Island in the east. The various flag raising ceremonies were performed by Commodore James Elphinstone Erskine (1838-1911), of the Australian station, who in turn appointed Hugh Hastings Romilly (1856-1892) as Acting Deputy Commissioner until the arrival of Sir Peter Scratchley the following year. Charles Lyne, correspondent for the 'Sydney Morning Herald', and covering the expedition for that paper, gives a detailed account of the journey in 'New Guinea' (Sampson Low, London, 1885), and nine of the photographs are original prints of illustrations in the book. Rhodes House Library has a volume of 'Narrative of the expedition of the Australian Squadron to the South eastern coast of New Guinea October to December 1884' containing chromolithographic illustrations and thirty six of these photographs. The accompanying text, together with Lyne's book, has been used in preparing the following captions. The album covers the whole expedition, from the first proclamation at Port Moresby on November 6th, to the final one at Teste Island on November 26th. The pictures are not, however, arranged in order, and a list is appended to the individual print catalogue, placing them where possible in a chronological sequence according to Lyne's detailed description of events. The proclamation is also covered, briefly, in James Chalmers' 'Pioneers in New Guinea' (Religious Tract Society, London, 1887), and by H. H. Romilly in 'Letters from the Western Pacific and Mashonaland 1878-1891' (David Nutt, London, 1893).

Amended chronological sequence of prints:

Plates 2, 8, 11, 16, 17, 22, 30, 33, 38 Port Moresby generally

Plates 14, 29 Port Moresby, 5 November

Plates 37, 23, 35 Port Moresby (flag raising) 6 November

Plates 13, 27, 12, 7 Delena, Hall Sound, 8 November

Plates 4, 26 Motu-Motu (landing) 9 November

Plates 21, 39, 3, 25 Motu-Motu (flag raising) 10 November

Plates 9, 19, 28, 32 Kerepunu, 18 November

Plates 1, 24 Argyle Bay, 20 November

Plates 5, 6, 15, 31 South Cape, Stacey Island, 21 November

Plates 10, 18, 34 Dinner Island, 23 November

Plates 20, 36 Teste Island, 26 November.

The photographs are possibly by C. Angerer: the illustration of Lyne's 'New Guinea', entitled 'Natives Houses and Canoes', opposite page thirty is marked 'C Angerer + G, Ph.', and some other plates have the same initials marked in one corner. No other mention of this name has been found, and it is also possible that this is a photo engraver's signature, rather than the photographers. 'The Encyclopaedia of Papua and New Guinea' (Melbourne University Press, 1972) states that J. W. Lindt of Melbourne records his experience with the expedition in 1884 in 'Picturesque New Guinea' (Sampson Low, London 1887) these being the first published photographs of New Guinea. Lindt did not, in fact, go to New Guinea until 1885, when he was official photographer with Sir Peter Scratchley's expedition. H. H. Romilly, in a letter dated 11th November 1884, from Port Moresby, states: 'Good photographs of everything have been taken by a Sydney man the Commodore brought up, and I have ordered a complete set to be sent to you.' In addition, the photographs are not of a quality comparable to Lindt's work, particularly his New Guinea pictures (for examples of this, see the fine autotype reproductions in 'Picturesque New Guinea'). It is very probable that there were two photographers present at at least one of the proclamations: 'A Pictorial History of New Guinea' uses a photograph of the proclamation at Kerepunu taken only a few moments after plate 28, but some yards to the right. Given the bulk of photographic equipment, and the time necessary between each exposure (even with dry plates), it seems unlikely that the two pictures were taken by the same photographer. The supposition that two photographers were present is confirmed by Arthur Keyser in 'Our Cruise to New Guinea' (W. Ridgway, London 1885), page 5, "HMS Nelson ... had on board as passengers ... two photographers."

Inscription on album reads 'Presented to the Royal Colonial Institute by Sir Saul Samuel, KCMG, CB, on behalf of the Government of New South Wales'.

Access and Use

Please cite as Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library, Photographs of New Guinea, Y3084A

Further information


This description was entered by MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Index Terms
New Guinea
Angerer, C (fl 1884) photographer
RCS/Y3084A contains:
1 Panoramic view of Argyll Bay with Dufaure Island in background. 543 x 230 mm. Panoramic view composed of two joined photographs, cloth-backed. The central boat, flying the white ensign, is from H.M.S. Nelson, and displays the Commodore's pennant at the bow. In the distance are anchored two ships of the squadron.
Fair condition, apart from wear at picture folds..
2 A view of Port Moresby from Mission Station. 1016 x 230 mm. A panoramic view composed of four joined photographs, cloth-backed. Taken from the hill behind Port Moresby, native villages and boats in the foreground. Anchored in the bay, behind the island, is H.M.S. Nelson. Mr Goldie's store at extreme left, above native village; at right, Ethel Island, with Elizabeth Islands behind and Mourilyan Island at right background. Paga Point centre. background.
Fair condition, apart from some fading in from edges, and at folds..
3 Preparing to fire the feu-de-joie after the proclamation at Motu-Motu, November 10th. 285 x 230 mm. The third of a sequence of three pictures taken from the same viewpoint, covering the ceremony at Motu-Motu, the correct order being plates Y3084A/21, Y3084A/39, Y3084/A3. A detachment of sailors are grouped at the right, with rifles raised, with marines standing around the flag and natives sitting on the ground around the flagstaff: the natives 'clustered around the flagstaff, falling upon their faces stricken with consternation', at the first round of firing (Lyne, p. 93).
Fair condition..
4 Landing at Motu-Motu, Freshwater Bay. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing a group of sailors, native men and women, and two officers, in and around a ship's boat on the beach. Identity of the two officers, unknown.
Fair condition..
5 HMS Nelson saluting the flag, Mission Station, Suau, Stacey Island South Cape, November 21st. 285 x 230 mm. A view of the ceremony: the white ensign has been hoisted and the Union Jack is being raised. The view is across the bay to the mainland with HMS Nelson, Espiegle, Raven and Swinger at anchor.
Fair condition..
6 Suau, Stacey Island, S. Cape. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing natives sitting in front of their huts among the cocoanut palms with sailors standing on either side. It is possible that the figure second from the right is Charles Lyne. 1884
7 Queen Koloka at Delena, Nov. 8th. 285 x 230 mm. The queen poses on the wooden steps of a hut; two Europeans can be seen in the shadow of a doorway. Queen Koloka, Queen of the Lolo tribe, was believed by the missionaries to have been the only queen in New Guinea and lived at Cape Suckling, but 'There was nothing indicative of a coronet about her head, nothing regal in her attire, nothing stately or dignified in her form or movements. She was simply a well-conditioned, dark copper-coloured woman, with black woolly hair worn in the form of a chignon, a rather flat nose, the body plentifully tattooed...' Lyne pp. 58-59. See also Lyne's account of the taking of this photograph on pp. 65-66. The print is an original for the illustration in Lyne p. 59, and in Chalmers' ' Pioneering in New Guinea', p. 193. 1884
8 'H.M.S. Nelson' in Port Moresby Harbour. 285 x 230 mm. A view of Commodore Erskine's flagship, which arrived in Port Moresby on November 2nd with Elizabeth Island at extreme left and Mourilyan Island behind ship. An original for an illustration in Lyne p. 1.
Fair condition..
9 Commodore Erskine addressing local native Chiefs on board 'H.M.S. Nelson '; Hood Bay off Kerepunu, November 17th. 285 x 230 mm. After an explanation of the meaning of the protectorate by Commodore Erskine, representatives of the chiefs were selected and given an ebony stick with Queen Victoria's head on a silver florin affixed to the top, as a symbolic representation of their authority. In this picture two chiefs sitting at the front are holding such sticks. Commodore Erskine stands to the right of the natives, with hands on sword. Directly behind him, with flowing beard and topee is the Rev. G.W. Lawes of the L.M.S., who translated all speeches during the proclamations. The figure to his right, back to camera, is probably H.H. Romilly. The Chief sitting at the front left is Koepena, a Chief of the Aroma tribe. 1884
10 View from Dinner Is, Heath Is. in background. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing native men and women posing in a trading boat, or 'lakatoi', on the beach. The boat in the water behind displays intricately carved and decorated prow and stern. 1884
11 'H.M.S. Espiegle' (?), in Port Moresby harbour. 285 x 230 mm. A view of the ship, cruising under steam power and flying the white ensign. The town itself can be seen in the distance behind the ship's stern. The college and Rev. Lawes' Mission House (with white roofs) can be seen on the hill behind the native village on Ethel Island.
Fair condition, some spots and stains, fading in from edges..
12 Raising the Flag at Delena, Hall Sound, November 8th. 285 x 230 mm. Inside the hollow square, the natives sit on the ground in front of the officer party who are in the process of raising their hats, while a party of marines have their rifles raised, preparatory to firing the feu-de-joie as the white ensign is raised. Officers are hard to identify due to blurring of the image through movement, but Commodore Erskine is probably 2nd from the left among the blue-coated officers. The officer standing directly by the flagstaff, with back to camera, is probably Commander W.H. Henderson, commanding the men of H.M.S. 'Nelson'. 1884
13 Landing place at Delena Village, Hall Sound. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing a beach scene with huts, canoes and natives, with one unidentifiable European standing by a canoe. Nearby Yule Island, off Hall Sound, was the headquarters of the Italian explorer Luigi Maria D'Albertis for his expeditions up the Fly River. An original photograph for a fairly freely redrawn illustration in Lyne, p. 48. H.M.S. Nelson and Yule Island in left distance. 1884
14 First Gathering of Native Chiefs aboard 'H.M.S. Nelson', Port Moresby, November 5th. 285 x 230 mm. The Reverend James Chalmers was sent out to persuade local chiefs to come on board H.M.S. Nelson, and here Commodore Erskine explains the meaning of the protectorate to them. He is seen shaking hands with Boe Vagi, as he presents him with his ebony stick of authority ('rather a nice idea', Romilly remarks). The other chiefs sit on the deck, while the ship's company is gathered behind. Various national flags have been draped above the deck as awnings (see Y3084A/ 29, showing the same scene a few moments later, where the American flag is plainly discernible). Behind Erskine, in white suit and topee stands Reverend Lawes, interpreting, and between Erskine and Boe Vagi, is H.H. Romilly. In the foreground, back to camera between Lawes and Erskine, is probably Captain Bridge of H.M.S. Espiegle. The portly bearded figure in a topee behind Lawes is possibly Henry Chester, who announced the annexation of South-eastern New Guinea on behalf of the Queensland Government in April 1883. 1884
15 Native house at Suau. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing natives with children, grouped in front of a hut in a coconut grove, with three Europeans standing in the background. The central of the three figures, holding a child on his shoulders, is possibly Charles Lyne. The photograph is an original of an illustration in Lyne p. 110. 1884
16 Native Village at Port Moresby. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing a group of native women and children, dressed in grass skirts, and posed in front of raised huts by the water's edge. 1884
17 Native Village at Port Moresby. 285 x 230 mm. A view of the native village, built on stilts in the water, with jetties leading to the huts, and with canoes and a few natives in front of the village. Paga Hill in right background. 1884
18 View from Dinner Island, China Strait showing 'H.M.S. Nelson' and 'H.M.S. Espiegle' at anchor. 285 x 230 mm. A view of the harbour from the water's edge, with native canoes on the beach and in the harbour. A photograph taken just after the proclamation at the mission house, when Nelson fired a 21 gun salute and both ships decked themselves with flags. H.M.S. Nelson (the further ship) can be seen flying the Union Jack from her jack staff, with Middle Island in left background.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
19 Waterside scene, near Kerepunu, Hood Lagoon. 285 x 230 mm. A view of native canoes in the water, and a European ship's boat visible at the extreme right.
Fair condition, apart from some slight fading in from edges..
20 West end of Teste Island from anchorage. 85 x 230 mm. A view of a bay surrounded by hills, with native canoes in the water.
Fair condition, apart from some slight fading in from edges..
21 The Proclamation at Motu-Motu, November 10th. 285 x 230 mm. The first of a sequence of three photographs (see Y3084A/3 and Y3084A/39), showing sailors standing to attention while Erskine (to left of flagstaff in white topee, blue jacket, and holding a paper) reads the proclamation. Two officers stand by the flagstaff with the White Ensign and the Union Jack, waiting to raise the flags.
Fair condition, apart from some slight fading in from edges..
22 Native village at Port Moresby. 285 x 230 mm. A general view showing native huts, canoes and a few figures.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
23 The Declaration of the Protectorate at Port Moresby, November 6th. 285 x 230 mm. The second in a series of three pictures (the correct sequence being Y3084A/37, 23, 35). showing the first proclamation of the protectorate from the verandah of the Reverend Lawes' mission house. Marines and sailors, formed into three sides of a hollow square around the verandah, prepare to fire the feu-de-joie while native onlookers stand outside the square. The officers are removing their hats; Erskine, face hidden by hat, is second from the left in the middle section of the verandah, with H.H. Romilly, hatless, directly to the left. Mrs. Lawes, the only Englishwoman present is sitting, face partially hidden by her fan. The other women on the platform are the native teachers' wives. 1884
24 Reading the Proclamation. 285 x 230 mm. Village scene taken at Argyle Bay, 20 November. 1884
25 New Guinea Chief, Motu-Motu, November 10th. 285 x 230 mm. Lyne gives a detailed description of Chief Semese, Paramount Warrior Chief of the Elema tribe, who 'arrived very late, for it was said it had taken him the whole of the morning to dress' (p. 93). He poses beneath the flag while a sailor motions him to stand still, and natives gather on either side. The photograph is an original for an illustration in Lyne, p. 117, and entitled 'Hoisting the British Flag'. It is also reproduced as an engraving in Chalmers' 'Pioneering in New Guinea', p. 202, entitled 'Keep still, Johnnie'.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
26 Sailors Landing on Beach, Motu-Motu, Freshwater Bay. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing sailors posing by their boats on the beach, with H.M.S. Nelson and another ship visible out to sea.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
27 Yule Island from Delena, Hall Sound. 285 x 230 mm. A view of the beach, with native canoes and two children on the beach. Elevala Island in the harbour fills most of the horizon.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
28 The proclamation at Kerepunu, Hood Lagoon November 18th. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing marines and sailors grouped in a hollow square in front of the mission house (in what was named in honour of the occasion, 'Espiegle Square'). The White Ensign and the Union Jack are being hoisted while Commodore Erskine reads the proclamation. The Reverend Lawes, translating, is partially hidden by the flagstaff, while the officer party stands under the verandah of the house, shaded by an awning made from a sail. Directly in front of the verandah sit the native teachers' wives, and to the left the native chiefs, second from the right, holding his ebony stick, is Koepena. 1884
29 First Gathering of Chiefs aboard 'H.M.S. Nelson' November 5th. 285 x 230 mm. A photograph taken shortly after Y3084A/14. Boe Vagi is now sitting on the deck,. having received his ebony stick. Lyne describes the occasion in solemn detail, and Romilly, in a letter of November 11th, also mentions the ceremony, 'The day before the ceremony, we held a big palaver on board the flagship, and I was formally introduced to several old acquaintances. A gigantic copper of rice jam and brown sugar, mixed together, was produced. For a rather delicate stomach, as mine was that day, it was a truly beastly sight.'. 1884
30 Native village, Port Moresby. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing natives posing in front of their houses, with six Europeans among them. 1884
31 View from Stacey Island, with Marri Pass at right, across Bertha Lagoon. 285 x 230 mm. A landscape taken from a hill overlooking the lagoon, with a view of the Cloudy Mountains in the distance. 1884
32 Group of natives, Kerepunu, Hood Lagoon. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing a group of five naked males, with four children, standing in front of a row of huts. This picture was taken shortly after the proclamation at Kerepunu: the flagstaff and its supporting wire are visible in the foreground. The picture is taken from 'Espiegle Square', looking down a 'street' of houses. In the background, with the characteristic 'spire', the chief's house can be seen. 1884
33 A Banana Plantation in the Port Moresby district. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing natives standing in a row in a cleared area, with a sailor standing beside a thatched house and banana plants behind fencing in the background. The photograph is an original for an illustration in Lyne, p. 100. 1884
34 Natives on board 'H.M.S. Nelson', Dinner Island, November 23rd. 285 x 230 mm. A view of natives standing and sitting on the deck. The only European, standing extreme left, is possibly H.H. Romilly. One sitting native wears a long comb through his hair (whose position and angle was said to indicate the wearer's disposition), and another man has a claypipe through his septum. Cannibal Jack is in the centre, with a Cannibal Chief on either side. 1884
35 Raising the Flag at Port Moresby, November 6th. 285 x 230 mm. The picture is slightly blurred through camera movement. The third in a sequence of three photographs of this ceremony (see Y3084A/37 and 23) and shows the Union Jack being raised, while the officers party remove their hats. 1884
36 Bell Rock and Cliffy Island. 285 x 230 mm. A view from the anchorage off Teste Island, showing the two islands, with a ship under steam in the distance. Teste Island was the last place visited for the proclamation ceremonies, and was left on November 26th. Cliffy Island at left. 1884
37 The Proclamation at Port Moresby, November 6th. 285 x 230 mm. The first in the sequence of three photographs of this ceremony (see Y3084A/23 and 35). Commodore Erskine is reading the proclamation before the flags are raised. In fact, Romilly had already mistakenly read the proclamation some days before, thinking these were his instructions. ('I made rather an ass of myself, or rather otherpeople made an ass of me ... we ... came up here and did it before the Commodore arrived. However, it did not make much difference, as he did it all over again when he arrived' (letter, November 11th, 1884). Romilly also displays, in his private letters, a less than wholehearted appreciation of the ceremonies of Empire: '... and between them they landed an imposing force of blue-jackets and marines, who fired repeated feux de joie and made us stand bareheaded in a frightful sun. I don't think I was ever so hot in my life, and we were very glad when it was over. The natives, who were beginning to get accustomed to seeing the flag hoisted, were apathetic, and only a few stragglers turned up. The distribution of "knives and tobacco on the preceding day amused them far more', (Letter, November 11th). Proclamation made from Lawes ' house; school house in background. 1884
38 Ethel Island and landing place at Native village, Port Moresby. 285 x 230 mm. A view showing natives posing by the waterside, amid houses and canoes. Of the three Europeans in the picture, the figure on the left is probably Charles Lyne. The photograph is an original for an illustration in Lyne, p. 30.
Fair condition, some fading in from edges..
39 Firing feu de joie at Motu-Motu, November 10th. 285 x 230 mm. The second in the sequence of three photographs taken at this ceremony (see Y3084A/21 and 3). The Union Jack has been hoisted and the officer party are removing their hats.
Fair condition, but some fading in from edges..

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