Lot 655: India - (George) Victor Pont (1846-1931). A collection of 100 early and large platinotype views of India, mostly circa 1880s but some later, a total of 35 initialled V.P. and numbered in the negative, 65 not initialled or numbered but seemingly taken by Pont also, a total of approximately thirteen duplicates, plus 9 Victor Pont albumen print with initials and negative numbers, plus seven further albumen print views of India including one by E[rnest] Pont, one by Phillips and five blank (one identified W.H. Horton to verso), plus a photograph of Horton Stores, circa 1923, and two small studio portraits of Victor Pont's son Leon (1883-1982), the majority of platinum prints and most albumen prints 24 x 29cm and similar sizes, a few much smaller, many with pencil identifications to verso, many platinum prints with some spotting or browning, the collection including approximately 13 duplicates. A rare and interesting photographic archive of India with notable early use of the platinum process. Not too much detail is known about Victor Pont, who was a district engineer for the East Indian Railway, while his brother and fellow noted and prizewinning photographer Ernest (1850-1922) worked as an inspector for the same Railway. Photographs identified and dated from captions include: Kunaon: Bjhimthal Lake, about 1885, Annie Pont; A Road near Darjeeling; Primeval Forest near Kalingpong and Tibet Border; Teesta River between Darjeeling and Kalingpong; Benares. The Ghat where they burn the dead before committing ashes into the Ganges, about 1886; Beneares on the Banks of the Ganges; Hindoo Funeral - Cremation of a woman not he banks of the Ganges; New Bathing Ghat; Top of Bathing Ghat, Mirzapur; Bridge, Mirzapur; Grounds of Numair Museum; Ghat at Benares and showing various Temples; Tank at Numair Mausoleum; Gryuthee Bridge, 26.6.1889; Near Mirzapur, about 1890. The bearded Victor is identifiable in two family group photographs in the collection. Provenance: The family of Victor Pont, by direct descent. (approx. 120)
Dominic Winter's Antiques & Fine Art Auction October 2015
Thursday, 15th October 2015
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