19th century photographs of Singapore

Return to Previous Page

Product Description

Late 19th century (1889) photographs of Singapore by C.J. Kleingrothe

A  rare and attractive collection of black and white photographs of Singapore at the end of the 19th century by Charles J. Kleingrothe, born Carl Josef Kleingrothe or Klein-Grothe, known as C. J. Kleingrothe (1864 – 1925), a German photographer who worked in Singapore in 1889 and had a studio in Medan, Sumatra between 1889 and 1925. In 1891 (?) he partnered with the Swedish photographer H. Stafhell for ten years and photographed the landscapes and architecture as well as portraits. In addition to photographs of Singapore and North Sumatra, Kleingrothe photographed Penang, Malaya in his Malay Peninsula Portfolio. In 1901, the partnership ended and in 1902 Kleingrothe opened a studio on Kesawan Street in downtown Medan and photographed agricultural subjects including tobacco, coffee, tea, rubber and palm oil cultivation, administration and transport.

The prints in the collection contain thirty-four (34) individual photographs which are mounted in sets of two, three, four and singly. The printing of the photographs was done colloidial-chloride paper, that was produced commercially for the first time by J.B. Obernetter, a Munich chemist who studied chemistry with such greats as Bunsen and Leibig. Experimentation to develop permanent emulsion printing papers was advanced by the work of the English chemist and photographer G. Wharton Simpson (1824-1880) who developed the colloidio-chloride silver emulsion printing process. This work was complemented by that of J.B. Obernetter (1840-1887) and referred to on the photographs of Singapore, who was the first to manufacture  colloidio-chloride papers on a commercial scale. The paper was claimed to have higher definition and permanency over the albumen papers it gradually replaced.

The prints are in good condition with strong plate marks although a few have brown and grey marks caused by foxing and water stains in the wide margins. The marks do not affect the area of the photographs. The print paper size measures 347mm x 452 mm with individual photographs ranging in size from 98 mm x 140 mm (smallest) to 205 mm x 290 mm and 273mm x 202mm for the largest.

( This set is SOLD, looking for another copy?, please contact us. )

Product Enquiry

Product Enquiry

Related Products

10. De Vulkanen van de Tengger

De Vulkanen van de Tengger Antique photograph  The immense Tengger caldera in East Java, southeast of Surabaya, is a stark landscape of smouldering cinder cones and smoking craters 220 meters above sea-level. The extinct volcano in...

Bearded Barbet, Motmot, Greater bird-of-paradise

Rare early 19th hand-coloured print of three different bird species. Bearded Barbet, Motmot, Greater bird-of-paradise (1) Der Barbikan Bucco Dubius (Bearded Barbet) The bearded barbet is an African barbet. Barbets and toucans are a group of...

115. Rotan aan de pier te Palembang. Soematra

Rotan aan de pier te Palembang. Soematra Antique photograph Rattan, harvested from the forests of Sumatra where it grows for wild, is transported a pier which several kilometers along the Musi, the island’s longest river Palembang...


“PASSAR” – JAN POORTENAAR “PASSAR” BY JAN CHRISTIAAN POORTENAAR (1886-1958) A beautiful etching by Jan Poortenar. Jan Christiaan Poortenaar is a Dutch graphic artist, graphic designer, painter, watercolorist, draftsman, engraver, lithographer, manufacturer of wood cuts, illustrator,...

17. Marketplace Aceh, North Sumatra

Marketplace Aceh, North Sumatra A portrait of people at a marketplace in the district of Aceh (a stronghold of of fundamental Islam at the northern tip of Sumatra) reveals some distinctive differences in their features...

118. Maskendans aan het Hof Van Koetei

Maskendans aan het Hof  Van Koetei Antique photograph One of Borneo’s most ancient and powerful kingdoms, Kutai, once ruled a large part of what is now known as East Kalimantan. The Sultan Kutai posed for Demmeni...

127. The Sultan of Yogyakarta on his throne

127. De Sultan van Djokjakarta op zijn troon. Java. Antique school board of The Sultan of Yogyakarta on his throne.Taken c.1895 and published between 1912 and 1914 in Holland. The Sultan of Yogyakarta was 70...

131. Inlandsche School te Buitenzorg

Inlandsche School te Buitenzorg Antique photograph /// Antique school board of Inlandsche School te Buitenzorg Taken c.1895 and published between 1912 and 1914 in Holland. This photograph depicting the Dutch East Indies were originally published as...

139. Kano’s in de Mentawei Rivier

Kano’s in de Mentawei Rivier Antique photograph  In Demmeni’s era there were three basic kinds of local craft for negotiating the seas and rivers of the Indonesian archipelago: huge built-up sailing vessels including the sea-going schooners...

113. Snij-en Beeldhouwwerk in hout.

Snij-en Beeldhouwwerk in hout Antique photograph Antique school board of Snij-en Beeldhouwwerk in hout Taken c.1895 and published between 1912 and 1914 in Holland. This photograph depicting the Dutch East Indies wasoriginally published as part of...
Back to top