Bismarck’s Set

From the upper cover: Fried. Krupp Essen A[m]/R[hein]. Deutschland.

Portfolio of original photographs (mainly from 210 x 300 mm. to 240 x 330 mm.) depicting artillery, field guns, howitzers, cannons, ammunition wagons, etc., produced by Friedrich Krupp. 53 mounted photographs (some partly faded) on 51 stiff boards (640 x 480 mm.), all boards signed “Photogr. Atelier des Krupp’schen Etablissements.” Large oblong folio (645 x 500 mm.), orig. red cloth folder (a little rubbed & soiled) with title printed in gilt on cover, metal protectors at corners. [Essen]: dated 1869-76.

A very rare portfolio issued by the Krupp Steel Works with 53 original albumen photographs. A sort of trade catalogue showing the different cannons, other weapons, and military equipment manufactured by Krupp, it was created for clients who were considering purchasing these products for their government or army. This album comes from the family collection of Otto von Bismarck, chancellor and unifier of Germany, and was presented to him by Krupp (presentation slip laid-in).

Alfred Krupp proved to be exceptionally progressive in his use of the art of photography. Employing this medium, he persuasively presented the complexity of his huge enterprise to a wide public. The photographs were made to impress his far-flung clientele of “States, Governors, and Khans.” Krupp had his publicity team assemble portfolios of relevant photographs depicting the tools of war and sent them to possible clients. This set is such an example: a miscellany of images selected to demonstrate to Bismarck the wide range of products manufactured by Krupp.

“In 1861, one of the most remarkable figures in German industrial history, Alfred Krupp, commissioned his far relative Hugo van Werden [(1836-1911)] to learn photography in a studio in Hannover then well-known for its qualities in depicting industrial products. After a short apprenticeship, van Werden set up the Krupp photographic and lithographic institute which from then on had to deliver all visual materials used for documentation, press releases, and public relations for Krupp’s steel company. As early as 1862, on the occasion of the London World Fair, Krupp was able to show and deliver large quantities of photographs of all his products, and the company gained fame for the use of the new medium in advertising…”–Rolf Sachsse in Encyclopedia of 19th-Century Photography, p. 584.

In fine condition, although some of the photographs are inevitably slightly faded. 48 of the boards are numbered: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14.D.R., 16.M., 18.R, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 30A, 30B, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 48B, 49A, 51, 54, 54A, 55, 57, 58, 59, 59A, 60, 61, 62, 63, and 64. Three are unnumbered.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 6928