[Ceylon: Metal Workers (Singhalese)]. Charles T. Scowen, attributed to.
[Ceylon: Metal Workers (Singhalese)]

Large Image of Sri Lankan Artisans

[Ceylon: Metal Workers (Singhalese)]

Notes: A large-format occupational albumen photograph of two Sinhalese brassworkers, probably by Scowen, the most active photographer in Sri Lanka at the time.

The image shows a man wearing a sarong seated on the floor with a large brass platter on his lap and a hammer and chisel in his hands. A boy, also wearing a sarong, stands to the side showing a finished platter to the camera; he holds a hammer in his other hand. Ornamental brass work was an important 19th century Sri Lankan craft.

This is likely a posed studio portrait, as the background seems to include agricultural and floral motifs typically used for photography backdrops. On the left side of the image is a narrow dark triangle, perhaps indicating a damaged negative (the other print of this image that I have seen had the same feature; it was captioned "Kandy Brass Workers" on the mount.

Image: 8-1/2 by 10-7/8 inches; thin double-ply cardstock mount slightly larger, captioned in ink.

Edition + Condition: The print is faded along a 1-1/2-inch strip at the top; there is very minor silvering visible in raking light. The back (verso) of the mount has a surface tear to one ply, not affecting the image.

Publication: [Kandy, Sri Lanka]: [Scowen & Co.], [ca. 1880].

Item No: #360834

Price: $750