There's a good story today about Oxfam charity being given a book of photographs of Fiji in 1881 and being sold for about $100,000. What a gold mine for the charity which does such good works. Gerard Andsell went to Fiji in search of his brother and went up the Wainibuka River. The photographs are wonderful in showing the appearance of the highland villages those days, the people and the early Fijian Christians and the change in their costume. You can see the photographs for yourself on a website from a New Zealand library. I think it is here.
from Fiji Radio
Fiji book fetches $100,000 for charity
Friday, April 16, 2010
Taken from / By: FBC News
A book detailing the journey taken by two British scientists through Viti Levu in the late 1800s has fetched more than 100,000 Fiji dollars (37,000 pounds) for British charity organization OXFAM.
This is the highest amount Oxfam in England has earned from the auctioning of books from its bookstore. The book stunned Oxfam and auctioneers Bonhams by fetching such a high price.
Titled “A Trip to the Highlands of Viti Levu” the book consist of 44 photos of Fijians and was written by Gerard Ansdell, one of the scientists who made the trip to Fiji in 1881 to find their long lost brother.
The book was donated to Oxfam last Christmas by a man whose identity still remains a mystery to the charity organization. The only other known record of the book being sold at an auction is in 1977 in Australia where the book fetched a mere 190 Australian dollars.
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
PS from W.
I tracked this down so thought readers in New Zealand might like to know that the book is in a library there in the Alexander Turnbull collection.
Record Title : Highlands of Fiji
Copy Negatives from photographs by Gerrard Ansdell
Reference Number : PAColl-5530
Display Dates : 1881
Quantity : 43 b&w copy negative(s)
Scope & Contents : Photographic essay of a journey up the Rewa River and one of its tributaries into the interior of eastern central Viti Levu, Fiji. The record includes Fijian artifacts, places and people as well as European plantation enterprises
Historical Notes : In 1881 Gerrard Ansdell and a younger brother left Melbourne for Fiji to "look up" an elder brother whom they had not seen for years. They knew he was coffee planting somewhere in Fiji. Their quest eventually led them into the central highlands of eastern Viti Levu. To illustrate his lively and very readable account of their journey, Gerrard took photographs, from which albuman prints were made which were tipped into the book. The copy negatives in this collection have been made from the original albumen prints illustrating the copy held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.
Gerrard Ansdell's "The Highlands of Viti Levu" can be found in the Printed Pacific collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library at -- q 919.61 P ANS
Restrictions : Unrestricted
Child Record : Go to Child Records
Collection Status : COLLECTION
Issue Status : GROUP of Issuable Items
Collection Arrangement : Negs at 1/2-C-022864 to 1/2-C-022915
Names : Ansdell, Gerrard, fl 1881 (as the photographer)
Place : Viti Levu