SUMATRA by KLEINGROTHE ( Antique Photographs Sumatra )

Unbound folio with 50 helio-engraved photographs, published after original photographs by Charles J. Kleingrothe around the year 1898.

The 50 sheets show scenes in Sumatra such as coffee and tobacco plantations, sultans and their palaces, Batak natives, cities and village scenes, tigers, elephants, deforestation by Chinese workers, jungle and river views and many others.

The text below the helio-engraved photographs is in English, Dutch and German. The folio shows signs of wear, the cover imprint, however, is clean and clear. The margins of the helio-engraved photographs are foxed.

Title: KLEINGROTHE, C.J., SUMATRA, Medan-München 1898.

Charles J. Kleingrothe, (1864–1925), was a German photographer who worked in Singapore in 1889 and had a studio in Medan, Sumatra between 1889 and 1925. In the late 1860s, Kleingrothe worked for G.R. Lambert & Co., a leading photographer of Singapore. When the plantation economy of Sumatra flourished in the latter half of the 19th century, G.R. Lambert opened a branch of its studios in Medan in 1888, then part of the old Deli Sultanate, for which Kleingrothe was put in charge.  In 1891 Kleingrothe 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 for 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 etc.  Little biographical information has come to light about Charles J. Kleingrothe, whose images of the Dutch East Indies and British Malaya are now highly sought after collector’s items. After 1916 he seemed to have disappeared without a trace.

Sumatra - Set of 50 Photographs
Publication Place / Date
Image Dimensions
Germany / ca. 1900
38 by 30 cm.
G- / Study images carefully
Product Price
Product Number
USD 550
SKU #B.NN234