China und Japan

~ China und Japan ~
~~ Siam und Cochinchina ~~
~~~ Singapore und Borneo et. al. ~~~

Stereoviews by Wilhelm Burger

"No. 299. Tempel in Kamakura"

Burger, Wilhelm (photographer):
Wilhelm Burger (1844-1920), a professional photographer and painter, accompanied the Austrian trade and diplomatic mission which traveled throughout the Far East in 1869~1870. Prior to the expedition assignment, he operated a photography studio in Vienna (Wein). Burger arrived in Japan with the mission in August/September of 1869 and stayed until March 1870 when he returned to Austria. While in Japan, he has been confirmed to have used the Hikoma Ueno studio in Nagasaki and the Renjo Shimooka studio in Yokohama and amassed a fine portfolio of images. Probably because of his relatively short stay in Japan (less than full 7 months), his Japan related images are rarely seen on the market. While he created large format photographs, his work relating to Japan is generally found in the form of stereoviews. Many of his photographs are reproduced in Wilhelm Burger, Ein Welt-und Forschungsreisender mit der Kamera, 1844-1920, see below. Burger was accompanied by an assistant, Michael Moser, who remained in Japan for 7 more years.

When working in the French language, Burger used the first initial "G." - probably for "Guillaume" - and on the French title for each stereoview (at the right), you find him using that initial. It is believed that Wilhelm Burger learned photography from is uncle, Andreas von Ettingshausen (17961878), who was noted Austrian physicist, chemist and photographer.

Examples of W. Burgers work ca 1867, before the Far East Expedition, can be seen here. An on-line gallery of 30 of his large format photographs of Japan is here.

In the years to follow the expedition to the Far East, Burger served as the photographer on the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition (1872-1874), and expeditions to Samothrace (1876) and Asia Minor (1881).

The stereoviews are generally in dark orange mounts with the number and manuscript title (in German) under the left image. Often the images show evidence of mounting glue bleeding through to the top surface.

I have confirmed the below listed series of Burger stereoviews.

From information I have reviewed it appears the Japan related views of the China und Japan series begin at approximately No. 209 (confirmed) and run through approximately No. 325 (confirmed). These stereoviews are seldom seen on the market.

  • Ansichten von Gibraltar/Viues de Gibraltar (Die Expedition, 1868)
  • China und Japan/Le Chine et Japon (1869)
  • Siam und Cochinchina/Siam et la Cochinchine (1869-70)
  • Singapore und Borneo/Singapore et Borneo (1869)
  • Le Tour du Monde/Reise um die Erde (1872, North Pole Expedition)

"China und Japan/Le Chine et Japon" Stereoview Series:

  • "No. 168. Hongkong. Herr mit Dienern" Master with servants."
  • "No. 209. Japanische Fen...chr" Young man standing.
  • "No. 217. Japanesiuem." In "Le Tour du Monde" mount.
  • "No. 229. Villa des engl. Consuls zu Osaka" House of the Consul at Osaka"
  • "No. 239. Nagasaki Japanische Offiziere"(Japanese Officers, row sitting and row standing, 10+ subjects)
  • "No. 242. Japanishe Offizere mit Frauen"
  • "No. 299. Tempel in Kamakura" (Temple at Kamakura).
    (Available for purchase, click here).
  • "No. 301. Daibutsu-staue in Kamakura.
  • "No. 310. Japanischer Gemuse Verkaufer" Japanese seller of vegetables."
  • ??. Scene of a Japanese Trial
  • Unnumbered. "Japon Ausicht von Nagasaki" Burger signature on plate, a view of Nagasaki - technically not a part of this series but a Burger Stereoview.

"Siam und Cochinchina/Siam et la Cochinchine" Stereoview Series

  • "No. 117. Bangkok, Konigs Graber" (The King's Graves).
  • "No. 119. Siam. Ein Pagodenteich". (A Pagoda Pond).
  • "No. 120. Bangkok. Bauten des Kgl. Palastes" (King's Palace).

"Singapore und Borneo/Singapore et Borneo" Stereoview Series

  • "No. 23. Ein Malaye"
  • (profile of a seated man)
  • "No. 83. Singapore, Familien Hotel"

"Le Tour du Monde" Stereoview Series

  • "No. 25. Spitzbergen - Felsblock in des Tobjoren - Bai
    (Available for purchase, click here).
  • "No. 32. No. 32. Nowaja - Semlja. - Creibers voc Matotschkin Schar.
    (Available for purchase, click here).

"Ansichten von Gibraltar/Viues de Gibraltar" Stereoview Series

  • "No. 53. Von der Festungswerken" - view from the Fortress.
    (Available for purchase, click here).

Major Reference work on Wilhelm Berger.

Rosenberg, Gert:
Wilhelm Burger, Ein Welt-und Forschungsreisender mit der Kamera, 1844-1920, Wien and Munchen, Christian Brandstatter, German language, 1984, 4to, hardbound, dust jacket, 229 illustrations black and white duotone (halftone), 192 pp. Pages 44-177 contain plates reproducing W. Burger's photographs. Each plate contains one or more images and descriptive titles in German. The book contains 57 plates (pages 88-144) showing 64 different images taken by Burger while he was in Japan. The book contains numerous halftone text illustrations. Included in this book is the famous "Hinrichtungsplatz in Jedo" image showing the severed head of a criminal placed on public display. The book is an excellent resource for Burger's style of photography and composition of images. Burger arrived in Japan in September of 1869 with the Austria-Hungary diplomatic mission and stayed until March 1870 when he returned to Austria. During this short period he created a excellent portfolio of Japanese images. This book also contains images Burger took on the expedition prior to arrival in Japan as well as after. These are numerous images of Siam (Thailand) and China (including Hong Kong) and Vietnam as well as other examples of Burger's work. Wilhelm Berger was a noted official "Expedition Photographer." The major expeditions traced in this book are the K.K. Mission Ostasien (Sept 1868-Mar 1870) which included stops in Gibraltar (Nov 1868), Singapore/Borneo (Apr 1869), Siam (April-May 1869), Vietnam (May 1869), China (Jun-Sep 1869), Japan (Nagasaki, Yokohama, Osaka, Kamakura, Tokio - 27 Sep 1869-Mar 1870) the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition (Jun 1872-1874) and archaeological expeditions to Samothrace (1876) and Asia Minor (1881). Rosenberg notes that Burger produced a series of "Stereophotographhien" on his return to Europe from the Asian expedition (page 30). ISBN 3-85447-107-6.
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