Unseen Siam – Early Photography 1860-1910 reproduces many previously unpublished images and is the first extensive English-language overview of early photography in Siam (Thailand), researched from diverse and extensive source materials (including directories, documents in city archives, newspapers, fieldnotes, postcards, etc.).
Unseen Siam – Early Photography 1860-1910 reveals the careers of 15 early photographers who worked in Siam – Abbé Larnaudie, Fedor Jagor, Pierre Rossier, Carl Bismark, Francis Chit, John Thomson, Henry Schüren, Gustave Richard Lambert, Max Martin, William Kennett Loftus, Fritz Schumann, Joaquim António, Robert Lenz, Emil Groote and Kaishu Isonaga – many of whom became court photographers to the then ruling King of Siam. Their work was not only limited to their photographic cartes-de-visite, as was usually the case, but also large-sized images from attributable albums and portfolios.
Each reproduced photograph is fully catalogued, and thus in many cases discloses the name of the photographer of some well-known images for the first time. This thoroughly researched reference work also includes biographies of the photographers and an extensive bibliography.
The book provides an invaluable insight into Siam when it was truly opening up to the outside world, with photographs covering every aspect of Siamese life, from inside the royal palace to vernacular architecture and riverine views; from kings and queens to ordinary people and village life.