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Stock# 90508

Fine group of Photographs of Hawaii by Noted Hawaiian Photographer Joaquin Augusto Gonsalves.

An impressive suite of original 19th century photographs of Hawaii by noted photographer Joaquin Augusto Gonsalves. The present photographs are beautiful and detailed albumen prints mounted on nice card stock mounts. The images runs the gamut of Hawaiian subjects and sites, including a nice view of Honolulu harbor, the Hawaiian Hotel, 'Iolani Palace, the Liue Mill, street views in Hilo, and much more (see full list below).

A number of the pictures depict the Big Island of Hawaii, likely on a trip to the island by Gonsalves in the spring of 1893. There are two entries referenceing Gonsalves's in the Register of Volcano House (1891-98), shortly after the so-called Victorian Addition to the House in 1891 (which is shown in one of the photos offered here). The House register notes a visit to take photos on May 9, 1893, with a mention of the Crater and "Kelawea ike."  A second entry by photographer Jonathan Silva on July 24, 1893 notes that he took a number of photos which could be seen at the Photo Gallery of Gonsalves and Silva.

The partnership of Gonsalves and Silva confirms a Portuguese connection as Gonsalves' business partner in the photography business, John Ignacio Silva, was born at Ponta Delgada São Miguel, Azores, and went on to establish several flourishing general merchandise businesses, including his big store at ʻEleʻele, with branches in Homestead and Hanapepe.

J. A. Gonsalves arrived in Honolulu in 1879, and went to work for in the Fort Street studio of J. Williams, and afterwards went to work for A. A. Montano. Purportedly Gonsalves had the patronage of King Kalakaua, and accompanied the king on several trips, taking pictures of his entourage.


Original examples of Gonsalves's photographs are quite scarce in the market. There are only six entries in RBH for collections of his work (varying from 8 prints to 79 prints), and we can locate only two examples of his photographs in institutional confines: a group of 20 Hawaii scenes at the Bancroft Library (dated ca. 1885-1890), and a mixed album of photographs at NYPL, with photographs by various photographers including Hawaiian scenes by Gonsalves. 

A list of the photographs here follows:

  • Hawaiian Hotel. In addition to the hotel building, shows a horse and carriage, a young man sweeping, and a mother and child sitting on the grass.
  • Lihue Mill (Kauai). Shows ox and horse drawn cart in foreground, with the mill complex in the center.
  • Hamakua Landing. Unloading with a crane device, sailboat anchored in background.
  • Hilo Landing
  • Wainuini St. Hilo
  • Top of Haleakala
  • Diamond Head
  • Honolulu Harbor. Half a dozen masted ships in the harbor, mountains in the distance, a group of sailors visible in extreme right edge of the image.
  • Wainuinui Street, Hilo. Unpaved road showing several wooden structures housing businesses on each side of the street. Including a shop with a sign reading "Island Views for Sale Here" - possibly Jonathan Silva's shop. 
  • Fort Street. Bustling street view with horse carriages. Businesses include: Benson, Smith & Co., Lewis & Co., and others not legible. 
  • Avenue of Palms
  • Palace. 'Iolani Palace, which was built in 1879.
  • Government Building. Aliʻiolani Hale, the seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Built 1871-1874.
  • Lanai of Kamehameha Hotel
  • Kamehameha School
  • Kamehameha Museum
  • Cocoa Nut Island
  • Peepee Falls, Hilo, Hawaii
  • Tourist on the Volcano Road
  • Volcano House (2 different images)
  • General View of Vol. House
  • Parlor of Volcano House
  • Crater From Vol. House
  • View of Boiling Lake
  • Sulpher Banks and Bath House
  • Lava Butress
  • Lava Flow on Dana Lake
  • Lava Flow (3 different images)
Condition Description
Original albumen prints on card mounts. Each print measures approximately 9.5 x 7.5 inches, mounted on stiff blue-gray card mounts measuring 12.5 x 10.5 inches. Photographer's credit and title in each negative. Occasional light wear to edges of mounts. Whitish staining along lower margin of mount of Fort St. photograph. Overall the prints are all fine and beautiful.
Joaquin Augusto Gonsalves Biography

J. A. Gonsalves arrived in Honolulu in 1879.

Gonsalves worked in the Fort Street studio of J. Williams, then later worked for A. A. Montano, where he took over the photographic business after Montano's retirement.

Gonsalves had the patronage of King Kalakaua, and did considerable traveling accompanying the King and taking pictures of his entourage.