This is one of those special type of photographs that collectors come across on an infrequent basis. The young girl in this portrait is pretty, beautifully dressed, and charming. She is wearing a lace trimmed coat over a lace trimmed dress and is wearing an adorable wide brimmed hat. The 5″ x 7″ image was photographed by the Monaco Studio at 205 Montgomery Avenue in San Francisco, California. J.B. Monaco (1856-1938) was a noted photographer in San Francisco. In fact, a collection of his photographs can be found at the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library. In 1875 Monaco arrived in the United States as an immigrant from Switzerland. His name was originally Giovanni Battista. He joined his brother in Eureka, Nevada. Louis Monaco operated a photo studio there and J.B. joined him in the business, thus launching a career as a photographer that would span 62 years. In 1887 J. B. moved to San Francisco where he was soon joined by his brother who died in 1897. During J. B.’s career, he distinguished himself with his earthquake and fire photographs. These images have been described as  dramatic and journalistic. He documented much of early Nevada and Northern California history. His portraiture work of prominent San Francisco individuals and their families is considered to be exceptional. During his career, Monaco was described as the “Dean of North Beach photographers”. A photograph of Monaco’s photo studio, as well as a portrait of J. B. Monaco, can be seen below.   (SOLD)

Monaco’s Studio  (photo by JB Monaco)

                                                                                                                                          J. B. Monaco

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
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A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of R. A. Bonine, in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The studio was located on 14th Street. The woman in the photograph is beautifully dressed and looks terrific in her dress; a fact not lost to the photographer who took a portrait of the woman that captures her, head to toe. This image is nicely done. The pose integrates the chair and curtain for balance and the swirl in the curtain along side the swirl in the woman’s dress enhances the image. Saying it simply, this is a beautiful portrait. The photographer, Robert Atkinson Bonine (1838-?) moved his photography business from Holidaysburg to Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1878. He came to Altoona with his wife, Matilda Hollinger (1838-?), whom he married in 1860. When Bonine wasn’t producing photographs, he was producing children. He and his wife had eleven children. A number of his children entered the field of photography. One of his sons, Robert Kates Bonine (1862-1923) was a well known film maker of travelogues. He was employed twice by Edison, and also worked for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. His work included films about the Klondike Gold Rush, the San Francisco Earthquake, Yosemite, Japan and China.


A jolly looking man poses for a portrait at the studio of Isaiah West Taber (1830-1912), in San Francisco, California. The happy gentleman has a wonderful mustache and earns the right to join other men with remarkable mustaches in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Taber was a well known daguerreotypist, ambrotypist and photographer who photographed many California notables. Taber was also a sketch artist and a dentist. He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Between 1845 and 1849, he worked on a whaling ship. He moved to California in 1850 and returned to the east, four years later. Upon his return, he opened a photography studio in Syracuse, New York. In 1864, he returned to California where he worked in the studio of Bradley and Rulofson until 1873. To view images by Bradley and Rulofson, click on the category, “Photographer: Bradley & Rulofson”. In 1871, Tabor opened his own studio and became famous for reproducing the photographs of well known California photographer, Carleton Watkins. Watkin’s business had gone bankrupt, and Taber reproduced his work without giving Watkins any credit. In 1880, Taber took a six week photographic trip to Hawaii. During part of that trip, he fulfilled his commission to photograph King Kalakaua. By 1890, Taber had expanded his operation to include studios in London and other parts of Europe. However, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, put him out of business. The natural disaster destroyed Taber’s studio, gallery and negatives.