An album of 35 photographs relating to the Alaskan ‘Gold Rush’ of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries sold for £1900 rather than the estimate of £50-70 in a recent North Yorkshire sale.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay
Offered by Elstob & Elstob (22% buyer’s premium) of Ripon on February 29, these were prints of photographs taken by Frank H Nowell and focused on activities in the region of Nome on the western tip of the state, where over 110 tonnes of gold were eventually pulled from the ground.
Huge numbers of would-be miners – and the even larger numbers who provided all the services and diversions needed moved into the area in the 1900s. There were some 20,000 people in all, it is said.
A photograph of a wooden store, where Mother’s Bread was one of the more homely attractions named on the many signs, is shown above, but others depict newly erected homes, a school, a bank and hotels, along with the mines and miners themselves, the incomers and the indigenous inhabitants of the area – even ships among the icebergs.
The 35 prints each measured about 8 x 10in (20 x 25cm).