Fortier Phot(o)  FPh-

 

The second sub-set of the FPh series, this one numbered, consists of 791 numbered cards and 4 which are duplicate numbers, that is 795 cards in total.

 

As already indicated, the first 22 (except the duplicates 3, 5, 7 and 12) are direct reprints of the FD- with the same numbers and, with some exceptions, the same captions.

 

The early part of the series keeps the old-fashioned look and a little of the untidiness of the FD- : the borders are somewhat ill-defined, the text and placing of captions very variable. The same prints sometimes receive two or three slightly different captions. (Note that wherever more than one version of a snapshot is held, in particular where the signature or caption varies, then both versions are shown and indicated).

 

The series takes on then, from the numbers 110/120 and until the end, a look that’s more disciplined, more uniform: full card print, fine caption, mention of “Fortier, phot., Dakar”. There are no known coloured or glossy prints at present, with the exception of FPh-94, 100 and -121.

 

The technical quality characterises this long series from beginning to end, separately from the first subjects which were of an exceptional diversity. Drawing from earlier un-numbered EF and FPh- prints, and taking also the totality (except one) of the FD-, the FPh- series will supply largely, in its turn,  all the following series starting with the CGF- normal. Similarly there are certain FPh- appearing two or three times under different numbers. All the sequences and all the subjects were not found grouped in continuous numbering. Those clear sequences on Saint Louis (315 to 392), Rufisque (502 to 538), Sine-Saloum (632 to 652), the Sérèr country and their culture (669 to 695), or the rebellion of Thiès (607 to 614) which, as opposed to Rufisque or Saint Louis isolated and overall much dispersed families.  Fortier retook episodes all along with his production, reusing characters such as the cheerful face of female models which were preludes of the ‘etudes’ of the series CGF- normal with red captions. Similarly the ‘bigleuse’ (short-sighted one) and her family figure in FPh-24, 27, 184, 226 and 579, then on CGF-1147, 1175, 1226 and 1241.

 

Such photographic scenes come to appear two or three times under numbers, very separate from each other like the religeous procession (FPh-163, 164 and 571) or the chief of the Peul (FPh-727 and 791).

 

Singly, the rebellion of Thiès is dated with accuracy as 7th. April 1904. But other prints may be identified without too much difficulty, such as: the procession already mentioned, capital punishment at Saint Louis (FPh-588), the visit to Gorée of the governor of the Gambia (FPh-621) and the 14th July at Dakar which is perhaps that of 1904 or 1905. The first FPh- are attested from September 1902 and the series seems to have come to an end in October - November 1905 at the start of the CGF- normal. (where dates can be verified the card and evidence is shown).

Certain obvious errors of captions (indicated where each occurs) attributed to Senegal prints which were without any doubt from Guinée. There are other apparent errors in this very complex series which are less obvious:

 

- the FPh-398 was re-issued using the unusual format 14 x 7.5 catalogued under the number FPh-(1) pf at the end of the set, the only one of its sort for the moment. (another example is shown which may belong to this series).

 

- elsewhere, the FPh-336 is known with inscriptions on the reverse ... in Breton.

 

With the FPh- series, Fortier showed during two years the measure of his talent and of his ubiquity. Always favouring Dakar, he recorded the urban landscapes and main villages of 1902 - 1904 nearby the town, now promoted to federal capital, and soon to change greatly in size.

He is waylaid in Goree and Rufisque, and we are given a very nice ‘romantic’ series on Saint Louis. We visit the camel drivers stopovers at Louga, at Kayo, at Tivaouane, at Thiès, from Sine and from Saloum on the rivers of the same name and then return via the Little Coast (Petite Côte), lovingly photographed and explained in the captions, various culture observed in the Sérèr villages. Re-entering Dakar, he conjures up scenes depicting the atmosphere, the processions soon to be forbidden, the 14th July on land and on water, the jostle and crush at the communal well, the crowd in front of the Secretary General’s office and the embarkation of Senegalese troups for a distant operation.

 

His honest curiosity instiled in certain of these prints a little of the African authenticity when he captured some stance of Wolof or of Sérèr or shows the local costumes of Fadiouth, of Gorée, of Diobass and of Diéguem.

 

His trip to Guinée over, made in 1903 or the beginning of 1904, we are amazed by wonderful landscapes of Konakry and of the Low Coast (Basse-Côte; Dubréka) which are completed later in the CGF- series.

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Series 2B

Fortier Photo FPh-

 

GALLERY

FPh-1 to FPh-49

FPh-50 to FPh-99

FPh-100 to FPh-149

FPh-150 to FPh-199

FPh-200 to FPh-249

FPh-250 to FPh-299

FPh-300 to FPh-349

FPh-350 to FPh-399

FPh-400 to FPh-449

FPh-450 to FPh-499

FPh-500 to FPh-549

FPh-550 to FPh-599

FPh-600 to FPh-649

FPh-650 to FPh-699

FPh-700 to FPh-749

FPh-750 to FPh-791

 

 

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