Elements of appraisal

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This first part, the earliest, of the Fortier collection is, within the whole collection, the one of the highest quality. It accounts for numerous superb snapshots, all original with the exception of those reprints which have been indicated.

Even if the collectors of Black African cards are considerably fewer than those who collect French or Belgian provinces, it appears completely logical to apply to those the same criteria of quotation and interest recognized by the market which it is not necessary to recall here. It will be enough to indicate which cards, or categories of Fortier cards, deserve, in our opinion, an appreciation and for which reasons they must appear "at the top" of his collection.

Thus one will distinguish:

1. Well known people:

  • Samory Touré - FPh-49 , 104, 582
  • Bouna Alboury Ndiaye - FPh-233
  • Alioune Sow - FPh-727, 791

2. Unknown people, photogenic and providing the most lovely portraits of individuals or groups, such as:

  • The 'bigleuse' (short-sighted one) and her family - FPh-24, 27, 184, 226, 579, etc...
  • The Cérères - FPh-38, 51, 167, 232, 235, 580, etc...
  • and also FD-13, 16, 19, 21,  FPh-181, 229, 681, 781

3. The dates of events (The rebellion at Thiès, FPh-606 to 614), or not specific dates but still exceptional:

  • The races at Rufisque - FPh-502 to 514
  • The 14 July at Dakar - FPh-744 to 757
  • The carnaval - FPh-573
  • The visit to Gorée by the Governor of The Gambia - FPh-621
  • The funeral processions - FPh-72, 163, 164, 571, 759, 786
  • The guillotine at St. Louis - FPh-588

4. The most lovely scenes from the everyday life, religious, social or economic mores, particularly when the caption mentions cultural activity or specific practices:

  • The sequence on the practices in Sérèr country - FPh-679, 687, 689, 691, 694, 704, 708, 711 to 714, 723, 730, 768
  • The Faidherbe Bridge - FPh-326
  • The station at Kelle - FPh-476
  • The wells - Fph-485, 486
  • Sangalcam - Fph-529
  • The Sérèr - FPh-618, 653, 669, 670, 676, 677, 685, 703, 706, 722
  • The Griots - FPh- 622, 705
  • The Lahobés - FPh-654
  • Islam - FPh-126, 165, 221, 586
  • The army - FPh-455

One might also mention, according to ones taste, the same landscapes with greater or lesser degrees of animation like:

  • The banks of the river at St. Louis - FPh-365 to 387
  • The market - FD-(25), (26)
  • Dubréka - FPh-562 to 566
  • The views of Konakry - FPh-539 to 559
  • The old stopovers of the Sine-Saloum - FPh-632 to 652
  • The livestock markets - FPh-429 to 432
  • The scenes of groundnut trading

Special mention should be made of the early attempts at hand tinting known to have been tried on FPh-100 and 412 cards and perhaps of the unusual occurrence of a full photograph of a steamship in the duplicate number FPh-5B and finally, the double, folded card FPh-(52) for its exceptional character.

On the whole, a good quarter of series FD- and FPh- is composed of cards of good or very good value which must be treated as such in all the exchanges, purchases and sales to come.