Images of the Gold Coast (West Africa), 1870-1890   
 
Copyright note: All rights reserved. Usage of the texts and images depicted here is only allowed for academic purposes. The 'Images of the Gold Coast' collection is part of the holdings of the Photo Bureau of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Catalogue no.: Album 1643. Photo Bureau Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, for original photographs and reprints. Author of the database and the accompanying texts is M.R. Doortmont, Groningen. Michel R. Doortmont, 2001-2005 for texts, database layout and content.

 
Code: 0002 4058
Category: Castle St. George and the town of Elmina

The castle of St. George d'Elmina, from 1637 to 1872 headquarters of the Netherlands Possessions on the Coast of Guinea. The photo's in the collection show the castle from the West, the East, and the North. The middle picture shows the main entrance with drawbridge and main buildings.
Castle St. George and the town of Elmina

 
Code: 0002 4057
Category: Castle St. George and the town of Elmina

View of the town of Elmina with the castle of St. George d'Elmina on the left and the hill of St. Jago on the right, from the North-East.
View of Elmina town and castle

 
Code: 0002 4056
Category: Castle St. George and the town of Elmina

The so-called Parade Ground in front of the castle of St. George d'Elmina (facing West). Until 1873, the original African town of Elmina was situated on this terrain, housing circa 15,000 inhabitants. Just over a year after the transfer of the Dutch possessions to Great Britain, the British bombarded and burnt the town. This was a punitive action against the population of Elmina, because of their continuing protest against the British government. In the action no one was wounded, as the inhabitants had been warned beforehand. After the bombardment, the British did not allow any building in the area. Up to this day it is an open space.
Parade Ground Elmina


Code: 0002 4055
Category: Castle St. George and the town of Elmina

View of the hill St. Jago with the fort Coenraadsburg, with on the right the so-called Herenweg, now Liverpool Street, in Elmina, seen from the Parade Ground across the river.
The fort Coenraadsburg was built by the Dutch in the seventeenth century, to guard the castle St. George. The Dutch themselves had seized St. George from the Portuguese in 1637 by means of an attack from St. Jago hill. The Herenweg (Liverpool Street) was developed from 1840 onwards as a street lined with large merchants' houses - built by merchants who were predominantly of Euro-African descent. Currently, many of these houses are in a state of disrepair. The street itself is an important thoroughfare for transport to and from the large fishing port nowadays situated on the river quay visible in the front.
View of the hill St. Jago with the fort Coenraadsburg

 
Code: 0002 4045
Category: People from Elmina

The Dutch factory in Elmina, with European and African personnel

Between circa 1888 and 1894, the firm of Gebroeders Ter Meulen of Rotterdam ran a factory, mainly trading in palm oil. The firm left Elmina during the worldwide agricultural crisis, which cut profits severely.
The photo shows three European staff (among whom probably one or two Ter Meulen's), three African agents (standing) some clerks (sitting), and manual labourers and carriers. The photo is taken in front of the Viala Houses, a merchant's house in Liverpool Street. This house was rented by the firm.
The Dutch factory in Elmina, with European and African personnel

 
Code: 0002 4046
Category: People from Elmina

Three portraits of Elmina women, unidentified
1. Young lady with bare breasts, possibly an engagement picture.

This set of three portraits is not identified by Muller. Possibly he regarded the portraits of women in traditional dress as ethnographic curiosities. The compositions of the portraits indicates, however, that these are photo's made for the use of the depicted persons themselves.
The young woman shows her virginity by showing her bared breasts. A portrait like this was often made in well to-do circles to commemorate the engagement of the girl in question. The group portrait of two women and two girls seems to be a family group of three generations (grandmother, mother, daughters).
Young lady with bare breasts

 
Code: 0002 4047
Category: People from Elmina

Three portraits of Elmina women, unidentified
2. Lady sitting in chair, formal portrait.

This set of three portraits is not identified by Muller. Possibly he regarded the portraits of women in traditional dress as ethnographic curiosities. The compositions of the portraits indicates, however, that these are photo's made for the use of the depicted persons themselves.
The young woman shows her virginity by showing her bared breasts. A portrait like this was often made in well to-do circles to commemorate the engagement of the girl in question. The group portrait of two women and two girls seems to be a family group of three generations (grandmother, mother, daughters).
Lady sitting in chair

 
Code: 0002 4048
Category: People from Elmina

Three portraits of Elmina women, unidentified
3. Possibly a family group of three generations of women, formal portrait.

This set of three portraits is not identified by Muller. Possibly he regarded the portraits of women in traditional dress as ethnografic curiosities. The compositions of the portraits indicates, however, that these are photo's made for the use of the depicted persons themselves.
The young woman shows her virginity by showing her bared breasts. A portrait like this was often made in well to-do circles to commemorate the engagement of the girl in question. The group portrait of two women and two girls seems to be a family group of three generations (grandmother, mother, daughters).
Family group of women