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DINESS, Aglaya Pavlovna
[SAKHALIN: Collection of Five Original Photographs of the Town of Korsakov in Southern Sakhalin by a Russian Female Photographer, Including a Two-Part Panorama of Korsakov].
Ca. 1890s. Five albumen prints, three ca. 15x20,5 cm (5 7/8 x 8 in) including two comprising a two-part panorama, and two photos ca. 10,5x16 cm (4 1/8 x 6 ¼ in). All mounted on original album card leaves, one titled and signed in negative. Very good sound photos. A collection of five rare early photos of southern Sakhalin made by Russian Far East female photographer Aglaya Diness. After her husband's death Diness chose an unusual, for a Russian woman, profession and became a photographer and widely travelled across the Russian Far East and China. In the 1890s she took numerous photos of Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk, Ussuriisk and Manchuria, together with a series of excellent views of Port Arthur (now Lüshunkou, China). In 1899 Diness was awarded with the diploma of the Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition in Khabarovsk. Our collection represents early interesting views of Korsakov town at the southern end of the Sakhalin - the oldest Russian settlement on the island. There is a two-part panorama of the town, titled and signed "Photo A. Diness" in the right lower corner (in Cyrillic), and a view of Korsakov's logging depots on the shore of the Aniva Bay; two smaller images show a forest log house and a waterfall, apparently in the Korsakov's vicinity. The images are especially interesting, as they show Korsakov still under the Russian rule, before it had been ceded to Japan after Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Overall a very interesting historically significant collection. "While under Russian administration fort Korsakovsky was an important administrative center in Sakhalin's penal servitude system and a final destination for hundreds of prisoners from European Russia, sentenced to forced labor for particularly serious crimes. Such prisoners and their families comprised early settlers of fort Korsakovsky until its hand-over to the Japanese. Prominent Russian writers, including A.P. Chekhov and V.M. Doroshevich, visited Korsakovsky and left keen observations of its unsavory trade. In 1905, Korsakovsky was handed over to Japan after Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905" (Wikipedia).