Ca. 1900. Eighteen albumen prints mounted on the official photographer’s card leaves with printed name and credentials on the lower margins, images ca. 12,5x17,5 cm (5 x 6 ¾ in), mounts ca. 21x27 cm (8 ¼ x 10 ½ in). All but two images captioned and numbered in negative. Several photos with period pencil numbers on the mounts (made by an owner), one – with a period manuscript ink title on verso (“Narzan Gallery, Kislovodsk”). Mounts with some minor bumping of corners, several images mildly faded, but overall a very good collection.
Attractive collection of eighteen original photographs of the Georgian Military Road, and mountains, streams, mineral sources, baths and resort establishments of Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk, and Zheleznovodsk in the North Caucasus. Grigory Rayev was a famous Russian photographer from the Caucasus. A native of Pyatigorsk, he worked as a photographer since the age of fifteen, and in 1889 purchased the studio of his teacher A.K. Engel; all images in his studio were taken personally by him. Rayev was awarded with over twenty gold and silver medals of Russian and foreign photographic exhibitions, including those in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tiflis, Paris, Brussels, Cairo, and others; in 1896 he was awarded with the Legion of Honour in Louvre. Rayev was a member of the Russian Photographic and Russian Geographical Societies, and became the first photographer to document the establishment of railways in the Caucasus. Among his works are series of photos “Views of the Caucasus”, “90 views of Caucasian Mineral Waters, Georgian Military and Sukhumi Military Roads”, “50 views of the Osetian Military Road”, “25 views of Kislovodsk”, “Panoramas of the Caucasian Range”, over two hundred postcards with the views of the Caucasus based on his negatives, and others.
The views of Kislovodsk show: the interior of the gallery above the source of Narzan mineral water (reconstructed in 1893-1908); façade of the Narzan Gallery; “Steklyannaya Struya” (“Glass Stream”) pavilion in the Kislovodsk park; waterfalls on the Olkhovka River and in the Orekhovaya Gulch near Kislovodsk. Images of Pyatigorsk include those of the city square with the monument to Mikhail Lermontov; entrance to the Proval cave and the restaurant nearby; general view of the Mashuk mountain from the Goryachya (“Hot”) Mountain; Elizavetinskaya Gallery (above the source of mineral water), Lermontov grotto and the Aeolian harp pavilion. Photos of Zheleznovodsk include general view of the city, images of the mineral source of Grand Duke Mikhail; Gryaznushka (now Smirnovsky) source, baths of the mineral sources # 1 and 2, Novo-Ostrovskiye baths. Georgian Military Road in shown on the photos of the Terek Gorge, Gudauri mountain station (7327 ft above sea level), legendary mountain of Tsarine Tamara in the Dariali Gorge, and Mtskheta town and bridge. Overall a very good collection of iconic views of Northern Caucasus.