Photographers Index

Adolphe Duperly and Sons

Active Dates: circa 1840 - circa 1920
Active Area: North and Central America (continent)
West Indies (archipelago)
Jamaica (nation)
Greater Antilles (island group)
Surrey (county)
Kingston (parish (political))
Kingston (inhabited place)
Likenesses: None
Photographs: See list of photographs
Publications: Duperly, Adolphe (1844 ?), 'Daguerian Excursions in Jamaica, being a collection of views ... taken on the spot with the Daguerreotype'. Kingston, Jamaica: A. Duperly. [This work contains 24 lithographs issued in 6 parts. The British Library gives a tentative date of 1850, but most other sources, from Frank Cundall onwards, agree on 1844. K.E. Ingram also says that Duperly originally intended publishing 48 views in 12 parts].
Adolphe Duperly and Son (c. 1905), 'Picturesque Jamaica ... with descriptive text of the island'. Kingston.
Related Entries: None found.
Adolphe Duperly of Paris was originally an engraver, lithographer and printer. In 1833 he published a lithograph depicting the 1831 Christmas Rebellion and in 1838 a lithograph depicting emancipation celebrations in Kingston. He produced I.M. Belisario's 'Sketches of character in illustration...of the Negro population of Jamaica' (Kingston, issued in parts, 1837). He established his photographic firm in Jamaica in, according to advertisements, 1840 or 1842. In the mid-1840s he published a series of lithographs from his own daguerreotypes of Jamaican scenes (Robertson 1985, p.17). Adolphe Duperly died in 1865 (Macmillan 1909, p.204).

The photograph business was continued by Adolphe's eldest son (or possibly his grandson) Armand John Lewis Duperly (c. 1834-1909) (Robertson 1985, p.17; Macmillan 1909, p.204). Armand married Rebecca Ann Dimeresque of Boston who died in 1910. Two of his sons worked in the photographic business - Armand John Louis Duperly and Theophile John Baptiste Duperly. The firm received an Honourable Mention at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and the Gold Medal at the Jamaica Exhibition of 1891 (Macmillan 1909, p.204). Armand John Louis died in 1903 in the United States, his body was returned to Jamaica for burial. He left his share of the business to his wife, but to be managed by his father and brother (Robertson 1985, p.18). In 1907 the firm's original premises was destroyed in a great fire. Theophile also lost his right hand in the disaster. However, by 1909 the business had a studio at 85 King Street, Kingston (Macmillan 1909, p.204) The business appears to have closed by 1922, it is not recorded in the 1922 edition of Macmillan's 'The red book of the West Indies' (Macmillan 1922). Theophile John Baptiste Duperly died in 1933 (Robertson 1985, p.18).

There is possibly a family connection with H.S. Duperly and his son Charles Sylvester (c. 1894-1918) who were also photographers in Jamaica. Victoria Restrepo writes that her great-grandfather Henri, one of Adolphe's four sons, was also a photographer. He moved to Colombia and established his photographic studio in Bogata. Henri's son Oscar (Victoria's grandfather) established the first Kodak distribution in South America. It closed in 2012 after 97 years in business.
Sources: Cundall, Frank (1902), 'Bibliographia Jamaicensis. A list of Jamaica books and pamphlets, magazine articles, newspapers,
and maps, most of which are in the library of the Institute of Jamaica'. Kingston: Institute of Jamaica.
Macmillan, Allister (1909), 'The West Indies illustrated: historical and descriptive, commercial and industrial, facts, figures, and resources'. London: W.H and L. Collingridge.
Macmillan, Allister (1922), 'The red book of the West Indies: historical and descriptive, commercial and industrial, facts, figures and resources'. London: W.H. and L. Collingridge.
Robertson, Glory (1985), 'Some early Jamaican postcards, their photographers and publishers', 'Jamaica Journal'. Volume 18, number 1. February - April 1985, pp.13-22.

Restrepo, Victoria (email to RCS Librarian 10 December 2014). Victoria Restrepo-Duperly is a great great granddaughter of Adolphe Duperly and is also a photographer herself -

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