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Book Description
Letters, photographs and ephemera from the personal archive of Kurt Oehme, a German button manufacturer engaged in the textiles trade of Australia, whom, in so doing, was one of the pioneers of pressed casein buttons. Comprises photographs from his voyage overseas, including visits to Karachi, Delhi, and Egypt, letters and telegrams received from his wife in Germany, and more photographs and ephemeral items from his time in New South Wales. The archive includes 11 mailing covers, containing approximately 30 letters in German, some of which are from other parties; 153 photographs measuring between 4 x 6 cm and 21 x 30 cm including travel snapshots, formal portraits and half a dozen postcard types; 1 pouch of photographic negatives; 2 ephemeral items pertaining to the Concordia Society in Sydney; and one small framed map of Australia measuring approximately 17 x 15 cm and comparing its geographical size to western European countries.
Dealer Notes
Kurt Oehme was evidently in the textiles trade, manufacturing buttons with the then newly invented and popular process of pressing and shaping casein with heat to produce a wide variety of buttons en mass.
Most letters are written by his wife frau Wilhelmine "Wally" Oehme of Schmölln, Thuringian, Germany, and addressed to him in Sydney, Australia. Some of the early correspondence reveals planning and expenses made by the couple. She occasionally encloses correspondence from other parties. One letter is from a man called Paul Grieser.
She also sends him info for a Kleine Kniehebelpresse (small knee-lever press for commercial use, for pressing and stamping buttons and other articles of galalith etc) Galalith is a plastic made of casein, a protein from cow's milk.
The archive also includes several snapshot photographs from the voyage out to Australia, taken while on his tours to Malta, Sindh, India, and Egypt before arriving at Sydney. There are also a number of photographs showing life in Australia, his selected residence in New South Wales, and special events.
Author Kurt Oehme
Date 1931-32
Condition Overall the lot in very good condition.

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