Collection of Thirty-Five Original Gelatin Silver Photos of Egypt, Showing Cairo and Environs, Memphis, the Red Sea and the Inhabitants of Ismailia and Attaka near the Gulf of Suez. Egypt, c. 1905. Loose gelatin silver photos c. 11x16,5 cm (4 ½ x 6 ½ in) mounted on card c. 20,5x27 cm (8 ¼ x 10 ½ in).
All photos with period pencil or ink captions in French on recto or verso of the mounts; most photos with period ink or pencil numbers on the mounts; two photos dated “1905” on the mounts. Several images mildly faded or with mild silvering, several mounts with minor creases, small tears or chipping on the extremities, but overall a very good collection of interesting and unusual photos.
Original large vernacular (not commercial) photos of Egypt taken by a French traveller in the early 20th century. Unlike most collections of Egyptian travel photos from this time, these ones don’t cover ancient temples and sites but instead focus on the life of contemporary Arabic Egypt. Twenty-one photos depict Cairo and environs, showing the Nile with feluccas and buildings on the banks, narrow streets and shops of old Cairo, the gate to the Delta Barrage, Al-Rifa’i Mosque, mausoleums and tombs of the Mamluks in Cairo Necropolis, mud-brick buildings in Cairo environs, scenes with the local people, etc. Four photos show native mud-brick houses in Memphis and local people; two photos depict Muslim inhabitants of Ismailia and their huts made of dried grass. Eight photos show the beach at Attaka (modern-day Suez Governorate of Egypt), the Red Sea and steamers coming in or out of the Suez Canal, and a native camel rider portrayed near Attaka. Overall an unusual collection showing everyday life of Egypt in the early 20th century.