Ca. 1878. Oblong Folio album ca. 36x48 cm (14 x 18 ¾ in). 54 card stock leaves. Total of 58 original albumen photographs including forty-three large photos from ca. 19,5x25,5 cm (7 ½ x 10 in) to ca. 14,5x20,5 cm (5 ¾ x 8 in), ten panoramic views ca. 12x28,5 cm (4 ¾ x 11 ¼ in) and five smaller photos, ca. 10x13,5 cm (4 x 5 ¼ in). Six photos numbered and/or captioned in French in negative. Period maroon half morocco album with gilt tooled spine and pink pebbled cloth boards; gilt lettered title “Algérie, 1878” on the front cover; marbled endpapers. Mild wear at the album’s spine and extremities, first leaf slightly soiled, a couple of images mildly faded, but overall a very good album of early photographs.
Interesting collection of early photos of French Algeria most likely taken by a visiting professional photographer who didn’t sign or caption his works in negative (there are also no marks of the professional photo studios of the time). The album starts with nineteen views of Algiers, including two panoramas of the city and the port taken from sea and from the hill above the Kasbah of Algiers, views of Place du Gouvernement with Djama’a al-Djedid Mosque and the equestrian statue of Henry d’Orleans (1822-1897, a hero of the conquest of Algeria in the 1840s), several street views in the old town (Rue de Sabat, Rue de la Abarine among the identified), Summer Palace of the Governor General, an Arab cemetery, interiors and court yards of the city mansions, etc. There are also several views of the ancient road and the Roman bridge in the Katara Gorge, a distant view of mud-brick walls of El Kantara, several excellent panoramas of Constantine featuring the Great Bridge and the railway station far back (as well as three views of the interior of the Ahmed Bay Palace), views of Bone (Annaba), salt pans (apparently in the basin of the Chott Melrhir Lake), an interesting view of a French estate in the countryside, a photo of the Roman Forum in Timgad, three large studio portraits of native Algerians, and several interesting photos of smaller French settlements and Arab villages in the interior. Overall a very good album with early well-executed photos of French Algeria.
Price: $3,500.00 USD