Ca. late 1880s. Ca. late 1880s. Oblong Folio (ca. 37,5x46,5 cm). 40 beige card stock album leaves. With 61 recto mounted albumen photos, with 27 larger ones ca. 26,5x36,5 cm (10 ½ x 14 ½ in) and smaller, 11 medium ones ca. 19,5x26 cm (7 ¾ x 10 in) and smaller and 23 smaller one 15,5x21 cm (6 x 8 ¼ in) and smaller. The vast majority of images either captioned in manuscript pencil on mounts or in negative in photo. Period brown gilt tooled half morocco, with pebbled cloth boards. Covers with mild wear at extremities, a couple of leaves mildly foxed at margins and a couple of leaves with minor tears and a couple of leaves loosened at hinges. Overall a very good album with strong interesting images.
The album contains nine excellent views of Kimberley and the De Beers diamond mines near the modern-day city of Kimberley (Northern Cape, South Africa), showing the mines’ exterior with rail tracks for mining carts, shafts and native workers, a general view of “De Beers Compound & Miners”, machinery and structures at De Beers' mine; “Drying Ground. "Blue" with Diamonds”; a sharp general view of Kimberley Market Square featuring the post office and the building of “Goodchild’s Auction house” among others; and a “Coach from Kimberly to Johannesburg” (standing next to the Kimberley booking office of Gibson Bros. who ran “coaches to the Transvaal gold fields”). There are also three interesting views of the Gold mines and extracted gold in the newly founded village of Johannesburg (1886), Transvaal Republic (Johannesburg Gold; Gold Crushing Stamps, Gold Reef).
The album houses several attractive views of Pietermaritzburg and environs (city panorama taken from the barracks of Fort Napier and marking the building of the officers’ mess, city club, Eden Falls near Pietermaritzburg etc.), Bond's Drift on Lower Tugela River (Natal), Georgetown (Cape Colony), Newcastle and Durban (Natal), three views of Cape oxen-driven carts, two staged portraits of “Zulus at home” and “Zulus as they "Walk out"”, a view of a “Kaffir Kraal”, and portraits of two “Kaffir” women. There are also interesting early photos of the British war memorials in South Africa – a large view of “Rorke's Drift Isandlwana” Hill, the site of the Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu War (1879), and two views of the British cemetery and memorial at Majuba Hill and Ingogo River (Shuinsshoogte) – the sites of two battles during the First Boer War (1880-81). Two photos portray British infantry regiments in South Africa.
The album also contains six views of Zanzibar (Portuguese Fort & Sultan's Palace, Universities' Mission Orphanage, interior of the United Christian Mission church, street scenes); six views of Lamu village (Lamu Island, Kenya) showing the fort, Vasco da Gama's column; six views of Aden and eight views of Egypt and Suez Canal by H. Arnoux, Zangaki, Bonfils, and others. Overall a nice collection of large early detailed views of famous South African diamond and gold mines, several major cities, and portraits of the native people.
Price: $3,500.00 USD