Ca. 1870s. Duodecimo (ca. 16x11,5 cm). 25 card stock album leaves. Thirty-eight albumen photos mounted in window mats recto and verso and one mounted on a leaf; photos ca. 10 to 8 x 5,5 cm (3 ¾ to 3 x 2 ¼ in). Thirty-six photos mounted on the printed cards of Louis de Michele (printed signatures on rectos and versos), out of them twenty-one photos are numbered in negative. One photo is mounted on the printed card of Emile Béchard, one photo – on the printed card of “H. Délié & E. Béchard,” one photo mounted on blank card. Beautiful period maroon full morocco album with elaborate blind and gilt-stamped borders on both boards; gilt tooled decorations on the spine; decorative brass edging and clasps; moiré endpapers, all edges gilt. A couple of leaves with small tears, some repaired. A couple of photos very mildly faded, one portrait with a minor loss to the corner of the image, otherwise a very good attractive album of good strong images.
An attractive collection of early well-preserved carte-de-visite photos authored by three Cairo-based studios, with a gallery of vivid portraits of Egyptian people. The thirty-one pictures taken by Louis de Michele show several street sellers – of shoes, bread, water, the owner of a metal houseware shop, a street shoe cleaner, pipe smokers, elders and young men, several women with details of their costumes and jewellery, families, children, women cooking or brushing hair, etc. The other photos mounted on de Milchele’s printed cards show Cairo Citadel, one of the Mamluk mausoleums (or the Tombs of the Caliphs), the statue to Ibrahim Pasha at the Opera Square (erected in 1872), the Great Pyramids of Giza, Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria, and two ancient Egyptian sculptures, apparently prepared for transportation. The two photos by Emile Béchard and a joined partnership of Béchard and Hippolite Délié portray a snake charmer and an Arab lady in a long dress. Overall an interesting collection of early albumen carte-de-visite photos of Egypt.
Working in Egypt from 1870 to 1880, the photographer Émile Béchard (1844-?) is above all known for his genre scenes and well composed Egyptian views, as well as his carefully constructed versions of Egypt’s cultural heritage, ancient or medieval, which his brother Hippolyte sold from La Grande Combe in the Gard. Béchard also produced work of a more documentary nature, including the collection illustrating the first collections of Egyptology that were brought together in the Bulaq museum, which he made for Auguste Mariette in 1872, along with his associate Hippolyte Délié (Volait, M. Emile Bechard. The new Cairo in 1874//Bibliothéque National de France. Shared Heritage https://heritage.bnf.fr/bibliothequesorient/en/emile-bechard-new-cairo-article).
Price: $3,250.00 USD