Ca. 1875. Quarto album (ca. 29x23,5 cm). 33 card stock leaves. With 40 mounted albumen photographs, including seven large ones ca. 22x28 cm (8 ½ x 11 in), twenty-one photos from ca. 16x22 cm (6 ½ x 8 ¾ in) to ca. 11,5x17 cm (4 ½ x 6 ¾ in); the rest are from ca. 11x13,5 cm (4 ¼ x 5 ¼ in) to ca. 5,5x9 cm (2 ¼ x 3 ½ in). Twenty-eight photos with period ink captions in English on the mounts or on the images. Period style navy blue full sheep album with gilt-tooled decorative borders on both boards; spine with raised bands; all edges gilt. A few images mildly faded, but overall a very good album of good strong images.
A historically significant album with early photos of Burma and the British penal colony on the Andaman Islands, taken or collected by a British military officer in the 1870s. The album opens with six photos of the Shwedagon or the Great Golden Pagoda in Yangon (the staircase at the entrance to the Pagoda, the stupa, a stone Buddha statue, the stupa’s “htee” or top decorations,” “image of Guadama at the Great Pagoda,” and a coloured “carving at the Great Pagoda” showing Buddha and a demon kneeling in front of him). The other photos show the Royal (Kandawgyi) Lake, “officers mess-house, Rangoon,” a group portrait of “officers, 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers,” “King of Burma’s war canoe on the Rangoon River,” and an “ancient figure of Guadama near Pegu” (one of the seated Buddhas at the Kyaikpun Pagoda, near Bago, the same photo from the collection of the British Library is dated “1875,” the photographer is unknown; the photo was published as a frontispiece to “The British Burma Gazetteer” (Rangoon, 1880, vol. 1), see: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/k/019pho0000125s4u00009000.html).
At least six captioned photos were taken in Tonghoo (Taungoo), a city on the Sittang River in the Lower Burma which fell under British control after the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852-53). The photos include views of the city taken from the river (small wharves and teak logs on the river banks) and of the “Elephant battery, Tonghoo” (British and native soldiers with battle elephants), two group portraits of British officers (“Group at R.A. Mess, Tonghoo” and “Polo players, Tonghoo”), a group portrait of local people, and a portrait of a British family (a man, a woman and a small girl) posing on board a “Burmese boat on the Sittang River.” There are also portraits of a “Burmese girl in full dress,” a group of Burmese actors, three group portraits of British residents in Burma and five carte-de-visite sized photos of Burmese people.
Nine photos depict the British penal colony on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal (modern-day India) which existed in 1858-1945. They include a panoramic view of the Viper Island (with visible jail buildings and officers’ bungalows), and five large views of the Ross Island (shown “from the harbour,” “towards the harbour,” and “towards the sea,” and featuring jail and administrative buildings and bungalows, a corner of what looks like an Anglican church, “European barracks” with British officers posing, roads, etc.). There is also a large interesting view of the Hope town jetty where the Viceroy of India Lod Mayo (in office since 1869) was murdered on March 11, 1872, by Sher Ali Afridi, a Pathan convict. The album also houses carte-de-visite size portraits of Lord Mayo and Sher Ali Afridi.
Overall a unique collection of large early photos of British Burma and the Andaman Islands’ penal colony.
Price: $7,500.00 USD
Status: On Hold