[Rare Collection of Twenty-four Very Early Large Original Albumen Photographs Which Document Borgnis-Desbordes Military Expeditions From Upper Senegal into French Sudan (Mali). French and Indigenous Troops are Shown, as well as the Indigenous Peoples Including Chiefs and Settlements Including Forts and Villages Encountered].
1878-1881. 24 mounted original albumen photos, each ca. 19x25 cm (9 ½ x 9 ½ in) and slightly smaller, all with period manuscript pencil captions in French on mounts under the photos. Mounts light grey-green stiff card. Majority of the images mildly faded, no doubt due to the fact that were produced in Africa under less than perfect conditions, but overall still a very historically important collection of interesting photographs.
This historically important collection of photographs documents the French expedition led by Borgnis-Desbordes against the Toucouleur Empire during the period 1878 to 1881. In 1878, Borgnis-Desbordes' forces destroyed the Toucouleur fort at Sabouciré, which is shown in the present collection after the assault. Borgnis-Desbordes is made Commander of the Military Territory of Haut Senegal in 1880, which essentially makes him Governor of all the territory east of Senegal and in charge of French policy in the French Sudan (Mali) including exploration and railway construction. The present collection of photographs also documents the battalion of Senegalese Infantry with French officers with which Borgnis-Desbordes penetrated the French Sudan from Bafoulabé to the Niger, with a view to establishing the Dakar- Niger railroad. The present collection of photos show the French and Indigenous officers and troops of the expedition including: artillery, surveyors, interpreters (Bambara & Ousman Fall), Seneglese infantry; Indigenous Peoples: Bambara Chief Mary Ciré; Kayes Bakers; Khasso Chief Mukassi Sambala; Khassonké Chief Demba Sambala, his daughter and a young Khassonké; Chief with his daughter; group of Mandingos; Chief of Fatafe; Indigenous Settlements Including: Fort Bakel; Sabouciré; Mantanso; Kayes. The French captions read: Officiers d'artillerie (campagne 1880-1881); Mission topographique (campagne 1880-1881); Interprètes et autres indigènes de la mission Galliéni à Ségou; Détachement de spahis sénegalais (campagne 1880-1881); Mary Ciré chef Bambara; Tirailleurs sénégalais; Boulangers noirs de Kayes; Fort de Bakel sur le Sénégal; Jeune Kassonké; Makassi Sambata, chef du Kasso; Demba Sambala, chef Kassonké, et sa griote; Fille de Demba Sambala et ses deux servantes; Ousman Fath interprète; Femme d'Ousman Fath interprète et sa griotte; Village de Sabouciré (Logo) pris d'assaut en 1878; Chutes de Gouïna (Sénégal); Baobab; Chef et sa fille; Groupe de Malinkés; Massif de Kita (versant sud); Groupe de tirailleurs; Thiama, interprète bambara; Mantanso, village du Gangaran; Chef du village de Fatafé. Overall a very rare collection of the earliest photos of this remote region in the interior of Africa.
Price: $2,250.00 USD