Rare Photos of Zanzibar

[Collection of Eleven Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of Zanzibar’s Stone Town Showing Its Streets, Shops and People].

Ca. 1890s. Eleven loose gelatin silver photographs, from ca. 15,5x21,5 cm (6 x 8 ½ in) to ca. 12x18 cm (4 ¾ x 7 ¼ in). One photo captioned and numbered in negative, all photos with period pencil captions in Italian on verso; all but one dated “97-98” in pencil on verso. One photo with the remnant on the old mount on verso, but otherwise a very good collection of interesting strong photos.

Interesting collection of rare large, well-preserved photos of 19th-century Zanzibar, when it was a British protectorate. Three images depict the streets of the Stone Town, with clearly visible signs of the local businesses - “Afrika Hotel,” “Zanzibar Stores,” “N. Mellas & Co.,” W. Richter’s “Deutsche Apotheke/ English Dispensary,” “Rustomji Nowroji Talati Furniture & Lamps,” “C. de Silva & Co.,” and others. There are also photos of the interior of the Stone Town’s Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and an old mango tree. The other photos are portraits of the locals, showing two Swahili girls carrying water, a fruit seller with his child and customers, an “old Arab worker” (“vecchio lavoratore Arabo”), a group of boys posing in a “marsh in the Zanzibar’s vicinity” next to a banana plantation, and “Scena campestre” (a family group in a countryside village, the father is going to punish his young son with a stick). The photo captioned in negative “Sicucu natives feast” shows a large crowd of dressed Swahili men and women gathered in the Mnazi Mmoja neighbourhood of Stone City for a Siku Kuu celebration. The same photo is deposited in the Cambridge University Library (Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y305D/85). Overall a nice collection of well-preserved lively views of Zanzibar’s Stone Town and its people.

Item #370

Price: $975.00 USD

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