[Album with 108 Original Gelatin Silver Photos of Southern Rhodesia, Showing the Sabiwa and Antenior Gold Mines, Scenes from a Prospecting Expedition to the Sengwe, Omay, and Zambezi Rivers, Views of Bulawayo during the First Election of the Legislative Council in April 1899, Exhibits at the Bulawayo Agricultural Fair, Native Villages, Portraits of Native People, Jack Warwick, J.C. Knapp, Mowbray Farquhar, Miss Cecilia Lawley, and Others].
Ca. 1899. Folio album (ca. 30,5x18,5 cm). 24 card stock leaves. With 108 albumen photographs, including 96 photos mounted in windows, ca. 9,5x11,5 cm (3 ¾ x 4 ½ in), and 12 loosely inserted photos from ca. 15x21,5 cm (6 x 8 ½ in) to ca. 8,5x7,5 cm (3 ¼ x 3 in). 86 mounted photos and one loosely inserted photo with period pencil captions in English on verso. Period light green full cloth album with a gilt-lettered title “Photographs” on the front board. Album mildly rubbed on extremities and slightly loosened on hinges, a few images very mildly faded, but overall a very good album of strong interesting photographs.
Historically significant collection of original photos of Southern Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe) taken not long after the Second Matabele War (1896-1897), with a strong connection to gold mining. The album contains six photos of the Sabiwa gold mine (belonged to the “Rice-Hamilton Exploration Syndicate, Ltd.”), located near Gwanda, southwest of Bulawayo. The photos show the “Sabiewa camp,” “hauling gear worked by mule,” a “development shaft,” a “rough forge,” etc. One photo identifies three white miners at Sabiwa, including “Warwick” (Captain Jack A. Warwick, manager of the Gwanda (Rhodesia) Consolidated Developing Co. in 1898, see: Mining News// The African Review. Vol. XIV, No. 272, 5 February 1898, p. 216) and “Knapp” (J.C. Knapp, a miner from Johannesburg active in Rhodesia, the founder of the “Knapp Syndicate”). There is also one captioned view of the nearby Antenior gold mine (opened in 1893) and four uncaptioned photos, most likely of the same mine. One more photo shows a large table prepared for “lunch on day [Antenior] mill was started” (apparently, in May 1899, see more: Antenior (Matabele) Gold Mines, Ltd.// Information as to Mining in Rhodesia, Supplied to the British South Africa Company. Printed for the Information of Shareholders. 1900. Pp. 19-23).
Over forty photos illustrate an exploratory trip from Bulawayo to the Zambezi River across the Sengwe River and up the Omay River. Most likely, the primary purpose of the journey was metal and mineral exploration. Two photos show a white prospector standing in front of a high riverbank, looking at a coal deposit. There is also a photo of “Geo. Grey’s pack mules ready to start for Tanganyika” and a portrait of “Mowbray Farquhar just starting for Tanganyika.” George Grey (1868-1911), younger brother of Sir Edward Grey, British secretary of state for foreign affairs in 1905-1916), and Capt. Mowbray Gore Farquhar (1862-1948, son of Admiral Arthur Murray Farquhar, served during the Second Boer War and distinguished himself at Spion Kop) went in spring 1899 on a valuable deposits’ exploratory expedition to the Kafue River valley (Northern Rhodesia). The expedition was organized by the “Tanganyika Concessions Ltd.,” which intended to stake new claims in the area (see more: Särkkä, T. (2016). The Lure of Katanga Copper: Tanganyika Concessions Limited and the Anatomy of Mining and Mine Exploration 1899–1906. South African Historical Journal, 68 (3), 318-341). The party which is depicted in the album was probably related to Grey’s expedition. The photos include several views of the expedition camp, portraits of the members and porters, scenes of “cutting a road for the waggon through thick bush and up a very steep hill,” photos of attempts to move the expedition stagecoach stuck in the mud, views of Sengwe, Omay and Zambezi Rivers, native villages and people, “a kraal on the Zambezi, stockaded for protection against lions,” etc.
Twenty-one photos show various animals and agricultural produce exhibited at the Bulawayo Agricultural show, most likely the first one, organized in May 1899. Among the exhibits are “Mangolds 1st prize, mielies 1st prize,” “10 pumpkins, 1st & 2nd prizes”; “Rhodesia breweries, 5 prizes”; “Group of sheep & goats”; “Pomeranian & Bull dog”; “Boer goat ram”; “Best slaughter ox”; “Zambezi cows”; “Kerry Cows”; “Herefords”; “Matabele cows”; “Angora goats”; “2 Persian rams, 1st prize, 1 Africander ram, 1st prize,” etc. Three photos have notes on verso: “sent by Captain Lachlan Forbes, P.O. Box 114, Bulawayo, Rhodesia.” Most likely, this was Lachlan Rose Forbes (d. 1940), “an outstanding figure in the mining and industrial life of Southern Rhodesia <…>, [in the 1900s] a secretary of the Moven Mine and other mining concerns near Bulawayo, [later] the first agent for the Cape Explosives Company and other industrial interests of De Beers” (see more: Culloden Man’s Death in Africa// Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 5 December 1940, p. 4). One photo shows “Mr. Zeederberg’s 1st prize team of mules in Claude Grenfell’s waggon.” The “Zeederberg Coach Co.” operated horse-drawn mail and stagecoaches across the South African colonies, including Southern Rhodesia. Lieut. Claude George Grenfell (1858-1900) was an officer of the Bulawayo Field Force. He was killed during the battle of Spion Kop of the Second Boer War (January 1900).
Other interesting photos include three street scenes taken next to the Bulawayo Club during the first election of the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Council (17 April 1899), a distant view of “Bulawayo, taken for the clouds effect,” a scene taken at a polo game in Bulawayo, and a portrait of “Miss Cecilia Lawley” (1889-1969, daughter of Arthur Lawley, Administrator of Matabeleland in 1896-1901). Overall, the album is an interesting original source on the history of early gold mining in Zimbabwe and the social life of Bulawayo.
A list of captions (in order of appearance): Antenior Mine; Fig trees under which we camped on the Zambezi River; Waiting for the announcement of result of 1st election in Bulawayo; Result of 1st Election for Legislative Council in Bulawayo; Pillars cut locally from local stone (sent by Captain Lachlan Forbes, P.O. Box 114, Bulawayo, Rhodesia); Dairy Implement; At the Show; In a Zambezi kraal, Native making yarn from native cotton; Sabiewa Camp, the night shift; Trees at [Inkoko’s?] Kraal en route to Zambezi River; En route to Zambezi River, cutting a road for the waggon through thick bush and up a very steep hill; Our waggon, midday halt under a Baobab tree; In camp on the Zambezi River, carriers asleep during the heat of the day; Omay River, breakfast when we first entered river bed; In camp on the Zambezi River, carriers asleep during the heat of the day; Mangolds 1st prize, mielies 1st prize; A kraal on the Zambezi; In camp on the Zambezi River, “in the heat of the day”; In camp on the Zambezi River, carriers asleep in the heat of the day; Trying to bring up some Zambezi guineafowl; Bulawayo Club […?] on day of 1st Election for Legislative Council, 1898; Zambezi natives watching our camp, notice men’s hair; Mr. Zeederberg’s 1st prize team of mules in Claude Grenfell’s waggon; Rhodesia breweries, 5 prizes (sent by Captain Lachlan Forbes, P.O. Box 114, Bulawayo, Rhodesia); 10 pumpkins, 1st & 2nd prizes; Sabiewa camp, hauling gear worked by mule; Group of sheep & goats; Sabiewa Camp, Warwick, Morshead, Knapp; Sabiewa rough forge; Best Drake and two ducks, any variety (sent by Captain Lachlan Forbes, P.O. Box 114, Bulawayo, Rhodesia); Pomeranian & Bull dog; Boer goat ram; Best slaughter ox; En route to Zambezi River, cutting a road for the waggon through the bush; Zambezi cows; A large Baobab tree, en route to Zambezi River; A Baobab tree (cream of tartar); On road to Zambezi, a very common but graceful creeper and my piccanine; Antenior, lunch on day mill was started; Country en route to Zambezi (two different views); Crossing the watershed between the Sengwe River & the Zambezi; Country en route to Zambezi; Geo. Grey’s pack mules ready to start for Tanganyika; Zambezi canoe boys; Polo in Bulawayo; Halt for breakfast en route to Zambezi River in great heat; Zambezi, native women; Outspanned in the Gwanda Road, Matoppo Hills in the distance; Omay River, fish and pheasant shot by boy; Bulawayo, taken for the clouds effect; Children riding at the show; Sabiewa shaft; A mining camp, water cart; Miss Cecilia Lawley; Tropical country en route to Zambezi River; A drive with Knapp & 4 ponies on the Gwanda road; Bank of Omay River; Bank of Omay River, birds nest on reeds; Trying to bring up some Zambezi guinea fowl; En route to Zambezi River, starting to crow the Sengwe River; Omay River, we marched down this for 35 miles & then back again; On Zambezi trip, Maclean, Alex and carriers starting down Omay River; Sengwe River; Trek oxen; Kerry Cows; Herefords; A kraal on the Zambezi, stockaded for protection against lions; Zambezi, point where Omay River runs in; A bend on Zambezi River; Matabele cows; Zambezi women watching our camp; Zambezi; Angora goats; A Zambezi kraal, entrance through stockade, miniature hut said to be for teaching children how to build huts; Coal, the foreground is water; 2 Persian rams, 1st prize, 1 Africander ram, 1st prize; Coal! The foreground is water; Mowbray Farquhar just starting for Tanganyika; Our driver Tom, en route to Zambezi River; En route to Zambezi River, making “Biltong;” Sideboard, cut locally out of native wood; Zambezi cattle on Umguza River, 6 miles from Bulawayo; Sabiewa, development shaft (a loosely inserted photo).
Price: $3,250.00 USD