Ca. 1940s. Oblong Folio album (ca. 17x25 cm). 20 card stock leaves. With 110 mounted gelatin silver photographs, including five larger photos ca. 10,5x15,5 cm (4x6 in); the rest of the photos are ca. 6x8 cm (2 ¼ x 3 ¼ in). All large photos with period ink captions on the mounts, all small photos captioned in negative. Period navy blue pebbled cloth album fastened with a string; paper labels of “Fotocelere Coloniale, Asmara” attached to the inner sides of both covers. Album mildly rubbed on extremities, but overall very good album with strong interesting photos.
Attractive souvenir album with 110 views of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, produced by an Asmara “Fotocelere coloniale” studio. Likely associated with the Turin studio “Fotocelere di A. Campassi,” “Fotocelere coloniale” published a series of views and ethnographic portraits of Eritrea in the 1930s, as well as a pictorial photobook “Life in Eritrea” (Asmara, 1942). This collection, with all captions to the photos in English, dates back to from the British administration of Eritrea in 1941-1950. One of the views of Mussolini Avenue in Asmara (now Harnet Avenue) features the store of Mitchell Cotts & Co. (M.E.) Ltd., which apparently opened in Asmara in 1943.
The album opens with a dozen views of Massawa, showing the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the mosque of Sheikh Hammali, city swimming pool, “railway and road environs,” etc. Then follow twenty-six photos of the road from Massawa to Asmara, with the details of localities provided; the photos emphasize bridges, viaducts, underground passages and other road infrastructure created during the Italian rule (Dogali bridge, the underground passage on the road near Embatkalla, cavity of Ghinda, railway and Asmara-Massawa road, cableway near Nefasit, railway line on the Dorfu precipice, etc.). Fifteen views of Asmara include the city’s general view from Fort Baldiserra and images of Asmara’s streets and squares (Crispi, Ciano, Mussolini, Garibaldi, De Bono Avenues, King Street, Roma Square, Martini Street, the cathedral, the mosque, the Coptic church, etc.). The other photos include views of Gondar (general panorama, native market, the mosque, Fasil Ghebbi castle), Keren (general views, the cathedral, the mosque, “in the picturesque native quarter”), Lake Tana, Agordat, Barentu, Tesseney, etc. Other thirty photos depict various sites on the major Eritrean roads – Nefasit-Decamere road (Toselli village near Gura, Mai Habar), Asmara – Addis Ababa road (near Jenafe, Toselli Pass, Aiba Pass, Mecan Pass, Allomata Pass, Mussolini Tunnel through the Mount Termaber), Asmara – Addi Ugri road (Debaroa), Asmara – Gondar road (Tacazze valley, Wolkefit Pass), Asmara – Keren road (after Adteclesan, bridge on the Anseba River), Asmara – Tesseney road (bridge on the Barca River, passage across the Barca River, passage across a torrent), etc. Captions to the large photos: Towards the unbounded African horizon; Asmara – Native market of the corn; Asmara – Campania Square; Asmara – the beginning of De Bono Avenue seen from the “Principe di Piemonte” Avenue; Asmara – King Street.
Overall an attractive collection of well-executed studio photos of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia from the 1940s.
Price: $950.00 USD