Ca. 1905. Eighty-eight loose gelatin silver photos ca. 11x16,5 cm (4 ½ x 6 ½ in) mounted on period card ca. 20,5x27 cm (8 ¼ x 10 ½ in). All photos with period pencil or ink captions in French on recto or verso of the mounts; most photos with period ink or pencil numbers on the mounts; ca. 40 photos dated “1905” on the mounts. A few photos mildly faded or with mild silvering, one photo with a tear, several mounts slightly soiled (one with a water stain), creases or small tears, but overall a very good collection of interesting photos.
Extensive collection of vernacular photos, taken by a French traveller during his journey across the Holy Land, or modern-day Israel, in the early 20th century. The photographer mostly focused on the contemporary life of the region, paying great attention to its Arab residents. Thirty-five photos of Jerusalem show city streets, walls and several gates (Jaffa, Damascus), shops and markets, staircases and arches, and local Jewish, Arab, and Ottoman residents. Several photos portray Jewish men and women praying at the Wailing Wall; four images show the grounds of the Dome of the Rock, featuring a part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and water sellers, filling their sacks from a nearby water well. An interesting scene shows a Christian procession exiting the Church of Holy Sepulchre. Another photo portrays street beggars suffering from leprosy (“lépreux”).
A series of ten photos document a religious procession during the annual Muslim festival of Nabi Musa (Nebi Musa; the photos are dated 1905). The photos show the participants carrying Ottoman flags, a field with tents, a crowd of spectators (mostly Muslim, but also a couple of women in European dress), a group of Ottoman military men riding camels (possibly, maintaining order during the festival), &c.
Very interesting are the 44 photos illustrating the traveller’s journey from Jerusalem to northern Galilee and Lake Tiberias via Nablus, Jenin and Nazareth. The images include a portrait of an Arab family from Huwara town, street views of Nablus, Samaria village (modern-day Sebastia, the photos show the contemporary village, ruins of the ancient Roman settlement and its famous columns, Arab inhabitants), Nazareth (streets and markets, a scene with residents taking water at Mary’s Well), and Tiberias. A series of lively photos show Arab villages on the way from Samaria to Jenin and thence to Nazareth and Tiberias and portray their residents. The last seven photos show the sites and people of the Galilean hills north of Lake Tiberias, including two views of the ruins of “puits de Joseph de Tibériade,” or Khan Jubb Yussef (“Joseph’s Well”) - a 16th-century caravanserai on the road to Damascus (near modern-day Israeli kibbutz Ami’ad). The other photos are lively portraits of Arab children from “Jaounet” and on the road to “Kalissa.” “Jaounet” was most likely, Palestinian village Al-Ja’una, located east of the town of Safed. The village was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The modern Israeli town of Rosh Pinna occupies the former site of Al-Ja’una.
The other photos show Jaffa, the city market in Bethlehem, a road between Jerusalem and Jericho, &c. Overall an important extensive collection of original photos, illustrating the everyday life in Ottoman Palestine in the early 20th century.
Price: $5,250.00 USD