[Album with 110 Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of French Colonial Madagascar, Showing Diego Suarez/Antsiranana (Port and Roadstead, Cap Diego, Pointe du Corail, Ville Basse, Rue Colbert, Antsirane Neighbourhood), French military Camp d’Ambre and Forests of the Montagne Ambre, Betsileo, Hova, Sakalava, Antemoro People, Inhabitants of Comoros and Sainte-Marie Island/Nosy Boraha, Malagasy Tirailleurs, Scenes of Kabary, Views of Antananarivo and Toamasina, &c.].
Ca. 1900s. Oblong Small Folio album ca. 25,5x32 cm (10 x 12 ½ in). 22 card stock leaves (2 blank). With 110 mounted gelatin silver photos, including a two-part panorama ca. 11,5x34 cm (4 ½ x 13 ½ in) and thirty-nine larger photos ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ½ in); the rest of the photos are ca. 7,5x10,5 cm (3x4 in). All but about ten photos with period ink or pencil manuscript captions on the mounts (some captions relate to several images). Period black full cloth album, neatly recased. Several of the smaller photos mildly faded, several with visible defects of negatives, but overall a very good album with interesting photographs.
Historically significant extensive collection of original photos of French colonial Madagascar in the early 1900s. Most likely, taken and collected by a French military officer, the album includes twenty-eight large photos of Diego Suarez (Antsiranana) in northern Madagascar, the initial French settlement on the island, granted by the Merina Queen Ranavalona III in 1885 after the Kingdom’s defeat in the First Franco-Hova War. From here, French colonial rule spread across the entire island, which became a French colony after the Second Franco-Hova War in 1897. The photos include views of Diego Suarez port and roadstead (with French naval ship “La Gironde”), quays, Cap Diego, Pointe du Corail, Ville Basse, Antsirane neighbourhood (southwestern part of the roadstead, “rampe et pavillon du Général,” “place de la musique” and officers’ houses, barracks of the marines, Plateau du Corail, postal tram car, Rue Colbert, a street decorated with French flags for the arrival of General Joseph Gallieni in 1902), military barracks, French military Camp d’Ambre (a two-part panorama and four smaller photos), “house of the firing range at Camp d’Ambre,” “garden of the Foreign Legion at Camp d’Ambre,” a “concession of a French colonel at Mount Ambre,” waterfalls streams and forest at the Ambre Mountain (now Madagascar’s national park), &c. Over a dozen large photos portray Madagascar people – from Comoros, Sainte-Marie Island (Nosy Boraha), Antemoro people, children of mixed descent (“enfants créoles ou mulatres”), women at a village well, people breaking stones, a family at their house, et al. The smaller photos include scenes from kabary events, portraits of Betsileo, Hova, and Sakalava people, Malagasy tirailleurs, porters, peasants, families and children, crowds going to the July 14th celebration, views of Antananarivo (Catholic cathedral, Lake Anosy, the palace of Prime Minister), Tamatave/Toamasina (streets, market), military(?) camps, native villages, zebu herds, &c. One photo shows a French officer, who arrived at a camp, possibly, the album’s compiler or his co-serviceman. Overall an interesting extensive collection of original photos of Madagascar in the 1900s, with large, well-preserved views of Antsiranana and Camp d’Ambre.
Price: $3,500.00 USD