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Middle Eastern and North African Views and Portraits, circa 1870-circa 1900

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Middle Eastern and North African Views and Portraits

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection of albumen prints dates from the last quarter of the 19th century and comprises three groups of images: eight unmounted photographs; 16 photographs mounted recto and verso on eight loose blue album leaves; eight photographs mounted recto and verso on four loose buff album leaves. Four of the unmounted photographs and 14 of those mounted on blue leaves are signed Bonfils. These images include studio or otherwise posed portraits of camel drivers, Bedouin musicians, Egyptian dancers and singers, and a variety of young women identified as "mauresque," Egyptian or Turkish, plus one image of a group of young girls on a road near Mt. Carmel. Geographic locales include Algeria (a mosque and a neighborhood vegetable stand); Syria (Baalbek, a palace door); and Rhodes (rue des Chevaliers).

Images in the group on buff leaves, all unsigned (though two are attributed on the mount to Bonfils), are from an album compiled by an English couple touring Egypt and vicinity. Captioned locales include Luxor (Thebes), the pyramids and Petra, and include date of visit. Of particular interest are two images of a man and woman in European dress ascending and descending the Great Pyramid at Giza with the assistance of many local guides (attributed on mount to Béchard).

Arrangement

Arranged in three series: ; ; .
Series I. Photographic prints mounted on blue album leaves
Series II. Photographic prints mounted on buff album leaves
Series III. Photographic prints, unmounted




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