c1880 50 ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHS ZANGAKI BROTHERS EGYPT MONUMENTS LUXOR KARNAK TOMBS For Sale
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c1880 50 ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHS ZANGAKI BROTHERS EGYPT MONUMENTS LUXOR KARNAK TOMBS:
Collection of Large-Format Albumen Photographs of Egyptian Monuments by the Zangaki Brothers and Other Commercial Photographers, Circa 1880s
Fifty albumen photographs featuring the monuments of Egypt, ca. 1880. All photos 22.5 x 28 cm (ca. 8.75 x 11 inches). on slightly larger card mounts, housed in a two-piece green cloth case stamped “Aegypten I” in gilt, with four brass-rimmed slots for ribbon ties near the corners of both top and bottom pieces. All but two of the photographs are signed and/or captioned in the negative, many with additional pencil captions in German. Cloth case has been retouched, mounts are slightly bowed, a few images with fading or foxing; very good overall.
In the mid-nineteenth century, increasing tourist travel to Egypt created strong demand for photographs as souvenirs. A small group of foreign photographers settled in Cairo and the Nile Valley to take advantage of this opportunity. These pioneering photographers included Félix Bonfils (French), Hippolyte Arnoux (French), Gabriel Lekegian (American), father and son Pascal and Jean-Pascal Sebah (Syriac/Armenian), and three sets of brothers: Henri and Emile Bechard (French), Antonio and Felice Beato (British-Italian), and C. and G. Zangaki (Greek). Photographs by all of them appear frequently in tourists' albums assembled in Egypt in the 1870s-1890s. This gathering is similar to such albums, but the owner apparently preferred to collect loose photographs and house them in a portfolio rather than a bound album.
This collection includes 32 photographs by the Zangaki Brothers, 12 by Hippolyte Arnoux, 3 by Gabriel Lekegian, 1 by Felix Bonfils, and two that are uncredited. They show a range of Egyptian monuments and archaeological sites, including the Sphinx, Pyramids, Colossi of Memnon, tombs in Thebes, Memphis, Luxor, Karnak, Philae, Esna, and Dendera. Many include local people, and many show hieroglyphics in fine detail.
The Zangaki Brothers, who produced about two-thirds of the photos in this group, were among the first commercial photographers to produce large-scale images of Egypt. According to John Hannavy (Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography), the pair "produced some of the finest images of late Victorian Egypt" as they toured the length of the Nile in a special horse-drawn darkroom van. Their photographs are still prized by collectors and valued by historians for their documentary value. Extremely heavy set (12 pounds unpackaged).