[SOUTH AFRICA]: [PHOTOGRAPHY]
The Progress of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred Ernest Albert through the Cape Colony, British Kaffraria, the Orange Free State, and Port Natal, in the year 1860.
Cape Town: Saul Solomon, 1861. Quarto. xii, 180 pp. plus photographically illustrated titlepage and sixteen mounted albumen photographs.
Modern three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt with leather label. Light scattered foxing, occasional faint offsetting from images. Photographs generally clean. Very good.
With Some of the Earliest Photographic Images From South Africa, With a Striking Portrait of a Basuto Chief
An early photographically illustrated book, and the first such book printed on the African continent. The volume was made to commemorate the visit of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, one of Queen Victoria's sons. The book was designed to showcase the colony, which had hitherto been viewed in a less than positive light by the general British public. Prince Alfred was well-received by the colonists in South Africa, and the volume contains many positive facts about the colony's usefulness to the British Empire. The book includes seventeen images by photographer Joseph Kirkman, who was active in South Africa from 1859 to 1870. Some of the images in this volume are photographs of drawings or other artwork, but others do capture live scenes along the Prince's route, including a grand portrait of the African chief Moshesh and his advisors. The chief is pictured seated in the center of the image, dressed in a top hat and suit, holding a cane. The man seated next to him glowers at the camera and is draped in an animal pelt and holds a spear. Four men, all in Western dress, stand arrayed behind them.
The images taken from life during the Prince's progress are as follows:
[Untitled image on the titlepage showing several men next to a rail car full of large rocks. In 1860 Kirkman and Frederick York were employed by the Government and the Harbour Board to photograph the tilting of the first truck of stone off the Breakwater by Prince Alfred. This is, presumably, an image from that scene.]
Graham's Town, from the West
The Reception of the Prince by a Burgher Escort near Queenstown
The Prince's Interview with the Tambookies
Moshesh and His Counsellors
The Prince and His First Wildebeeste
The Prince's Travelling Equipage
A rare and interesting work, and notable for being the first photographically illustrated book produced in Africa.
Not in The Truthful Lens.