[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, 180pp. plus photographically illustrated titlepage and sixteen mounted albumen photographs.
Original publisher's cloth, stamped in gilt; rebacked with most of original spine laid down. Corners lightly worn. Contemporary ownership inscription on front flyleaf. Light foxing and toning, heavier in some places. Most images clean, though one or two with some light foxing at the edges. 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" Not in THE TRUTHFUL LENS. A rare and interesting work, and notable for being the first photographically illustrated book produced in Africa.