Travel, Photographs, Maps and Natural History

Travel, Photographs, Maps and Natural History

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 84. Middle East photography | The Mohammed B. Alwan collection of photographs of the Near and Middle East, 1860s-1930s.

Middle East photography | The Mohammed B. Alwan collection of photographs of the Near and Middle East, 1860s-1930s

Lot Closed

November 17, 03:24 PM GMT


300,000 - 400,000 GBP

Lot Details


Middle East photography-The Mohammed B. Alwan collection

Photographs of the Near and Middle East, 1860s to c. 1930s

Collection of over 4,800 photographs, including albumen and silver prints, cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards, stereoviews, and glass magic lantern slides, comprising:


Near and Middle East. c. 2,300 photographs (mostly 200 x 260mm., or the reverse), mostly albumen prints, some photochroms and collotypes, together with some cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards, housed in 43 modern black fabric portfolios

Near and Middle East, c. 74 cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards and smaller photographs of the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey, the Caucasus and Persia, housed in a modern blue ringbinder folder, and sleeve

Turkey—Collection of 25 Ottoman cartes-de-visite, [c. 1870s-80s], comprising 19 albumen print cartes-de-visite portraits of Ottoman officials and military figures, including 15 by B. Kargopoulo, one by R. Caracachian, and one by P. Sebah, together with 6 others, in a modern ringbinder album, some mounts slightly trimmed, occasional slight wear


Jerusalem, 3-part panorama (overall 210 x 820mm.), 3 albumen prints, circa 1870, joined and backed on linen, captioned in the image in the central image “Panorama de Jerusalem”, mounted in nineteenth-century olive wood binding, slightly faded, covers detached

Constantinople--Pascal Sebah. 8-part albumen print panorama of Constantinople, c. 1880s (each print 260 x 340mm.), individually mounted on card (not joined), preserved in a modern black card box, slight wear to mounts


Palestine and the Mediterranean. Album of photographs of a Mediterranean voyage and travels in the Holy Land, 1925, oblong folio (250 x 300mm.), approximately 400 silver prints (72 x 124mm., or the reverse), mounted on card, recto and verso, most with typed captions pasted on the mounts, including views of Egypt (38), Jerusalem and Palestine (74), Syria (20), Constantinople (18), Smyrna, Patmos, Cyprus, Malta (8), Athens (18), and Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi coast (28), Rome (26), Florence, and Venice, original textured brown cloth, one mount detached, some wear and minor tears

Palestine and Constantinople. Album of photographs of the Holy Land and Constantinople, [late nineteenth and early twentieth century], 4to album (280 x 210mm.), 46 photographs (from 80 x 90mm. to 190 x 230mm., or the reverse), mostly topographical views of the Holy Land, some portraits, and 5 of Constantinople by P. Sebah, loose in plastic album sleeves, modern ring-bound brown card covers, minor wear

Mediterranean. Album of 39 photographs of a voyage in the Mediterranean, [twentieth century], oblong folio (230 x 370mm.), 39 silver prints (150 x 230mm., or the reverse), including images of Jerusalem, Istanbul, the Suez canal, and Venice, corner mounted, mostly recto and verso, cloth spine, lacking covers, some stains to mounts

North Africa. Album of seven photographs, [c. 1880s], oblong folio (272 x 340mm.), 7 albumen prints (160 x 220mm., or the reverse), mounted on card, recto only, including a view of Gibraltar and 6 views in North Africa, cloth spine, without covers, view of Gibraltar rather spotted and stained

Egypt. Album of one hundred and eight photographs, [c.1890], oblong folio (260 x 360mm.), 108 photographs (224 x 278mm., or the reverse), mounted on card, recto and verso, mostly albumen prints, by various photographers and publishers, including Bonfils, Zangaki, Schroeder & Co., Photoglob, contemporary black roan-backed cloth boards, some fading, binding rather rubbed

Algergia and Tunisia. A pair of photograph albums of North Africa, [c. 1890], 2 volumes, 4to (313 x 225mm.), over 180 photographs (from 90 x 95mm. to 275 x 212mm., or the reverse) of Algeria and Tunisia, most full-page albumen prints, mounted on card, recto and verso, many with detailed manuscript ink notes on the mounts, contemporary calf-backed cloth boards, fading to images, occasional spotting

Egypt, India, Burma, Penang and Singapore. Album of one hundred and ninety-nine photographs, [early twentieth-century], oblong folio (275 x 320mm.), 199 silver prints (80 x 80mm.), window-mounted in thick card mounts, 4 per page, contemporary ink captions on the mounts, some staining and wear, lacking covers, spine slightly worn

Egypt and the Mediterranean. Album of forty-seven photographs, [c. 1876-85], folio (510 x 320mm.), 47 albumen prints (43 from 150 x 200mm. to 215 x 285mm.; and 5 smaller: 97 x 145mm.), including views in Alexandria and Port Said, and several of the Guards Camel Regiment in Egypt, also at Osbourne House (2) and Wellington Barracks (2), together with a view of Syracuse, and three of Malta, mounted on thick paper, recto only, contemporary ink captions on the mounts, contemporary brown half morocco, upper cover stamped in gilt “EGYPT”, [Provenance: Lady Rose Caroline Graves Sawle (1818-1914), signature dated 1876; Sir Graves-Sawle Bart., armorial bookplate], one or two loose, some fading to images

Egypt and the Holy Land. Album of eighty-two photographs, 1933, oblong 4to (175 x 230mm.), 82 matt and glossy silver prints (average 70 x 110mm., or the reverse), comprising 50 of Egypt and 32 of the Holy Land, together with a number of postcards, mounted on thick paper leaves, recto and verso, contemporary brown cloth-backed pictorial olive wood boards, edges of leaves slightly frayed

Egypt and the Holy Land. Small album of twenty-three photographs, c. 1880s, 8vo (168 x 115mm.), 23 albumen prints (100 x 120mm., or the reverse), individually mounted on card, contemporary olive wood boards, disbound

World. Album of photographs with typed diary leaves titled “Cruise around the world sailing from New York, January 7th 1928 on board the “Resolute”, [1928], oblong 4to (254 x 310mm.), c. 374 silver prints (mostly 100 x 120mm, some full-page 200 x 250mm., or the reverse), mounted on card, recto and verso, with views of Madeira, Gibraltar, Algiers, Naples, Athens, Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Cairo, Bombay, Agra, Delhi, Benares, Sumatra, Singapore, Bangkok, Borneo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Korea, Kyoto, Yokokhama, Honolulu, original red boards, brittle mounts and typescript fragmenting at edges, binding worn


Syria. A tour to Palmyra in 1902, 73 glass magic lantern slides, housed in a contemporary fitted box with lid


Palestine. 100 stereoviews, published by the Keystone View Company (Stereographic Library), in publisher's book box, box worn

Palestine. 99 stereoviews ('Palestine through the stereoscope'), published by Underwood & Underwood, in publisher's book box, together with an accompanying book

Palestine. 51 stereoviews ('Travel lessons on the Old Testament'), published by Underwood & Underwood, in publisher's book box

Palestine. 34 stereoviews ('Travel lessons on the life of Jesus'), published by Underwood & Underwood, in publisher's book box

Jerusalem. 32 stereoviews, published by Underwood & Underwood, in publisher's book box, together with accompanying booklet 

Palestine. 68 stereoviews, published by Underwood & Underwood, in publisher's book box

World. 253 stereoviews ('Stereographic Library. Tour of the World'), in three book boxes, boxes slightly worn

Stereoviewers: two large metal table-top stereoviewers


Egypt--Breasted, James Henry. Egypt through the Stereoscope. New York & London, 1908, 8vo, original cloth

Palestine and Egypt--Wallace, Lew. Ben Hur. A tale of the Christ. New York: Harper & Brothers, (1880), one volume extended to 2 volumes, 8vo, 2 frontispieces, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 116 albumen prints of Palestine and Egypt mounted on card, early twentieth century blue half morocco, marbled boards, rebacked retaining original spines, rubbed

Holmes, Burton. A Trip around the world through the telebinocular. Keystone View Co., 1928, second edition, 8vo, modern red cloth

Jerusalem--Nassar, Issam. Photographing Jerusalem. The image of the city in nineteenth century photography. New York: 1997, 8vo, cloth, dust-jacket


"Every aspect of Middle East photography- people and the diverse landscape of their daily lives, culture, religion, social and economic conditions, geographical terrain, architecture, even streets and trees, is worthy of a special monograph and concentrated study, as are the attitudes of the early photographers, who framed and created the nineteenth-century imagery. The kernel of this collection, which matured into a comprehensive 5,000-image archive of the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, North Africa, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Malta and the Holy Land, was several photo albums and hundreds of individual prints that I acquired more than thirty years ago. The images provide fertile ground for objective examination and analysis. Their visual statements, clauses and metaphors provide a rich matrix for researchers and scholars in both the arts and sciences. Study of these images will be rewarded with an expanded understanding of the region today and I hope the resulting discussions will profoundly inform inquiry into the intersection of elements within the Middle East and their relationship to the world" (Mohammed B. Alwan)


Eyes Like Lamps: Selections from the Mohammed B. Alwan Collection of Nineteenth-Century Middle-Eastern Photography. Los Angeles: Eric C. Kline, 2016