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Afghanistan—Bengal Sappers and Miners | Album of photographs, c.1878-90

Lot Closed

November 15, 02:09 PM GMT


1,500 - 2,000 GBP

Lot Details


Afghanistan—Bengal Sappers and Miners (and others)

Album of photographs mostly relating to the Second Anglo-Afghan War, many taken by the Photograph School of the Bengal Sappers and Miners. c.1878-1890

Oblong folio (275 x 380mm.), 80 albumen print photographs (mostly 203 x 267mm., some larger folding panoramas), individually mounted, some loose, contemporary green morocco , gilt edges, silk endpapers, some fading, a few tears, 2 detached from mounts

Around half the photographs correspond to a printed index leaf entitled "Photograph School, Sappers and Miners. Photographs of the late Anglo Afghan Expedition", loosely inserted in the preliminary leaves.

From the mid nineteenth-century, "Royal Engineers appreciated the advantages of photography as an adjunct to survey, as a record of engineering work, and as a means of copying maps and plans" (Woodburn, "Phototheca Afghanica", 2012). The work of the Bengal Sappers and Miners comprises one of just "three main sources of photographs" of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880). Images of the conflict taken by civilian professional photographer John Burke had a much wider circulation than these by the Bengal Sappers and Miners, which are rare.

The album also includes photographs from locations including Lucknow, Rangoon, Aden, and Poona, from c.1888, including street scenes, views, and military officers, as well as 12 photographs depicting a range of European locations.


Woodburn, "Phototheca Afghanica", 2012