A collection of early photographic portraits, sumptuously bound for Ismail the Magnificent

[Mulnier, Jules / Nadar, Félix. Galerie Contemporaine, Littéraire, Artistique.

Paris, Ludovic Baschet, 1876-ca. 1878].

Folio (288 x 351 mm). 192 pp., profusely illustrated throughout, with 48 full-page Woodburytype plates mounted within printed borders on sturdy cardboard, 24 mounted Woodburytype plates in the text, and 2 plates printed in red. Bound in sumptuous red morocco for Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, elaborately giltstamped on spine and both covers. Leading edges gilt, inner dentelle gilt, marbled endpapers. All edges gilt.


A striking collection of 72 woodburytype portraits of great artists and reproductions of their art, with accompanying biographical sketches, issued in undated instalments, then bound for and dedicated to Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879. The portraits include famous authors and officers such as Victor Hugo, Thiers, Georges Sand, Sarah Bernhardt, Alexander Dumas fils, Gounod, Daudet, Erckmann-Chatrian, Mac-Mahon, Coppée, Jules Janin, Velpeau etc.

but also Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer whose Suez Canal was constructed and opened under Ismail's khedivate. The photographs are by Mulnier, Nadar, Carjat, Petit, and others, and printed by Goupil. The woodburytype is a photomechanical process capable of reproducing the continuous tones of photography with pigmented gelatin molded to a varying thickness. The speed and economy of woodburytypes, as well as their permanence (unlike traditional photographic processes that were subject to fading), made them a highly practical substitute for albumen silver prints in book publication or other situations where mass production was desirable.

Occasional slight foxing, but very well preserved altogether. The upper cover of the luxuriant red morocco binding bears the dedication: "A Son Altesse Ismaïl Pacha Khédive d'Égypte". Sharing the ambitious outlook of his grandfather, Muhammad Ali Pasha, Ismail greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan during his reign, investing heavily in industrial and economic development, urbanisation, and the expansion of the country's boundaries in Africa.

OCLC 17984963. Cf. Lucien Goldschmidt and Weston J. Naef, The Truthful Lens (1980).

Art.-Nr.: BN#44536 Schlagwörter: , , , ,