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20 rare albumen photographs showing the Holy Land: Jerusalem, its buildings and environs

[Palestine]. Album fotografico delle principali vedute della Palestina con apposite nozioni storiche in lingua italiana e francese.

Turin, Vincenzo Bona, [1870s, at least before 1878].

Oblong small folio (300 x 230 mm).

Album with 20 albumen photographs of sites in Palestine taken by an unidentified photographer, all accompanied by a description on the pages facing the photographs as well as a two-page introduction to the album, all in Italian and French. The album contains not only photographs of Jerusalem, such as a view of the city and of its principal buildings (such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mosque of Omar and the Tower of David), but also views of towns, villages, valleys, and convents in the environs of Jerusalem. The descriptions accompanying each picture provide details about each, also mentioning the distance of these places to Jerusalem, their history, culture, and the several places of interest and buildings there. Pictures include the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nazareth, and Beirut, as well as the Greek Orthodox monastery known as the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas, or Mar Saba.

With an owner's inscription dated 1878, indicating that the album was owned by at least one woman ("A Maria, l'anno 1878 / Emilia "). Binding slightly worn, some minor foxing and browning (especially the preliminary text leaves). Some leaves of the plates are half-loosened from the tabs on which they were mounted. Otherwise a fine album in good condition, a beautiful example of early photography in the Middle East.