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Lot 131: Four Monumental Photograph Albums - Travels in Eretz Israel and its Surroundings in 1894

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

Live Auction
Past Lot
  • Four Monumental Photograph Albums - Travels in Eretz Israel and its Surroundings in 1894
  • Four Monumental Photograph Albums - Travels in Eretz Israel and its Surroundings in 1894
  • Four Monumental Photograph Albums - Travels in Eretz Israel and its Surroundings in 1894
  • Four Monumental Photograph Albums - Travels in Eretz Israel and its Surroundings in 1894
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Description: Four monumental photograph albums - travels through Egypt, Eretz Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany in 1894. Pasted on the albums leaves are 479 photographs, documenting the journey in chronological order. The owner of the album added large decorated titles to most of the leaves, as well as quotes from the Scriptures and the New Testament (relevant to the photographed sites), quotes of poems and handsome large colorful (watercolor) illustrations. Usually, the illustrations are a direct continuation of the subjects in the photographs: Oriental characters, flowers, birds, landscapes, etc. Approximately half the photographs in the album (235) are small "private" photographs, photographed by the owners of the albums and the others (244) are large photographs, mostly taken by well-known photographers such as the Turkish photographer J. P. S?bah (1838-1890), the French photographer F?lix Bonfils (1831-1885), the Greek photographers Adelphi and Constantine Zangaki, (who were active in the 1870s-1890s) and the French photographer Rubellin (active since 1860, owner of a studio in Istanbul; later signed "Rubellin et fils" Rubellin and his son); most of these photographs are signed and captioned in the negative. The albums in which the photographs are arranged are particularly large (height: 31 cm. width: 45 cm. thickness: 6-10 cm.) and are bound to look like books: wide leather bindings, leather corners and gilt impressions. Thick cardboard leaves, gilt-edges. Apparently, the four albums were created especially for their owner by a binder from Liverpool. The title (the country or area of travel; see below), the year 1894 and the initials RMI are embossed in gilt letters on the front cover of each album. The first album is titled Egypt and the Nile and its binding is green. Written on the first page of the album is "The Start", and it is composed of photographs of Gibraltar, Port Said, the Suez Canal, the Nile valley and Cairo, hotels in Egypt, pyramids, the Sphinx, mosques, camel-riding in the Sahara Desert, the Giza Museum and some of its exhibits (Sphinxes, mummies etc.), Thebes, Medinet Habu (the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III), and more. 77 large photographs and 73 small photographs are mounted on the album leaves. Four photographs are enclosed. The second album is titled Southern Palestine and its binding is red. It includes photographs of the market in Jaffa, a view from the house of Simon the Tanner of Jaffa, a view of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus, the Temple Mount (the Dome of the Rock is in the process of renovations), the Even HaShetiya (Foundation Stone), the Pool of Bethesda, Antonia Fortress, the Damascus Gate, Golgotha Hill, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jaffa Gate, the road to Bethlehem, the Tower of David, the Armenian Church, the entrance to the room of the Last Supper, Robinson's Arch, the Western Wall, the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), the Shiloach Pool, the Mount of Olives, the Valley of Yehoshafat (Kidron Valley), the Moabite mountains and the Dead Sea (view from the Mount of Olives), Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem, The Church of the Nativity, Solomon's Pools, Hebron, the Oak of Abraham (Oak of Mamre), "the Good Samaritan" site, Jordan Valley and Jericho, Mar Elias Monastery, the Jordan River, Shilo, Mount Ebal, Nablus, Sebastia, Dotan Valley, Mount Carmel, Druze at supper, Atlit fort, and more. 54 large photographs and 46 small photographs are mounted on the album leaves. 18 photographs are enclosed. The third album is titled Northern Palestine and its binding is red. It is a continuation of the previous album and is composed of photographs of the Carmel, Haifa, Atlit, Nazareth, the Gilboa, Church of the Son of the Widow at Nein, Tiberias, Migdal, Capernaum, Khan Jubb Youssef, the sources of the Jordan River and the Dan Springs, Nimrod Fortress, Temple of Pan at Banias, Hasbaya (South Lebanon), Mount Hermon, sites in Damascus: The Great Mosque, the Barada River, ancient gates and walls of the city, pilgrims to Mecca, the British Consul (Sir Harry Eyres?), Baalbek (Temple of Jupiter, Temple of Bacchus, Temple of Venus), travel by carriage to Beirut, ruins, Sidon, Tyre, Hiram's tomb, Safed, Dr. Anderson (founder of the Missionary Hospital, Beit Bussel), Beaufort Castle, group photograph of American missionaries (a leaf with a list of the people in the photograph is enclosed), Beirut, and more. 44 large photographs and 61 small photographs are mounted on the album leaves. Five photographs are enclosed. The fourth album is titled Ephesus, Greece, Constantinople and Switzerland and its binding is blue. It is composed of photographs of Ephesus, Acropolis, Temple of Jupiter, the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and other temples, an ancient theater, stone reliefs, marble statues, Eleusis, Akrokorinthos, Epidaurus Theater, ruins of an earthquake near Athens, sites in Istanbul: Galata Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Obelisk of Thutmosis III; The Bosphorus Straits, the entrance to the Black Sea, Bulgaria, the Danube River in Belgrade, the Rhine River in Basel, Schlangenbad, Germany, Wiesbaden, Homburg, Appenzell , Switzerland, a photograph of Dr. Raphael Pumpelly (1837-1923, American geologist and researcher), Lucerne, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Bern, and more. 69 large photographs and 46 small photographs are mounted on the album leaves. At the end are nine blank leaves. Although the names of the albums' owners are not explicitly mentioned, apparently the albums belonged to Rennie & Janet MacInnes [as evident from the initials RMI and JMI that are embossed on the album bindings, and that appear next to the photograph of the couple at the end of the first album, and from the enclosed calling card with the following printed inscription: "Mrs. R. Mac Innes, M.B. / St. George's Close, Jerusalem"]. Rennie MacInnes was born in Hampstead, England in 1870. His father, Miles, was a landowner, manager of railroads and a liberal party politician. In 1896, MacInnes was ordained as Bishop, and after four years of serving as a minister in the St. Matthew's Church in Bayswater, London, he spent most of his years as Bishop in the Middle East, Cairo Egypt and North Sudan. During 18 years, beginning in 1914 until his death in 1931, MacInnes served as bishop of Jerusalem, in several churches, including the St. George Cathedral (mentioned in Mrs. MacInnes's calling card). On March 26, 1921, the American Colony photographers documented MacInnes together with Winston Churchill at a memorial ceremony held in the military cemetery on Mount Scopus. No details are known of his wife, Janet, except that she was born Janet Waldergrave Carr and that they were married in 1896. One of their sons, Campbell MacInnes, followed his father's footsteps and served for decades as Deputy Bishop of Palestine, Syria and in Transjordan and afterward, as Archbishop of Jerusalem. Total of 479 photographs. The photographs called "large" are an average 21X28 cm. (varying); the photographs called "small" are 10X7.5 cm. Four albums: 31X45 cm. Good overall condition. Because of their heavy weight, most of the album leaves are detached from the binding and are loose. Several leaves have minor tears or breaks to corners and margins, generally with no damage to photographs.

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