ETHIOPIA SPEEDY (CAPTAIN TRISRAM CHARLES SAWYER) An album of upwards of 180 views and portraits, including a number of self portraits of Captain Speedy, [c.1897]; together with Speedy's <i>The Handy Royal Atlas</i> by A. Keith Johnston with "Captain T.C.S. Speedy" in gilt on upper cover (2)
Lot 377
ETHIOPIA SPEEDY (CAPTAIN TRISRAM CHARLES SAWYER) An album of upwards of 180 views and portraits, including a number of self portraits of Captain Speedy, [c.1897]; together with Speedy's The Handy Royal Atlas by A. Keith Johnston with "Captain T.C.S. Speedy" in gilt on upper cover (2)
Sold for £2,375 (US$ 3,991) inc. premium
Lot Details
ETHIOPIA
SPEEDY (Captain TRISTRAM CHARLES SAWYER) An album of upwards of 180 views and portraits, including several in India, with a number of self portraits of Captain Speedy in various elaborate poses and costumes, gelatin silver prints, captioned in manuscript on the mounts, mounted 6 or more per page and back to back, images typically 100 x 75mm. or smaller, half morocco, rubbed, folio (360 x 280mm.), [c.1897]; together with Speedy's The Handy Royal Atlas by A. Keith Johnston with "Captain T.C.S. Speedy" in gilt on upper cover (2)

Footnotes

  • Captain Speedy (1836-1910) had a long association with Ethiopia, first travelling there at the end of 1860 to assist King Tewodros train his army, returning at the beginning of 1868 as civilian interpreter to General Sir Robert Napier, and on the death of King Tewodros becoming guardian to his son Alamayu. In 1897 he made his final visit, as adviser on a diplomatic mission relating to Britain's campaign to re-conquer the Sudan. and it is believed that this album was borne out of this visit. The aim was to settle the Sudan-Abyssinia frontiers.

    Images include: upwards of 20 self portraits of Speedy, some in traditional Abyssinian dress (which he was famous for adopting, notably recorded in portraits taken of him by Julia Margaret Cameron), and others in the guise of a Bedouin chief, a Nubian chief, a Nubian warrior, and several in which he is acting out various moods and expressions, including "ignorance," "superiority," and "equality." Other views include: the serving of Tej (Ethiopian mead); an Ethiopia harp player; group portraits (5) of Somalis, including a Somali war dance; a portraits of Abune Petros VII; a portrait of Mattheos X; a profile portrait of Emperor Menelik; a bridal party, and men "eating raw beef."
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