Two rare early photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Tabib Mecca, second half of the 1880s(2)

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Lot 78
Two rare early photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Tabib
Mecca, second half of the 1880s
(2)

£ 6,000 - 8,000
US$ 7,800 - 10,000
Two rare early photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Tabib
Mecca, second half of the 1880s
albumen prints laid down on card album pages with gilt margin rules on a maroon ground (now partly faded to pale pink), Arabic inscriptions to negative
photographs 195 x 253 mm.; album pages 280 x 335 mm.(2)

Footnotes

  • The photographs depict: a) a general view of the Qa'ba and the holy sanctuary, with the city beyond, inscribed in Arabic, at the top, al-jiha al-thaniyya, 'The second side'; at the bottom, futughrafiyyat al-sayyid 'abd al-ghaffar tabib bi-makka, 'Photography of al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar Tabib, physician in Mecca'.
    b) a view of pilgrims gathered around the Qa'ba, taken from within the holy sanctuary from just above ground level, inscribed in Arabic, at the top, al-salwa hawla al-ka'ba, 'Prayers around the Qa'ba'; at the bottom, futughrafiyyat al-sayyid 'abd al-ghaffar tabib bi-makka, 'Photography of al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar Tabib, physician in Mecca'.

    'Abd al-Ghaffar is credited with being the earliest Arabian photographer. He was reputed to have learned the art of photography from the Dutch orientalist Christian Snouck Hurgronje who stayed with the physician in Mecca in 1884-85. The photographs reproduced in Hurgronje's Bilder aus Mekka are now believed to have been done by 'Abd al-Ghaffar (see F. E. Peters, The Hajj: the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and Holy Places, Princeton 1996, pp. 14-15; also Claude W. Sui, 'Early Photography of the Holy Sites of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula', in Markus Ritter, Staci G. Scheiwiller (edd.), The Indigenous Lens?: Early Photography in the Near and Middle East, Berlin & Boston 2018, pp. 111–144. For a view of pilgrims on the plain of Arafat by 'Abd al-Ghaffar, dated to 1888, see V. Porter (ed.), Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam, London 2012, pp. 132-133, fig. 90.

    A group of fourteen photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Gaffar al-Tabib was sold at Sotheby's, Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Including the Library of Colin and Joan Deacon, 15 May 2018, lot 304.
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Two rare early photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Tabib Mecca, second half of the 1880s(2)
Two rare early photographs of Mecca by Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Tabib Mecca, second half of the 1880s(2)
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