Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
January 27, 2017 12:00 PMCalender

Francis Frith (British, 1822-1898) Street View in Cairo

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Auction: American & European Works of Art - 2977BLocation: BostonDate / Time: January 27, 2017 12:00PM


Francis Frith (British, 1822-1898)

Street View in Cairo, from the album Egypt, Sinai and Jerusalem: A Series of Twenty Photographic Views. Signed and dated "Frith 1858" in the negative l.l., titled and identified on the pre-printed mount. Albumen silver print mounted to album page, image/sheet size 19 x 15 1/4 in. (48.3 x 38.8 cm),matted, unframed.
Condition: Discoloration along right edge, overall yellowing to print, scattered light fox marks and water stains or similar along bottom edge of mount.

Provenance: Property from the collection of Harvey Shipley Miller, proceeds to benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

N.B. Francis Frith turned to photography in the early 1850s, and in 1856 made his first trip to Egypt, traveling up the Nile from Cairo to Abu Simbel, and photographing ancient monuments and locations using a stereoscopic camera and two large format cameras with different negative sizes (8x10 and 16x20). Despite the challenging environmental conditions, Frith succeeded in producing his arresting images using a portable darkroom with wet-plate collodion on glass negatives. His use of three negative formats demonstrates the commercial nature of his enterprise and the high demand in mid-19th century England for pictorial evidence of Middle Eastern subjects.

The successful sale of Frith's views financed his next trip to Palestine, Syria, and Egypt in late 1857, and in the summer of 1859, he returned to Egypt, traveling up the Nile to the Fifth Cataract, and venturing further south than any other photographer before him. Settling back in Britain, he opened his own firm in Reigate, Surrey, near London, to publish and sell his images, as well as the work of other photographers.
Estimate $2,500-3,500

Mount measures 29 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (74.3 x 54.0 cm).

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


B. Francis Frith, Harvey Shipley Miller, United Kingdom, Abu Simbel, Cairo, London, Palestinian Territories, Sinai, Surrey, Syria