Earliest depiction of an Omani irregular soldier with a matchlock, sword and rhino shield (directly derived from a daguerreotype photograph) in the book Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique

Omani soldier rhino shield Abu Fatillah Silver primer Khanjar
  • Description

The lithographs in this book are quite accurate as they are based on original very early daguerreotype photos taken between 1845 and 1847. Guillain persuaded local tribesmen and women to pose for him, creating some of the oldest photographic portraits of Africans and Arabs.

 His daguerreotypes, now in the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, have been called 'incunabula in the history of photography'. The eighteen portrait plates, containing over 50 separate photographs, include Abyssinians, Somalis, Swahili, and Omani and Zanzibar Arabs. 

The photos also include a photo of the niece of the governor of Zanzibar (see slide-show) wearing jewellery.

This book contains 55 chromo-lithographed maps and prints. The prints being directly derived from very early photographs! Contains two extremely interesting  portraits of Omani soldiers.  This is one of the earliest prints showing typical Omani arms including:

  1. Omani matchlock Abu Fathilah
  2. Silver powder-box primer  (better visible in the second print included in the slide-show)
  3. Rhino shield
  4. Khanjar 
  5. Sword

Guillain omani soldier

 

Author / Publisher: Charles Guillain, Paris Arthus Bertrand 1845 (published 1856)

Title: Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique execute pendant les annees 1846, 1847, 1848. Sous le commandement  de M. Guillain capitage de fregate. Publie par ordre du gouvernement.

Provenance: This book is not yet part of our collection.

References:
  1. Exhibition Quai Branly Museum "Camera Obscura Premier portraits aux daguerreotype. (1841-1851)"  2007-2008
  2. Guillain Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique execute pendant les annees 1846, 1847, 1848. Sous le commandement  de M. Guillain capitage de fregate. Publie par ordre du gouvernement.