Two Arab harem ladies. Photo by Zangaki around 1880


Two Arab harem ladies. Photo by Zangaki and titled "No 810 Deux femmes Arabes" taken in the period (1870-1890)

Original albumen print. This illustration was also used in the first illustrated edition of Memoirs of an Arabian Princess by Bibi Salme / Emily Ruete 1907. The photo is unusual in that the vase the ladies are carrying is almost certainly ancient and precious, while normally Zangaki uses cheap ladies with cheap pottery.

 Antique photo Zangaki  two harem ladies

Photographers: The Zangaki  brothers:

Photo of two veiled Arab women by Zangaki. Adelphoi Zangaki (the Zangaki Brothers), active 1870s-1890s, were two Greek photographers who specialized in historic or ancient Egyptian scenes, producing prints for the tourist trade. They occasionally worked with the Port Said photographer, Hippolyte Arnoux.

Little is known about the brothers, except their initials, C. and G. and that they worked out of Port Said and Cairo.  Their photographs of late 19th century Egypt, though produced for sale to the flourishing European tourist trade to Egypt, are highly prized by historians and collectors for their insights into life at the time. Images included views of the pyramids (e.g. Cheops or the Sphinx) and the cities (e.g. Suez or Alexandria) as well of Egyptians going about their daily lives (e.g. a teacher and pupils, men by the Nile, or women at home)

  1. Emily Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess,  translated by Lionel Stratchey illustrated, New York Double Page & Company 1907 after page 126 the same photo with the title "members of an Arabian harem"