|An outdoor carte-de-visite showing Arab tents in the desert.
Photographed by J. Mongin of Sétif [a city in northeastern Algeria], identified by a blue wetstamp verso.
Mongin’s relatively primitive wetstamp is crude enough to be that of an itinerant photographer; it is without doubt the signature of a photographer who worked without the trappings of flashy publicity. He seems to have been particularly interested in photographing the humbler elements of society and the immediacy of his work speaks to our modern sensibility. He was certainly the most interesting photographer in Sétif and yet today his name and his work are only known through the survival of his cartes-de-visite. [Translated and adapted from Michel Megnin’s La photo-carte en Algérie au XIXe siècle, published by Non Lieu in 2007.]
condition: Very fine, although the mount shows minor wear at two corners.
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