mining magnate, statesman and colonial imperialist.
A cabinet card portrait of Cecil Rhodes, the business man who became a driving force in South African politics. Born in England in 1853, he first visited Africa in 1870, before he attended university at Oxford. He returned to England briefly in 1873, but was soon back in South Africa. Over a long period he succeeded in buying up all the smaller diamond companies in the Kimberley area, founding in the process the diamond company De Beers, which at one time marketed 90% of the world’s rough diamonds.
An ardent believer in British colonial imperialism, Rhodes was the founder of the state of Rhodesia, which was named after him. After independence, Rhodesia separated into the nations of Northern and Southern Rhodesia, later renamed Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively. South Africa's Rhodes University is also named after him. He set up the provisions of the Rhodes Scholarship, which is funded by his estate.
According to the historian Richard A. McFarlane, Rhodes was ‘as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history... most histories of South Africa covering the last decades of the nineteenth century are contributions to the historiography of Cecil Rhodes’.
Photographed by William and Daniel Downey of London and Newcastle.
condition: The print presents a couple of small white marks in the area of the sitter’s breast pocket but is otherwise in excellent condition. The mount presents a faded inscription in ink recto in the lower margin but is otherwise also in excellent condition. Inked inscription verso identify the sitter and give brief biographical details.
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