Victorian Travelogue Chronicles Officer’s Rare Images of Egypt and India, Sells for £168,000 at Auction

Army Officer’s Post-Retirement Exploration

Mark Tanner’s 1850s Journey through India and Egypt

Mark Tanner, a retired British army officer from the 1850s, embarked on a remarkable journey through India and Egypt, capturing rare early photographs of iconic landmarks.

Pioneering Photography in Its Infancy

Rare Images of Landmarks in Egypt

In an era when photography was in its infancy, Tanner’s lens captured landmarks like the Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza, providing early visual records of these iconic structures.

Unveiling the Sphinx: A Historic Snapshot

A Glimpse of the Sphinx Emerges

Tanner’s 1851 photograph of the Sphinx, buried in sand up to its neck, remains a significant historical snapshot, nearly as old as the earliest recorded image of this iconic structure.

Decades later, efforts to unearth it continued until the 1880s.

Early Visual Records of Historical Moments

Witnessing the Birth of the Suez Canal

Among his collection are early photographs documenting the Suez Canal, offering a rare glimpse into its construction long before the Suez Crisis that impacted British politics in the 20th century.

Documenting a Bygone Era

Snapshots of India’s Rich Cultural Heritage

Tanner’s visual records extend to India, capturing temples, monuments, royalty, and rural scenes, providing a unique glimpse into the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of the country.

Beyond Photography: A Multitalented Explorer

Sketches, Watercolors, and Detailed Notes

Aside from photography, Tanner’s artistic skills shine through his watercolor paintings and sketches depicting Cairo, desert monuments, Indian landscapes, native populations, and wildlife.

Detailed notes accompany these artworks, providing insights into his experiences.

The Album’s Legacy and Unexpected Sale

From Generations to Auction

Passed down through generations, Tanner’s album unexpectedly fetched £168,000 at auction, astounding the 90-year-old granddaughter who sold it to cover her care expenses.

A Historical Travelogue Resurfaces

A Glimpse into Victorian Exploration

This album serves as a time capsule, reflecting a bygone era of British colonialism and documenting an individual’s extraordinary journey through Europe, India, and back, encapsulating both renowned landmarks and intimate, quirky anecdotes.

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