'Sultan of Zanzibar', c 1865.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 20cm x 32cm

'Sultan of Zanzibar', c 1865.

© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society


A carte-de-visite portrait of the Seyyid Barghash bin Said, Sultan of Zanzibar (1837-1888). The third Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Barghash signed an agreeement with the British in 1870 abolishing the slave trade in his kingdom and closing the great slave market at Mkunazini. He also did much to develop the island, building roads, baths and public buildings, and opened the kingdom up to European influence. A carte-de-visite is a photograph mounted on a piece of card the size of a formal visiting card of the 1850s - hence the name. The craze for collecting celebrity cartes-de-visite in albums reached its peak during the 1860s but the format remained popular until the beginning of the twentieth century.

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