'Mr Burke Posing the Ameer', 1879.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
An engraving of a sketch by Frederic Villiers [1851-1922], showing the photographer John Burke [1845-1900] taking a photograph of the Afghan Amir Yaqub Khan [ d.1914] at the signing of the Treaty of Gandamak, published in 'The Graphic' , 1879. The Amir poses in front of a large camera. He is seated wearing a splendid white, European-style military uniform. The original text in 'The Graphic' reads: 'Mr. J. Burke the photographic artist attached to our Indian Army to illustrate the advance of the troops and the grand scenery of Afghanistan, was permitted by the Ameer of Cabul (sic) to take a series of pictures of himself and his suite at the camp at Gandamak. One of my sketches illustrates the process of 'posing' the Ameer, who indulged in a quiet smoke during the preparation of the photographic plates. After Mr. Burke had taken him in his gorgeous uniform of white and gold, the Ameer showed great anxiety to see the results, and Major Cavagnari explained to him the process of photog