HARRIS, Robert (fl. 1880-1894). South Africa. Port Elizabeth: By the Author, 1888.
2° (362 x 269 mm). Letterpress title printed in red and black, 4-page Preface. 104 woodburytypes on 29 mounts (some spotting to mounts and fading of some images). Original black diced russia, gilt-ruled and –lettered on front cover, brass clasps and catches, edges gilt, gilt-stamped on turn in by London agents Stafford & Guy (rebacked, rubbed).
FIRST EDITION. This was the first professionally photographed documentation of South Africa. "The production of this work has been undertaken with the aim of conveying a general idea of the scenery, gold and diamond mining districts, and mines, seaports, and the native industries and life of South Africa" (Preface). The views illustrate scenes in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Johannesburg, Barberton and elsewhere. Harris had a studio at Donkin Street, Port Elizabeth, 1880-1890 (Bensusan 1963, p.236). He exhibited photographs at the Port Elizabeth Exhibition 1885 and the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886. From 1891 to 1894 Harris was in partnership with Thomas McKnaught (Bensusan 1963, p.236). See A.D. Bensusan, "19th century photographers in South Africa", in: Africana notes and news, 1963, Volume 15, number 6, pp.219-252.