Egyptian Museum, Cairo


CAIRE Le Musée

Publisher: Cairo Postcard Trust

Google Street View.

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the edifice is one of the largest museums in the region.
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The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Egyptian government established the museum built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel. In 1855, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts by the Egyptian government; these are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

A new museum was established at Boulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the foundation of the new Antiquities Department under the direction of Auguste Mariette. The building lay on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 it suffered significant damage in a flood of the Nile River. In 1891, the collections were moved to a former royal palace, in the Giza district of Cairo. They remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square, built by the Italian company of Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.
Wikipedia.

The stick used to beat the Egyptian Museum most regularly, though, is visitor experience. In the past, it has been unfavorably compared to a store room, and there is no doubt that it charms and frustrates in equal measure. Visit during the day and dust dances in the shards of light that cascade down from the skylights in the central atrium, casting a heavenly glow upon the wonders below. Display cases are often antiques in themselves, and wandering among them transports visitors back to a time of mustachioed, pith-helmeted adventurers posing for sepia photographs with their finds before packing them up for display. Indeed, peer around certain corners and there are unopened wooden crates that look like they may well have been in situ since the turn of the 20th century, challenging you to imagine what wonders can be found inside and where they came from.
Daily Beast: Will This Be the End of the Legendary Egyptian Museum?

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Photos: Flickr Group

Soliman Pasha Square/Talaat Harb Square, Cairo


CAIRO. — Midan-Soliman Pasha. 

Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
Now Talaat Harb Square. Google Maps.

In those days the celebrated café-theatre extended from its present location all the way to the Midan. Then like now, hardly anyone recalled that most of the area southeast of the square was where the garden palace of Mohammed-Ali Tewfik stood. But as buildings cropped up all over the place, the perimeter wall surrounding the garden no longer ensured the prince’s privacy. Thereupon he decided to purchase a large tract of land in Manial al-Rhoda where he erected his new neo-Islamic palace with its unique garden. Acquired by the Egyptian Land Company in 1904-5 the old palace was cleared and the land parceled out and sold in 1921-2 to Café Riche’s Greek owner Michel Politis. Thereon Politis established a garden theatre where Um Kalthum and other rising singers performed for paltry sums.

Fin de siècle tourists knew Midan Soliman Pasha well. To begin with it was home to the Savoy Hotel where titled lords and ladies stayed before it was transformed into British army headquarters during WW-1. Later Swiss hospitality Czar Charles Albert Baehler would pull down the Savoy in 1924-5 replacing it in 1929-30 by two blocks of handsome apartment flats.
Soliaman Pasha Square

Although a remnant of its former ‘Paris on the Nile’ 19th century grace, the Midan Talaat, or Talaat Square, at the street’s intersection with Qasr el-Nil Street is circled with buildings having the strong elegance of French neoclassical architecture from the Soliman Pasha era, and were once the locations of some of Cairo’s most popular and successful shops and services.
Wikipedia: Talaat Harb Street

Procession of the Holy Carpet, Cairo


CAIRO. — Procession of the Holy Carpet.

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). image might be earlier.

At the beginning of the century, there were several types of popular ceremonies in Egypt that have disappeared or faded with time. One such ceremony is the procession of “El Mahmal” or “The Holy Carpet.” The yearly celebration involved the Egyptian government manufacturing a new cover for the Holy Kaaba and offering it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the cover is prepared in the factory, a large ceremony takes place in Cairo, where a parade organised by the Egyptian army tours the different districts of the city.

The parade included a caravan of decorated camels carrying the Holy Carpet, as well as many other gifts. After the caravan ends its tour in Cairo, it starts its long trip, guarded by the Egyptian army, across the eastern desert, then on to the Suez Canal and Sinai till it reaches Palestine. From Palestine, it goes directly to Saudi Arabia, crossing its northern borders to the heart of Hijaz, then to Mecca. Normally it reached Mecca before the pilgrimage season, where another ceremony takes place that ends with the covering of the Kaaba with the Holy Carpet.
ahramonline: Egypt 100 years ago: The Ceremony of the Holy Carpet (Mahmal)

Capture of the Holy Carpet
London, Friday.–The “Holy Carpet,” which is annually despatched from Cairo with the pilgrims’ caravan to the Prophet’s tomb at Mecca, has been capture in the Arabian Desert by Bedouins. Six of the guard were killed. The Bedouins demand £600 as ransom for the carpet

Newcastle Morning Herald, 19 June 1899

PILGRIMAGE OF THE HOLY CARPET.
The theft of the Holy Carpet during the Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most sensational things that could have happened to those faithful to the Koran, who will regard it as an unexampled calamity. The yearly departure from Cairo to the famous, mosque, where with other coverings it adorns for a time the sacred enclosure, has always been the most imposing sight witnessed in the Egyptian capital. The camel bears a carpet trapped with gold, embroidered with crimson, and bears upon, its back a canopy cantaining it, the latter being of crimson and gold, with gilded ornaments at each corner of its base, and its pyramidal roof. Behind the animal comes another camel, carrying the chief Egyptian standard. This is followed by others, the last ridden by a man bearing the flag which sets forth a line from the Koran. The holy carpet itself is a number of pieces of silk embroidery, periodically manufactured in , Cairo by Jews, so that the loss in. this present instance is not serious from a mere point of commercial value. The yearly departure for Mecca, called the ceremony of the Kisweh, is characterised by the greatest Oriental splendour. The carpet is borne through the streets of Cairo, then taken by rail to Suez, thence to Jeddah and Mecca. It is generally blessed by the Khedive in person, and the sacred camels are always escorted by picked household troops,, who keep back the crowd of donkey boys, street vendors of sherbet, closely veiled women, merchants, beggars, and cripples. Among the crowd English people are allowed to mix with impunity, but after the departure of the carpet it is expected that they shall disperse, To follow it on the pilgrimage is considered an affront, and any European sufficiently venturesome to press forward at subsequent stopping places to catch a glimpse of the article does so at the risk of his life.

Clarence & Richmond Examiner, 27 June 1899

RANSOMING THE “HOLY CARPET.”
The capture by a tribe of marauding Bedouins of the “Holy Carpet,” somewhere between Medina and Mecca, has not unnaturally roused the pious indignation of the whole of the Moslem world. In the fierce conflict that ensued, four Turkish soldiers and three natives of the convoy were killed, the remainder escaping to Mecca. The “Holy Carpet” or Kiswa, consists of a series of-oblong strips of black brocade richly embroidered-in gold and silver with Arabic inscriptions from the Koran. It serves the purpose of beautifying the exterior of the Ka’aba the sacred shrine within the precincts of the Mosque at Mecca. It is renewed and sent every year at the expense of the Sultan from Constantinople via Cairo, where with its escort of Bashi Bazouks, it forms part of the great Egyptian caravan. the most important of tie. many which annually converge towards Mecca. Having done duty for a year, it is cut up in pieces and sold as relics to wealthy pilgrims . Our sketch shows the carpet as it is carried under a canopy. on the back of a camel through the streets of Cairo, during the festival preceding its departure, with two symbolical trophies that each year accompany the pilgrimage from Egypt. These are the Mahamal, a kind of canopy, and a pyramidal construction containing a copy of the Koran. Both are exquisitely embroidered in gold upon green cloth, and are held in superstitious reverence by the multitude. The proceedings are quaintly interesting. The women give their shrill, quaint cry of “Hooloo, hoo loo, hoo-loo” as the carpet passes.

Kalgoorlie Western Argue

Suez Canal, Egypt


CANAL DE SUEZ. – Ship crossing the Canal.

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). image might be earlier.


Canal de SUEZ. – Steamer in lake Timsah – Navire dans le Lac Timsah

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). Image might be earlier.

Lake Timsah (Wikipedia_


SUEZ CANAL. – Steamer crossing the Trench of Toussoun

Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Toussoun on 1912 map (right of Lake Timsah)

Read moreSuez Canal, Egypt

Soldiers Home, Quetta, Pakistan


Soldiers Home, QUETTA. Summer.
c.1910

Published: K.C Marrott

Elise Sandes (1861 – August 1934) was the founder of a welfare movement for soldiers that bears her name and still survives today. She was an evangelical Christian and philanthropist and her concern for a young soldier in Tralee in the late 1860s led her to set up a centre for soldiers’ recreation and general welfare. By 1913 there were thirty-one such ‘soldiers’ homes’ all situated in the vicinity of various army barracks; twenty-two were in Ireland and the rest in British India. It is widely regarded that Sandes Homes for Soldiers were very well run and filled a real need among young soldiers, often far from their families who were made to feel at home and not faced with the cold commercial atmosphere of the barracks canteen. Sandes believed that a good feminine influence met a real need where young soldiers were concerned, and the ‘homes’ were the only place where some of the young recruits could receive anything approaching motherly care.

Elise was well aware of the discomfort, loneliness and tedium of a soldier’s life in India – the awful boredom of barrack-room life between spells of repetitive drilling and rigid discipline. The soldiers found themselves cast into an environment where supplies and medical care was rudimentary and the dangers of cholera, dysentery and venereal disease was ever-present. She responded to military requests for homes to be set up there with the aim of drawing soldiers away from the wet canteens, opium dens and bazaar brothels to more wholesome recreations. Anna Ashe set up the first home in Rawalpindi, with £600 from a donor, and Theodora Schofield and Alice Bailey followed her lead by setting up additional homes in Murree, Quetta, Meerut, and Lucknow. Elise Sandes now resolved to establish a Sandes Home in every cantonment in India. By now she had become widely known as the Mother of the British Army owing to that special ‘Sandes’ dedication towards providing the much-needed care and attention that the young soldiers required. She coined the phrase ‘A Home From Home’ which summed up perfectly her vision of the kind of environment she strove to provide.

Wikipedia: Elise Sandes

I have very little recollection of anything particular which happened during these first weeks in Meerut but my real experience started in Quetta. My work in the Quetta Soldiers Home stands out in my mind as one of the most interesting phases of the work. I like Quetta. It stands about 5000 feet high and is very hot and dry in the summer and 45 degrees below zero in the winter.
Alice Bailey, The Unfinished Autobiography.

Port Tawfiq, Suez, Egypt


Port Tewfiek. – General View

Published: B Livadas & Coutsicos


Suez: Avenue du terre plein

Published: Cairo Postcard Trust


SUEZ. – Helene Street. –LL
c.1910

I have two copies this card with identical pictures (except one is more faded). One published by Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919) and published by Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932).

Statue of Lieutenant Thomas Waghorn

Kasr El-Nile Bridge, Cairo


CAIRO – Kasr El-Nile Bridge
Published: Published Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Bridge demolished 1931 to make way for current bridge.


CAIRO – Opening of the Great Nile Bridge (Kasr-El-Nile) – LL
Published: Levy Sons & Co, 1895-1919

The bridge opening to left water traffic through.

Read moreKasr El-Nile Bridge, Cairo