Author: Anonymous Year: 1907 Edition: First edition Publisher: G.B. & Co. Category: Africa South Price: € 750.-
Oblong folio; 235 x 567 mm. No place, but Cape Town or London; no date but in or before 1907.
The publisher most likely is the firm of George Budricks from Cape Town, known as "G.B." before 1910, but it also might be Giesen Brothers & Co., known as G.B. & Co., (1902-1909) from London. Apparently also some other albums, similar to this one and all scarce now, which appeared with black and white photographs only, were published by the same company.
The book has a gift inscription dated July 1907, so that it is sure that the book was not published after that date.
Original publisher's decorated cloth with a photograph of a harbor laid in, surrounded by a washline border, with remains of a clasp at the fore edge and all edges gilt. The condition of the binding and the laid in photograph is poor with dents and creases in the top board and a tear in the right part of the photograph from top to bottom (please see picture #1). Also it is not tight. The back board is in a good condition. This book has no title page and also the only copy we could trace, in the library of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is lacking the title page as well, so that it probably was never issued. One of the kind librarians of UKZN informed us that the plates in their copy are not hand coloured; they are in black & white as issued.
The collation for (the contents of) this book is as follows:
1) Durban: 1 leaf, i.e. 2 pages of text, 7 leaves of panoramic views, 7 leaves with 4 plates each. 2) Pietermaritzburg: 1 leaf, i.e. 2 pages of text, 2 leaves of panoramic views, 5 leaves with 4 plates each. 3) Colenso: 1 leaf, i.e. 2 pages of text, 2 leaves of panoramic views, 1 leaf with 4 plates. 4) Ladysmith: 1 leaf with a panoramic view and the text printed on the reverse side.
Unlike the binding the contents of this copy are in an excellent condition with some very minor dampstaining in the far outer margins of a few leaves, but no other defects. Moreover in this copy all plates (photogravures) are coloured by hand. Both the plates and the text printed on very heavy paper of an excellent quality.
Internally an attractive copy of an extremely rare book with only one copy in an institutional library, UKZN as mentioned above, and with no auction records either in ABPC or in RBH.