The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

A tube and pipe seller

A tube and pipe seller

A carte-de-visite portrait of an Egyptian street seller with his merchandise.

An inked inscription verso in a period hand reads Marchand ambulant de tuyaux et pipes / Egypt, 1869 [Strolling merchant of tubes and pipes / Egypt, 1869].

Photographed by H. Delié et Cie. of Cairo.

’Hippolyte Delié is best known as the associate of Émile Béchard in their Esbekiah studio in Cairo during the 1870’s. The timing of their partnership is unclear but it is certain that both worked separately at various times. This is known because cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards exist with both single logos for each photographer as well as with a joint logo. It is probable that Delié opened a studio first. Some prints after Delié’s photographs were published in Le Monde Illustré in 1869.

’In 1872, the pair collaborated for Auguste Mariette on a book illustrating the aretefacts from the Boulaq Museum. It is probably that Delié is the same Delié who returned to France in around 1878 and took over Disdéri’s studio until 1884. On the reverse of the few existing Delié cartes-de-visite, he called himself “Photographie Universelle” and sometimes announced that his studio was a branch of Maision Pierson on 3, boulvard des Capucines in Paris. The few known Egyptian cartes-de-visite by Delié are often studio portraits of ‘types’, studies of indigenous people. Some are excellent compositions yet the extent of Delié’s activity in the creative output of Maison Béchard remains to be determined. Delié was a member of the SFP from 1876.’

The above two paragraphs are taken from Ken Jacobson’s Odalisques and Arabesques: Orientalist Photography 1839-1925 (Quaritch, 2007).


Code: 123901
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