The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Moorish woman

Moorish woman

Photographed by by A. Chouffly [?]

The following comes from Ken Jacobson’s Odalisques and Arabesques: Orientalist Photography 1839-1925 (Quaritch, 2007):

’This photographer is known only for a scarce series of charming, painterly carte-de-visite portraits of indigenous Moroccan sitters taken in the 1860s and 1870s. On the reverse, the photographs are often titled and then signed elaborately in pen. Such a dramatic flourish is highly unusual in the history of the carte-de-visite which was essentially among the first mass-produced forms of photography. It was typical to have the photographer’s printed logo on the reverse of the carte. Unfortunately, despite carefully examining a number of examples, we have been unable to clearly decipher the signature. “A. Chouffly” is a rough approximation.

’These cartes-de-visite, nevertheless, are of considerable importance. They not only represent some of the finest ever North African figure studies, but they are remarkably early studies oof Moroccan people. The photograph might equally reporesent the work of one of the first resident phoographs in that country. Studios do no seem to have opened until around 1880 in Tangier, though it is possible that Chouffly was attached to a hotel in that city in the 1860s and 1870s. Probably the largest collection of these studies is at the Victoria and Albert Museum.’

Signed verso in ink by the photographer.

Titled verso in pencil ‘Femme maure [Moorish woman] / Tangier’.

Code: 123897
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© Paul Frecker 2018