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'Al-Hautah: Capital of the Lahej District, showing the Sultan's Palace'. Photographer: Unknown [‎166a] (1/1)

The record is made up of 1 albumen Method of printing photographs using an emulsion of salt and egg white. print. It was created in Mid 1870s. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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Genre/Subject Matter:

This photograph shows an urban topographical scene in the capital of Lahej, about 30 miles (45 km) from Aden, which is referred to here as Al-Hautah (also: al Hota, al Hawtah) but is probably the town known today as Lahej/Lahij.

Despite being surrounded by desert ‘to within three or four miles’ of the town, in this volume Frederick Mercer Hunter describes the town itself as being surrounded by cultivation, in particular of ‘red and white jowarî, sesame, vegetables, grass, and a little cotton’ as well as ‘date-palms, and badâm or wild almond trees’ (p. 155). So fertile was the landscape around the town, that the British bought some land near it in order to grow vegetables for the garrison at Aden (p. 68).

As recently as 1872–73, the Ottoman Turks had made their presence felt in Lahej: according to Hunter, the eldest brother of the Sultan, Abdullah bin Mohsin, had ‘intrigued with the Turks, and invited them to occupy their fortified house at Al-Hautah’. In response, the Government of India decided to occupy the Lahej territory to ‘support the Lahej Sultan’. The stand-off lasted until the end of the year, when the Ottoman troops withdrew. The fortified house in question is the structure visible in the background on the left of the image.

An excavated area and tumble-down walls take up most of the foreground, while a number of several-storeyed, crenellated structures occupy the horizon behind low-brick-walled enclosures. In the right lower corner of the image bricks can be seen stacked in a sequence of chevrons alongside some flat slabs, forming a rectangular paved area.

In the middle-ground, toward the left of the image in the right foreground, are a donkey and five laden camels. Two figures stand on raised ground alongside the camel furthest to the right; the figure on the right appears to be wearing white, European-style clothing.

Extent and format
1 albumen Method of printing photographs using an emulsion of salt and egg white. print
Physical characteristics

Dimensions :

170 x 231 mm [portrait]

Format:

1 albumen Method of printing photographs using an emulsion of salt and egg white. print pasted to backing paper and mounted, folded, between pp. 166–167

Materials:

Silver printing-out paper, albumen Method of printing photographs using an emulsion of salt and egg white. print

Condition:

The print is unevenly hand-cut. There is significant toning at all edges, extending inwards towards the central fold. Some tracing marks are evident along the left-hand and lower edge.

Some dark spot staining originating in the printing phase are evident throughout.

Foliation:

No folio number noted. [15]

Process:

Albumen Method of printing photographs using an emulsion of salt and egg white. print

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Al-Hautah: Capital of the Lahej District, showing the Sultan's Palace'. Photographer: Unknown [‎166a] (1/1), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, T.11308/15, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023282096.0x000010> [accessed 19 July 2019]

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