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Photograph album depicting a British family at home and relocating to Ceylon.
Physical Description:
1 album (175 photographs, on 47 leaves) : gelatin silver prints ; photographs 11 x 9 cm or smaller, in album 14 x 23 cm and 53 loose photographs : gelatin silver prints ; 9 x 6 cm, or smaller
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2019 27
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
The album provides a visual account of a middle class British family at home and while journeying by ship to Ceylon in the early 20th century. 175 of the images are mounted to leaves of an oblong album. The album, a Kodak "Luxia" of thick black paper and black covers, does not appear to be contemporary with the photographs. There are 53 additional loose photographs, many captioned on the verso in black ink (most of these also have glue stains on the back, indicating that they were previously part of an album). The identity of the compiler or photographer is not clear. The "me" referenced in captions is a woman in her 30s; she appears in a good number of the photographs. Other names that appear most frequently include Captains Lamb and Bayly, Mrs. Pearson, and Poage.
The album begins with numerous images of domestic family life, in Britain. These includes scenes of boating on a lake, family gatherings, and men in uniform. Clothing styles appear to date to the period around the First World War. The subjects are clearly an affluent family: there are spacious gardens, seaside holidays, croquet on the lawn, and the occasional fur coat. One image depicts a man and woman (the former in uniform) posing in front of what appears to be an Avro 504 biplane.
The main body of the album is taken up with the voyage to Ceylon aboard the S.S. Herefordshire, a ship in the fleet of Bibby Line Ltd. The same ship carried George Orwell to Rangoon via Ceylon in 1922 (it wrecked on Cardigan Island in 1934). The journey progresses via Marseille, the Suez Canal and Port Said; at the time, the journey would probably have taken around six weeks. There are numerous images of deck games (pillow fighting on a greased pole, blindfold deck skittles, tennis etc.) and gatherings on board. Also depicted is a considerable amount of lounging around with parasols in hot weather gear. There are a number of views of the Suez Canal, Port Said and Colombo upon arrival in Ceylon. The last third of the album consists of views of the plantation country around Kandy, administration buildings (?) in Galle, Adam's Peak, the family bungalow, and Ceylonese locals, some of whom were presumably servants.
Subject Terms:
Adam's Peak (Sri Lanka)
Avro 504 (Military aircraft)
Bibby Line Limited.
British -- Sri Lanka.
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Galle (Sri Lanka)
Herefordshire (Ship)
Kandy (Sri Lanka)
Ocean travel.
Port Said (Egypt)
Sri Lanka -- Description and travel.
Suez Canal (Egypt)
World War, 1914-1918.
Photograph albums.
Travel photography.
Gelatin silver prints.

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