4022: Burke, John And William Baker: Second Afghan War
The Second Afghan War. 1878 - 1880. 6 albumen prints. Each circa 20,5 x 28 cm and 17,5 x 46 cm (1 consisting of 2 prints hinged together as a panorama). Flush-mounted to original album pages (foxing, traces of use, tears), annotated in English in black ink below the images on the mounts.
Together with William Baker, the Irishman John Burke documented the Second Afghan War between 1878 - 1880. The team worked under tough conditions, carrying fragile wet-plates and mixing chemicals in high altitudes and extreme temperatures. The images here have a certain solitude, common to early war photography such as photographs by Roger Fenton of the Crimean War, which, due to long exposure times and difficult transport of photographic equipment, were usually taken after the fighting was over. The views include the eastern end of the Sherpur Cantonment, showing General Roberts Headquarters, general views of Kabul (including a panorama) and the lower and upper Bala-Hissar Citadel, Kabul. These are rare documents of a country still in turmoil today. - Slight fading in some edges, most with good contrasts and a strong violet-brown tone.
Lit.: Pat Hodgson. Early War Photographs. Boston 1974, ill. pp. 104/105 and 110/111.
Omar Khan. From Kashmir to Kabul. The Photographs of John Burke and William Baker 1860 - 1900. Ahmedabad 2002.