Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #112 begins on 18 Jan 2024

US Auction #16 begins on 13 Mar 2024


A trip to Kasouga - Handwritten Eastern Cape diary of 1861 (including photographs)

Published: 1861

Lot closed

Sold for: Register or Sign In to find out

Bids: 1

Visits: 173

Have a similar item to sell? Contact Us with the details.

How it works


Interesting handwritten diary of a holiday to Kasouga in the Eastern Cape dated 28th Dec 1861 to 3rd Jan 1862. It details the journey to the coast, setting up camp etc, and mentions Dick K (possibly Dick King) several times in the text. The most interesting part are the photographs, 6 in total, very early examples of photography in South Africa. The author of the diary, who is not named, also writes about the process of taking photographs. "Tuesday 31st I awoke early and after having a bathe, breakfasting, I proceeded to get a few reminiscences of the Kasouga with my camera with which I succeeded very well. Wednesday 1st Jan 1862. The new year appears with a lovely sun-shiney morning, and as I intend taking a few more photographs, everything regarding the weather is in my favour, after the usual salutation, breakfasting. I proceed to business and our Kasouga friends, fancying I had set up as a travelling ‘artist’ made a rush to our tent, all eager to see themselves in their “sea side costume”. The niggers seemed especially delighted to see how quick I polished them off but what used to amuse them most was the way in which I would have to be helped into my “dark tent”. They would say 'Maar vaar gan de baas nouw' - 'n vat maak e met zyn kop en de zwart sack'. And a dozen other funny questions, as to what I was doing in the ‘black bag’ but they were not satisfied until I took a group of them, after which they would fancy if the camera was only pointed at them it was sufficient. Having now nearly exhausted my collodion I shut up for the day." Collodion process was introduced in the 1850s and replaced the daguerreotype. It required the use of a portable dark room and meant the photographs could be developed within 15 minutes. These amateur pictures are very early examples of photography in South Africa. Gilt decoration on embossed leather, missing the spine and slightly worn around the edges. Pages in places are loose.
  • Jacket Condition: No jacket
  • Binding Condition: Poor
  • Overall Condition: Fair

© 2023 Paul Mills trading as All rights reserved. Use of this website is regulated by our website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.