Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #117 begins on 22 Aug 2024


A very old watercolour dated 1866 of the Booma Pass, British Caffraria

Published: 1866

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A beautiful watercolour of the Booma Pass painted in 1866.

From the Keiskamma River you proceed towards the Amatola mountains (the historic stronghold of the Rharhabe) via the narrow and winding Booma Pass, which is flanked by thickly forested hills. A few Xhosa huts and Kraals can be observed on the left of the image.

A great conflict took place between the Cape Mounted Rifles and the Xhosa leader Sandile on these slopes during the Eighth Frontier War (1850-1853). On 24 December, 1850, a British detachment was sent by Governor Sir Harry Smith with instructions to capture Sandile after he failed to attend a meeting at the territorial capital of King William's Town. The expedition made its way to the Amatolas via the narrow Booma Pass, and just as it reached a small plateau the rear of the column was ambushed by Xhosa warriors who emerged from the forests led by Sandile.

This image was painted in 1866, the period between the Eighth and Ninth Frontier Wars. The image is not signed but one can imagine that the artist must have had some personal connection with the events that happened here during the expedition of 1850. 

  • Size: 25 x 18cm
  • Sold By: Rare Paper
  • Contact Person: Armandt Marais
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 0741235861
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