Date: c. August 1902.
Occasion: Visit to England for the Coronation of King Edward VII, 12 August 1902.
Location: The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London.
Costume Supplier: Ras Mäkonnen's cloak and shirt probably made by Serouphi Ebeyan, dress-maker to the Ethiopian Court.
Curved Ethiopian sword in leather scabbard;
(Rifle) probably Lee Speed .303 bolt action rifle (known variously in Amharic as dimoftär, dimotfär, or dimetfor).
Furniture & Props: Painted backdrop.
Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London.
Evidence of photographer at work: -
No of related negatives: 7.
images on this site are copyright V&A. For further information
on using or requesting copies of any images
Occasion: (Visit to England) The World, Coronation Supplement, 2 July 1902, p 5a; The Times, 4 July 1902, p 3f; John Edward Coutenay Bodley, The Coronation of Edward the Seventh: A Chapter of European and Imperial History, London, 1903, p 354; "The Visit of Ras Makonnen to Europe in 1902 and the 'Spy' Cartoon of him", Ethiopia Observer, XIV, 1971, pp 295-7; Public Record Office, Kew, Ref. FO 1, 36-40; Sir Lionel Cust, King Edward VII and His Court, London 1930, p 156. (Award of K.C.M.G.) The Times, August 11 1902, p 6b. (Award of Coronation Medal) The Times, August 18 1902, p 8a; see also button labeled "background" above.
Costume (for literature on similar examples):
(Cross of Solomon) H. Rassam, Narrative of the British Mission to Theodore, King of Abyssinia, London, 1869, Vol II, p 45.
(Lion's mane head-dress) Gäbrä Sellassé, Chronique du regne de Ménélik II roi des rois d'Ethiopie, Paris, 1930-1, Plates XXXII, XLVIII, LV, LVI & LX.
(Velvet shoulder-cloak) Augustus B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia, London, 1900, p 248; Gäbrä Sellassé, op cit, Plates XXXIII, XLVIII, XLIV, XLVII & XLVI; Felix Rosen, Eine deutsche Gesandschaft in Abessinien, Leipzig, 1907, pp 121, 177, 283, 335, 344 & 347; L De Castro, Nella terra dei Negus, Milan, 1915, Vol II, Figs. 159, 160, 189 & 197; Jean Duchesne-Fournet, Mission en Ethiopie, 1901-1903, Paris, 1908, Vol II, pp 290-1, 294 & Plate XXII; Gäbrä Sellassé, op cit, Plates XIV & XLVIII; L. De Castro, Nella terra dei Negus, Milan, 1915, Vol I, Figs 158, 159, 161 & Plate CV.
(Shields) Rosen, op cit, pp 121, 335; Sylvia Pankhurst, Ethiopia: A Cultural History, Woodford Green, 1955, p 513; Harold G. Marcus, Haile Sellasie I: The Formative Years, 1892-1936, Berkeley, 1987, p 108.
(Trousers) Wylde, op cit, p 248.
Costume Supplier: (Cloak and shirt) R. Pankhurst, "Menilek and the Utilisation of Foreign Skills in Ethiopia", Journal of Ethiopian Studies, 1967, V, No 1, p 36.
(Sword) N. Pearce, Life and Adventures of Nathaniel Pearce, London, 1831, Vol II, pp 202-3; W.C. Harris, The Highlands of Aethiopia, London, 1844, Vol II, pp 100-101.
(Rifle) R. Pankhurst, "Linguistic and Cultural Data of the Penetration of Fire-Arms into Ethiopia", Journal of Ethiopian Studies, 1971, IX, No. 1, p 74.(4)
Reproduced: (Version) Chic, 27 September 1902, p 166b.
Acknowledgements: Professor Richard Pankhurst, Addis Ababa University; Mika'él Haylä Sellasé, Addis Ababa; Dr. John Mack, Museum of Mankind, London; Adrian Weller, Esq., Sotheby's. (Research) Russell Harris, Barbara Borkowy, Jane Meadows.
1. Fitawrari; later promoted to Däjazmatch.
2. Ras = "title conferred on governors of provinces"; Fitawrari = "General"; Däjazmatch = "Keeper of the King's Door" or "Count" (Burke's Royal Families of the World, Vol II, London, 1980, p 45).
3. Later promoted to Däjazmatch.
4. NB, this would appear to be the rifle depicted in the "Spy" Cartoon (by Sir Leslie Ward), Number DCCLXVI in the series "Men of the Day", published in Vanity Fair, 12 February 1903.
All images are copyright V&A Museum, London