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Pre 1897 thumbnails

Neg. No: (L) 3453E
Neg. Size: 12"x15"
Neg. Date: NONE

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3453e.jpg (24666 bytes)

Sitters (left to right):

(1) Fitawrari(1) Abba Tabor (c.1845-c.1916/7), General and principal guardian of Ras Mäkonnen's son, Täfari (later Emperor Haile Sellasie I).

(2) Ras Mäkonnen (Wäldä-Mika'él)(2) (ራስ መኮንን ወልደሚካኤል) (1852-1906), Ethiopian General & Governor of Harar, cr. Ras 1890; father of Emperor Haile Sellasie I.

(3) Fitawrari(3) Haylä Sellasse Abaynäh, Ethiopian General, and guardian of Ras Mäkonnen's son, Täfari (later Emperor Haile Sellasie I).

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.

Descr: FL.


(1) Lion's mane head-dress; costume of French brocade; velvet shoulder-cloak (lemd); shield made of velvet, leather, gilt and glass.

(2) Lion's mane head-dress; velvet shoulder-cloak (lemd), decorated with gold emboidery; silk shirt; belt or cummerbund of silk;

(3) Lion's mane head-dress; velvet shoulder-cloak with ornate clasp; shield made of metal, leather, hide.

Weapons: 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 [ck chest].

Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London.

Evidence of photographer at work: -

No of related negatives: 7.

Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.



(1) Public Record Office, Kew, PRO FO 1/206; E. Ullendorff, The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Sellassie I, 'My Life and Ethiopia's Progress', Oxford, 1976, pp 26 & 29

(2) Hugh Montgomery Massingberd ed., Burke's Royal Families of the World, Vol II, London, 1980, p 52b; Who's Who; August B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia, London, 1900, passim; Felix Rosen, Eine deutsche Gesandschaft in Abessinien, Leipzig, 1907, passim. E.A. Wallis Budge, The History of Ethiopia, London, 1928, Vol II pp 537-8; S.P. Petrides, Le héros d'Adoua, Ras Makonnen, Prince d'Ethiopie, Paris, 1965; Richard D. Greenfield, Ethiopia: A New Political History, London, 1965, pp 147-8; Hayla Giyorgis Belete, Zénahu Le-Leul Ras Makonnen, Addis Ababa, 1972-3; The Encylopædia Africana Dictionary of African Biography, Vol II, New York, 1976, pp 101-2;

(3) Ullendorff, op cit, p 26.

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. (Award of K.C.M.G.) The Times, August 11 1902, p 6b; Sir Lionel Cust, King Edward VII and His Court, London, 1930, p 156. (Award of Coronation Medal) The Times, August 18 1902, p 8a.  See also button labelled "background" above.

Costume (for literature on similar examples): (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.

Weapons: (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: -

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. Later promoted to Däjazmatch, see also note 2.

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.

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