An American in Russian Central Asia, 1899
[Photograph Album of Travels in Russian Central Asia and Mongolia].
[Russian Central Asia: 1899].
Some of the photographs published in: Percy W. Church, Chinese Turkestan with Caravan and Gun, Rivingtons, 1901. 77 Kodak photographs, in album mounts, captioned in ink. 2 vols. Oblong 8vo. An American in Russian Central Asia, 1899. Contemporary Kodak Souvenirs album in blue cloth over bevelled boards, manuscript labels. Presentation on inside front cover, “With Isidore Morse’s compliments to Evelyn J Mardon Cf. Geographical Journal XVI:4, p. 380. For published book, see: Czech (Asia) p. 47 “excellent descriptions of the terrain and of the indigenous peoples”; Cordier 2863. Item #311752
Superb set of photographs taken by an American sportsman travelling in Russian Central Asia in 1899, documenting ethnography, landscapes, local customs, sporting trophies (wapiti, ibex, roedeer) and camp life, and Chinese and Russian officialdom.
Captions indicate the Hotel at Tashkent, Mongol weddings, a “Kirghiz swell”. Kalmuk officers, shikaris, Mongol soldiers, Chinese soldiers and cooks, Russian settlers, “Mongol Buddhist & Tranchi Mussulman”, French & Belgian Roman Catholic missionaries, Kirghiz shikaris, “Nora - shikari” (several portraits), “Towing barges on Tekes river affluent of the Ili”, “Boundary pillar between Chinese & Russian territories at Naryakul”, “Jargilan valley at Kulja”, “Jimbuk, Mongol shikari”, and many others.
This album is similar in composition to an album presented by Morse to the Royal Geographical Society in 1990 (and contains an identical number of photographs). The recipient, Evelyn J. Mardon (1867-1958), was a member of the Indian Civil Service and hunted big game around the world. Percy W. Church used a small selection of Morse’s photographs to illustrate the portions on sport in the Tekes country in the Tien Shan mountains in Chinese Turkestan (1901), the account of his journey with J.V. Phelps to Yarkand and Kuldja and Tashkent (plates at pp. 60, 70, 108, 132 [one titled “Morse’s shikari” corresponding to a photograph of Nora in this album]). H.H.P. Deasy also reports a chance encounter with Morse at the Kili Pass (In Tibet and Chinese Turkestan, 1901).
Isidore Morse was a son of Leopold Morse, a merchant and five-term congressman from Massachusetts. He and his brother, Tyler Morse (Harvard 1898), inherited considerable wealth at their father’s death in 1892. Isidore took part in the 1903 Macmillan expedition to the Blue Nile and subsequently served with an English regiment at Anzac in 1915, where he was wounded and lost an arm.
An excellent visual record, largely unpublished and unexplored.
With: Church. Percy W. Chinese Turkestan with Caravan and Gun. Illustrated, with folding map at back. xii, 207 pp. London: Rivingtons, 1901. A near fine, fresh copy with Buenos Aires English High School prize label to front flyleaf. A couple of short tears at folds of map. Church credits Morse’s photographs at the end of his preface.
Price: $8,500.00 Free International Delivery