Ephemera and Posters



Semeurs en Afrique. A 32 page booklet full of photo images of missionary activity in the Belgian Congo in the late 1940’s. T

Price: $90.00



Two French illustrations of the Conference of Berlin (1884-1885) and the French-Anglo Convention of 1899. T

Price: $70.00


A collection of 15 illustrated pages on life along the Congo. T

Price: $450.00

Note: Beginning in the late 1870’s the Congo was colonized by Leopold II, king of the Belgians (reigned 1865–1909). Leopold believed that Belgium needed colonies to ensure its prosperity, and sensing that the Belgians would not support colonial ventures, he privately set about establishing a colonial empire. Between 1874 and 1877, Henry M. Stanley made a journey across central Africa during which he found the course of the Congo River. Intrigued by Stanley's findings (especially that the region had considerable economic potential), Leopold engaged him in 1878 to establish the king's authority in the Congo basin. Between 1879 and 1884, Stanley founded a number of stations along the middle Congo River and signed treaties with several African rulers purportedly giving the king sovereignty in their areas.

At the Conference of Berlin (1884–85) the European powers recognized Leopold's claim to the Congo basin, and in a ceremony (1885) at Banana, the king announced the establishment of the Congo Free State, headed by himself. The announced boundaries were roughly the same as those of present-day Congo, t-ba097a1but it was not until the mid-1890s that Leopold's control was established in most parts of the state. In 1891–92, Katanga was conquered, and between 1892 and 1894, E Congo was wrested from the control t-ba097a2of E African Arab and Swahili traders (including Tippu Tib, who for a time had served as an administrator of the Congo).

Because he did not have sufficient funds to develop the Congo, Leopold sought and received loans from the Belgian parliament in 1889 and 1895, in return for which Belgium was given the right to annex the Congo in 1901. At the same time Leopold declared all unoccupied land (including cropland lying fallow) to be owned by the state, thereby gaining control of the lucrative trade in rubber and ivory. t-ba097a3Much of the land was given to concessionaire companies, which in return were to build railroads or to occupy a specified part of the country or merely to give the state a percentage of their profits. In addition, Leopold maintained a large estate in the region of Lake Leopold II (NE of Kinshasa).t-ba097a4

Private companies were also established to exploit the mineral wealth of Katanga and Kasai; a notable example was Union Minière du Haut-Katanga, chartered in 1905. The Belgian parliament did not exercise its right to annex the Congo in 1901, but reports starting in 1904 (particularly by Roger Casement and E. D. Morel) about the brutal treatment of Africans there (especially those forced to collect rubber for concessionaire companies) led to a popular campaign for Belgium to take over the state from Leopold. After exhaustive parliamentary debates, in 1908 Belgium annexed the Congo.

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Three large fold-out illustrations of life on the Congo, 1883-1887. T

Price: $180.00

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Two 19th century illustrations of Okanda and Adouma females. T

Price: $60.00

Complete issue of Spanish periodical La Ilustracion Artistica, printed in Barcelona, April 14, 1890. This issue of 16 pages is devoted to the explorations of HR Stanley. Cover pages separated, but complete. Nice steel engraving images. T

Price: $120.00

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Publication titled Les Grands Travaux du Bas-Congo. Printed in 1930 it appears to be a special supplement to a larger publication as the pages are numbered 3195-3246. Full of images and text relating to the Belgian Congo. Taped binding. Fragile. T

Price: $90.00

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Congo News Letter published by the Missionaries of the A.B.F.M.S. in Leopoldville. July 1955. T

Price: $30.00


Collection of 14 18th and early 19th century English engravings of the Kingdom of Kongo. From Dapper, Bankes, De Bry, Millar and others. T

Price: $700.00

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A collection of 83 Belgian African Colonial Lottery tickets from 1959-1962. 28 show scenes of Belgian Congo, remainder show Belgium and allegorical images. T

Price: $350.00