French Equatorial Africa

t-exp003t-exp003aA collection of 7 illustrated pages from various European periodicals on the exploration of Pietro Savorgnan di Brazza, for whom the capital of French Congo was named. T

Price: $210.00

Note: Born in Rome on January 26, 1852, Pietro Savorgnan di Brazza was the seventh son of Count Ascanio Savorgnan di Brazzà, a nobleman of Udine with many French connections. Pietro was interested in exploration from an early age and won entry to the French naval school at Brest, graduated as an ensign, and went on the French ship Jeanne d'Arc to Algeria, where he was horrified to see French troops shooting down Kabyle insurgents.

t-exp003a1t-exp003a2His next ship was the Venus, which stopped at Gabon regularly, and in 1874, de Brazza made two trips, up the Gabon River and Ogoue River. He then proposed to the government that he explore the Ogoue to its source, and with the help of friends in high places, including Jules Ferry and Leon Gambetta, he secured partial funding, the rest coming out of his own pocket. He also became a naturalized French citizen at this time, adopting the French spelling of his name. In this expedition, which lasted from 1875-1878, armed with cotton textiles and tools to use for barter, accompanied by Noel Ballay, a doctor, Alfred Marche, a naturalist, a sailor and a dozen Senegalese infantrymen, Brazza charmed and talked his way deep inland.

t-exp003a3The French authorized a second mission, 1879-1882. Reaching the Congo River in 1880, Brazza proposed to King Makoko of the Batekes that he place his kingdom under the protection of the French flag. Makoko, interested in trade possibilities and in gaining an edge over his rivals, signed a treaty. Makoko also arranged for the establishment of a French settlement at Ncuna on the Congo's Malebo Pool, a place later known as Brazzaville. In 1886, he was named governor-general of the French Congo. t-exp003a4Journalists' reports of the contrast between the decent wages and humane conditions there contrasted with the personal regime of Belgian King Léopold on the opposite bank, in the Congo Free State, made him some important enemies, and a mounting smear campaign in the French press led to his dismissal in 1898. By 1905, he was asked to look into the colonial conditions, which had deteriorated during his absence, but the National Assembly voted to suppress his embarrassing report, a copy of which was found amongst his personal effects after his death. He died suddenly of a fever at Dakar. There were rumors that he had been poisoned.

t-exp003a5The epitaph for his burial site in Algiers reads, "une mémoire pure de sang humain" ("a memory untainted by human blood"). A mausoleum was built in his honour in Brazzaville. On 30 September 2006, his remains were exhumed in Algiers and reinterred in Brazzaville on 3 October, along with those of his wife and four children. The decision to honor Pierre de Brazza as a founding father of the Republic of the Congo has elicited protests among Congolese. Mwinda Press, the journal of the Association of Congolese Democrats in France wrote articles quoting Théophile Obenga who depicted Pierre de Brazza as a colonizer and not a humanist, declaring him to have raped a Congolese woman, a princess and the equivalent of a Vestal Virgin, and to have pillaged villages, raising highly-charged questions as to why the colonizer should be revered as a national hero instead of national Congolese who fought against colonization.


French illustration of the funeral of a Bangui chief, and an Italian illustration of the Lakkas of Cameroun.T

Price: $90.00



1901 illustration of M. Ballay, the first governor of French Equatorial Africa. T

Price: $20.00

Three French illustrations of the French incursion into what became the French Congo, 1903-1924. T

Price: $180.00

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A collection of 4 illustrations of French Sudan from Italian periodicals in the 1860’s. T

Price: $100.00

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A collection of 6 French illustrations of the French incursion into Gabon, 1866-1881. Nice illustrations of the various kings of the region. T

Price: $220.00

Note: In 1839 and 1841, France established a protectorate over the coastal regions of Gabon by treaties with Gabonese coastal chiefs. American missionaries from New England established a mission at the mouth of the Komo River in 1842. In 1849, the French authorities captured an illegal slave ship and freed the captives on board. The captives were released near the mission station, where they founded a settlement which was they named Libreville (French for "free town"). French explorers penetrated Gabon's dense jungles between 1862 and 1887. The most famous, Savorgnan de Brazza, used Gabonese bearers and guides in his search for the headwaters of the Congo River. France occupied Gabon in 1885, but did not administer it until 1903.


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A collection of 10 French illustrations of French incursion into the Sudan in 1892. T

Price: $280.00

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Two 19th century prints on French Equatorial Africa. Shown are Abdel Gasam, a Fellatah from Timboctoo and also Kanemboo and Munga, a spearman and bowman in the service of the Sheikh of Bornou. T

Price: $100.00

Three 19th century engravings of French Equatorial Africa. Size 25x36cm. T

Price: $150.00

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fa094fa094aPhoto album and personal papers belonging to a French soldier named Aime Anezin. He served in both French Equatorial Africa during the Vichy regime and after the war in Indochina. The album begins on April 10, 1942, with Anezin leaving Marseille and passing Oran and Casablanca before reaching Dakar on the 28th. Rare photo of the Richelieu, which had withstood an attack by the British almost 2 years earlier while in the port of Dakar. Nice photos of life in Dakar, the Richelieu, embarking at Tabou, visiting Port Bouet in Cote d’Ivor and Lome in Togo. Local women boarding the “Jamaica” en route for Cotonou, Dahomey. Staying in Sare, Kandy and Malmanville in Dahomey before reaching Gay in Niger. Nice photos of Niamey, Niger. fa094bfa094cCelebrations in Niamey on July 11 following the ending of Vichy control of French West Africa. Anezin remains in Niamey through 1943 and takes numerous photos of life there. In 1946 he is transferred to Saigon. Photos of noteable local dignitaries and French military. Photos of Cap Saint Jacques, Haiphong, Hanoi. In 1948 he is in Nghia-Lo and then in Dien Bien Phu, 6 years before it became a fortified outpost. Interesting large photo of Thai partisans, a casement, Meoy partisans, local life, vetinerian visiting village, military post at Nghialo, military cemetery at Sonla, military post at Phong Lho, local dance and mandarin of Phong Lho, “white” Thais, and much more. Over 220 phots and several documents on Anezins military record. Well captioned with solid photographs. N

Price: $1200.00

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