Madagascar / Indian Ocean


Collection of 25 cover illustrations of the war in Madagascar from Le Petit Journal and Le Petit Parisien, 1894-1909. Size 31x45cm. T

Price: $1650.00

Note: France invaded Madagascar in 1883, in what became known as the first Franco-Hova War, seeking to restore cancelled concessions. With the signing of the Treaty of Tamatave in January 1886, the war ceased. Madagascar ceded Antsiranana (Diego-Suarez) on the northern coast to France and paid a hefty fine of 10 million francs. The treaty included an 'Instructive Letter' which was to clarify the treaty, but which was never presented in the French Parliament when they voted to ratify the treaty. The treaty essentially gave France control over Malagasy foreign policy, and the French government used this to exert increasing control over the territory, but a Protectorate was not formally declared.

md046bmd046cThe terms and impositions of the treaty were not fully agreed by First Minister Rainilaiarivony. The situation quickly changed when the British recognized a French Protectorate of Madagascar in September 1890, in return for eventual British control over Zanzibar and as part of an overall definition of spheres of influence in Africa. With the opening of the Suez Canal, the strategic significance of Madagascar had declined. Rainilaiarivony prepared to defend the island from French military invasion by sending Colonel Shervinton, his European military adviser, to purchase arms in Europe. The French administration was determined to bring about a full Protectorate on the island, and thus evacuated its nonessential citizens from the region. Active hostilities commenced on December 12, 1894, when the French marines took possession of Tamatave. General Duchesne and his flying column landed in Majunga and marched to the capital, Antananarivo, hampered by the jungle, shallow river, disease, and lack of roads. They finally reached the city and began the assault in the last week of September 1895.

md046dmd046eThe defenders were stationed on the main road to the capital, to the south of the city. The French commander circled Antananarivo and executed a feint attack on the north of the city. His main force attacked the east of the city, commanding a hillock from which he could shell the main government buildings, including the Queen's palace. Three shells were fired against the city, and the Hova army was routed. General Duchesne entered the city on October 1, and Queen Ranavalona III signed the treaty that made Madagascar a full Protectorate of the French government. The Merina Kingdom was put under French protection in 1896, overseen by the first Resident-General, Laroche. Twenty French soldiers died fighting and 6,000 died of malaria and other diseases before the second Franco-Hova War ended.

Ranavalona and her cabinet were initially allowed to remain in government as ceremonial figureheads. md046fmd046gFrench rule was challenged from the very moment of the capital's capture by a popular uprising termed the Menalamba rebellion. The fighting was led by commoners, principally from Imerina, who rejected not only French rule but Christianity and the influence of Europeans among the Merina rulers. The rebellion was put down with difficulty by General Gallieni over a year later. The French government determined that a civil governor was incapable of ensuring order and submission of the Malagasy people, and so deposed the queen in 1897, dissolved the 103-year-old Merina monarchy, and installed a military government headed by Gallieni. Queen Ranavalona III was exiled to Réunion and later to Algeria, where she died in 1917 without ever being allowed to return to Madagascar.

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Rare childrens outfit cut out done for the 1900 Exposition in Paris. The theme is costumes for women, children and types. Two sheets, each 23x30cm. T

Price: $350.00



Complete issue of Le Rire, June 8, 1904, featuring Queen Ranavalo on the cover. T

Price: $90.00

md042 md042aLogbook of copies of orders and notes made by Air Force Captain Laroussinie stationed in Madagascar during the 1947-1948 Malagasy Uprising. Laroussinie (or his adjutant) would write notes or orders in this book and tear out the original and pass it along. This book is the record of copies of each of those notes/orders. It is all military content, reporting on activities of the rebels, battles, prisoners taken, defense plans, bombings, etc. The rebellion lasted from March 1947 to December 1948. The logbook spans from May 1948 to May 1949 and contains 83 numbered pages, with 9 pages removed (so 74 pages net), due to redrafts no doubt. There is also a separate manuscript outlining the order for defense done in February 2, 1949. It outlines a detailed plan for how the military should conduct operations in order to maintain control. There is quite a lot of detail about military operations, even providing codes that were to be used, maps, etc. This item is made all the more remarkable in view of the fact that the French government went to great efforts to keep secret the rebellion both from French citizens and the world at large. A rare item.md042b md042c

Price: $2700.00

Note: The Malagasy Uprising (French: Insurrection malgache) was a Malagasy nationalist rebellion against French colonial rule in Madagascar, lasting from March 1947 to December 1948.

Starting in late 1945, Madagascar's first French National Assembly deputies, Joseph Raseta, Joseph Ravoahangy and Jacques Rabemananjara of the Mouvement démocratique de la rénovation malgache (MDRM) political party, led an effort to achieve independence for Madagascar through legal channels. The failure of this initiative and the harsh response it drew from the SocialistRamadier md042d md042eadministration radicalized elements of the Malagasy population, including leaders of several militant nationalist secret societies. On the evening of 29 March 1947, coordinated surprise attacks were launched by Malagasy nationalists, armed mainly with spears, against military bases and French-owned plantations in the eastern part of the island concentrated around Moramanga and Manakara. The nationalist cause was rapidly adopted in the south and spread to the central highlands and the capital of Antananarivo by the following month, with the number of Malagasy nationalist fighters estimated at over one million.

By May 1947 the French began to counter the nationalists. The French tripled the number of troops on the island to 18,000, primarily by transferring soldiers from French colonies elsewhere in Africa. The colonial authorities sought to fight on the physical and psychological fronts and engaged in a variety of terror tactics designed to demoralize the population. md042f md042gThe French military force carried out mass execution, torture, war rape, torching of entire villages, collective punishment and other atrocities such as throwing live Malagasy prisoners out of an airplane (death flights). The estimated number of Malagasy casualties varies from a low of 11,000 to a high of over 100,000. The nationalists killed approximately 550 French nationals, as well as 1,900 supporters of PADESM, a pro-France Malagasy political party created with support from the colonial authorities to compete with MDRM. By August 1948, the majority of the nationalist leaders were killed or captured, and the Uprising was effectively put down by December 1948.

The violent repression of the nationalist insurgency left deep scars in Malagasy society. A generation of the managerial class was wiped out, creating challenges for the country when it achieved independence in 1960. md042h md042iMadagascar's first three deputies were arrested, tortured and kept in prison until they were given amnesty in 1958. Another leader who survived the conflict, Monja Jaona, was also jailed for nine years and then founded the Madagascar for the Malagasy Party (MONIMA), which has had considerable influence on Malagasy politics. France classified most documents related to the Uprising, and the French government maintained silence on the subject until French president Jacques Chiractermed it "unacceptable" during an official visit to Madagascar in 2005. Several Malagasy directors have set films in the period of the Uprising. In 1967 the Malagasy government declared 29 March an annual holiday, and in 2012 a museum dedicated to the Uprising was inaugurated in Moramanga.

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Collection of 10 French press photos from the Independence Referendum 1975-1976 on The Comoros. Shown are Premier Ahmed Abdallah, Marcel Henry, Adrien Girod and Olivier Stern, along with panoramas of port cities. Captioned.

Price: $300.00

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La Revue de Madagascar. Publication Trimestirelle. No. 30 July 1941. Photo images of Madagascar.

Price: $200.00

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Homogeneous collection of 25 glass slides of Tananarive, Madagascar, taken in 1900…..just a few years after the country came under French rule. Images include a rice plantation, Zoma market in Tananarive, coiffure maintenance, entrance to the Queens palace, monument at Place Colbert, locals in front of English protestant church, tomb of the First Minister, locals returning from well, palace of the First Minister, motherhood, panoramas of Tananarive, local fishing techniques, fascinating image of the door of entry to a village, local home inside Tananarive, local laundry washing, local hut, and more. All slides contain descriptions and are in very good condition except one. If interested there are slides from Cote d’Ivor and Indochina available from the same owner.

Price: $400.00

md038Collection of 8 super 8 home movies sent to Dr. Porte who worked at the Hopital Girard et Robic, in Tanarive, Madagascar. The movies date 1954-1959 and cover footage in Madagascar, Cameroun, Tanzania, Comoros Islands, Algeria and Ajaccio. The movies in Madagascar no doubt show the hospital shortly after independence and shortly before it was demolished. I am not able to explore the footage because I do not have an 8mm film projector. Each reel is in its own separate box.

Price: $300.00

Note: The hospital of Soavinandriana (meaning “blessed sovereigns”) was inaugurated on August 13, 1891 by Queen Ranavalona III and her Prime Minister, Rainilaiarivony. When Antananarivo fell to General Duschesne on September 30, 1895, during the Third Madagascar War, the hospital was accidentally shelled while 80 Malagasy and French soldiers were convalescing there.

The hospital was requisitioned by General Galliéni on November 15, 1896 for the French Army and was renamed the Colonial Hospital of Soavinandriana. After passage of the law separating Church and State in 1904, the 10 sisters of St-Vincent of Paul who managed the hospital, passed over control to the French military. The day before of the independence of Madagascar, on July 3, 1957, the hospital was renamed Hopital Girard and Robic, in honour of two doctors who were former directors of the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar. At the time of independence, supervision and management of the hospital (and other hospitals such as the "Hôpital Principal de Dakar") was handed over to France. The hospital continued to be run by the former Colonial Army Medical Corps which was now named "Service de Santé des Troupes de Marine" with "full financial autonomy". This meant that revenues had to pay for all expenses but budget balancing and profitability had not been strictly enforced previously. In 1958 the hospital was demolished, rebuilt and inaugurated by President Philibert Tsiranana on February 26, 1963.


Collection of 8 early 20th French confectionary cards on the war in Madagascar, from different confectioners. Advertising on back. N

Price: $200.00

Large 38 x 103 1895 diorama of the defense of a Hova battery under attack by the French. From L’Illustration. Some fold damage near the top, not affecting image proper. N

Price: $200.00