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Photo Album - NW Frontier - Khybar Pass - WESTON, Maj. George - 1907. 
Pakistan 1907 - Peshawar, Khyber Pass, North West Frontier Province [Pakistan], 1907-1916. Album of snapshot photographs taken by an officer of the Indian Army, conceivably Major George Weston, surgeon for the Royal Army Medical Corps, who, at Dagshai, constructed the famous and fabled grave memorial to his wife Mary Rebecca Weston. Contains 163 vintage gelatin silver print photographs printed in postcard format, measuring approximately 12,5 x 7,5 cm, neatly ensconced behind window mounts, recto and verso onto 35 thick leaves. Qto. album, illustrated green cloth boards, measuring approximately 35 x 20 x 5 cm. Album is wrapped in brown paper with mailing label addressed to Miss M. Dunford, 41 Victoria Road, in Frome, England. Together with 101 original film negatives, some of which are captioned and dated 1910, contained in a separate purpose-made 'Eastman Negative Album' with tissue sleeves for each one. Negatives album measures approximately 7,5 x 10,5 x 3 cm. Sage cloth titled boards with folding envelope style spine and snap closure. Most negatives measure approximately 14 x 9 cm, a scant few varying slightly in size. Several photographs faded, although the original negatives facilitate reprinting, the lot otherwise in Very Good Condition. Uncommon pre-independence views of the northern reaches of present-day Pakistan, these original photographs and film negatives demonstrate the resolute efforts to maintain supremacy over the trade route region, and thus a great advantage for the British Empire. These snapshot photographs illustrate settlements and works of British Army posted in the North West Frontier Province, now part of Pakistan, from the time of the 1908 punitive campaigns against the Zakka Khelthe Afridis in the Bazar Valley, and against the Mohmands in the Khyber Pass, and through the Great War. The North-West Frontier (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) region of the British Indian Empire was the most difficult area to conquer in South Asia. With the expansion of the Russian Empire into Central Asia in the twentieth century, stability of the Frontier and control of Afghanistan became cornerstones of defensive strategy for British India. The Khyber Pass, one of the two principle gateways on the North West Frontier has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia since ancient times. Since annexation by the East India Company, the Khyber Pass has served as an important strategic military region. Control of the region in fact depended to a large extent on the Punjab Frontier Force which was recruited from local tribesmen and commanded by British officers. After the First World War, the British would construct a heavily engineered railway through the Pass. The Khyber Pass Railway from Jamrud, near Peshawar, to the Afghan border near Landi Kotal, was opened in 1925. Very rare is the early visual testimony to trade control in the wild frontier regions, with a spectacular view of a rudimentary open-air Customs House, essentially a shelter with two desks, situated in the Domel Valley, now part of the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. In order to assert control and render the seditious indigenous tribal groups tractable, large military camps were erected throughout the mountainous regions, including the Khyber Pass Military Encampment at Ali Masjid, which is seen here. Other encampments are shown, possibly at Fort Peshawar. "Landi Kotal Fort" captions one of the negatives which is also included as a printed photograph. Situated only 5 kilometers east of the Afghanistan border, the small fort guards the western end of the Khyber Pass. Landi Kotal was a vulnerable frontier outpost in the 19th and 20th centuries. [Contemporary to this album, the 1909 edition of "The Imperial Gazetteer of India" identified the settlement as "the westernmost point on the Khyber Pass occupied by the British Government". During the Second Anglo-Afghan War Landi Kotal had served as an encampment of the 12,000-strong Pe
[Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts]
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