The Mahmal by Abdullah Frères on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
This photograph shows the Mahmal preparing to leave Cairo for Mecca. It is has the title: 'Le Mahmal no 140' with the signature of Abdullah Frères. Abdullah Frères were three Ottoman Armenian brothers who ran photographic studios in Istanbul, Cairo and Izmir. In 1862 they were named official royal photographers to the Ottoman court with the entitlement to use the royal monogram. Their studio operated between 1858-99 and while they were appointed to photograph Sultan Abdülaziz and Sultan Abdülhamid II, they were also commissioned to document aspects of the Ottoman Empire. This image was also reproduced on postcards and was also used in Saleh Soubhy’s Pèlerinage à la Mecque et à Médine. Visible on the mahmal is the date 1304 (AH), with part of the name of the Khedive Muhammd Tawfiq, meaning that the Mahmal was sent by order of Sultan ‘Abdulhamid II.