Maxime Du Camp's Egypt photographs make $12,500

A collection of early travel photographs taken in Egypt and the Middle East in 1849 by Maxime Du Camp sold for $12,390 at Antiquarian Auctions earlier today.

The publication is titled Egyptie, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie (1852) and features 59 of the original 152 prints.

Du Camp Sphinx
The collection includes photographs of the Sphinx

The photographs show some of the countries' most important archaeological sites, including the Sphinx and the ruins of Luxor.

Paul Mills of Antiquarian Auctions says: "These pictures allow you to look into the past and see the remarkable changes that have occurred.

"At that point photography had only been around for 20 years or so and was a relatively new invention, so to venture into that desert heat for hours and to take some of the best photos ever, was a remarkable achievement."

Du Camp travelled to Egypt with his friend, the great author Gustave Flaubert, in 1849.

Flaubert had recently dropped out of university and was unsure of his direction when Du Camp suggested they take a trip to Egypt together to take some photos.

While there they fought off bandits, were arrested as spies and worked their way round the region's brothels.

The whole dangerous, and frequently sordid, trip is recorded in the letters and journals of both men.

In one journal Flaubert muses on the region: "The sight of so many ruins destroys any desire to build shanties; all this ancient dust makes one indifferent to fame."

Six years later he would publish Madame Bovary, his hugely influential debut novel, which would make him one of the most acclaimed authors of his era.  

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Images: Antiquarian Auctions

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