Cleopatra's Needle

CDV-format albumen print of Cleopatra's Needle (Obelisk), Alexandria, by Hippolyte Delié, Cairo, circa 1865. Card imprinted front "H. Delié & Cie. Phot." and on reverse "Photographie Universelle / H. Delié & Cie. / Caire (Egypte) / Succursale de la maison Pierson / Photographe de l'Emperor / Boulevart des Capucines, 3. / Paris."   (Ref# ic124.09)

Shown in this image is the selfsame obelisk later gifted to the United States and installed in Central Park, New York City, where it now resides. Removal of the obelisk from Alexandria in 1879 required feats of engineering as well as political negotiation. The ancient monument was successfully transported across the Atlantic in a specially-modified steamer under the direction of the US naval officer Henry Honychurch Gorringe.

View the full Introduction to Special Exhibit: Cartes-de-Visite from Cairo ca. 1865

Images and text copyright © 2014 by Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs