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Cetshwayo ka Mpande, 1882

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3058F/2

Scope and Contents

96 x 142 mm. A head and shoulders portrait by Alexander Bassano of 25 Old Bond Street, showing Cetshwayo dressed in European clothes; a photograph taken during his visit to England in 1882. Cetshwayo (c. 1826-1884) was a son of Mpanda and a nephew of Shaka. As a commander he had distinguished himself during the Zulu campaign against the Swazis in 1853-54 and after struggles with his relatives became the de facto King of Zululand from around 1857, although he did not formally accede to the throne until the death of his father in 1872. After the defeat of the Zulus at Ulundi in August 1879, Cetshwayo was captured and exiled and his kingdom split up. His appeals to Queen Victoria and his visit to England (where he attracted considerable attention) resulted in his restoration to the Kingship of Central Zululand in 1883, although he was defeated shortly afterwards by rivals. He died soon after from a reported heart attack.


  • 1882


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Biographical / Historical

Alexander Bassano was a commercial photographer based in London. His studio was originally founded in Regent Street in 1850, but he moved to Piccadilly, Pall Mall and finally 25 Old Bond Street during 1876-1921.

Bassano was a popular society photographer and retired circa 1903. He was responsible for the image of Lord Kitchener on the First World War recruiting poster 'Your Country Needs You' (National Portrait Gallery 2004). The studio was refurbished and relaunched as Bassano Ltd, Royal Photographers. In 1964 the company became Bassano and Vandyck Studio. In 1965 it incorporated Elliott and Fry. In 1977 it became Industrial Photographic.

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Existence and Location of Copies

CN 3282.


Bassano, Alexander, 1829-1913, photographer

Finding aid date

2006-10-04 16:51:55+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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