British photographic history

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Research enquiry: Mummy portraits, 1898-1912

Hello! I am looking for any kind of information relating to a wacky turn of the century trend, which involved tourists in Egypt posing inside mummy sarcophagi (see photograph). Although the practice seems to have waxed and waned for a period of about 14 years, few of these images are readily available online. I am wondering if anyone knows of any collections (public or private) which hold this kind of image. If it helps, the trend seems to have been popular with German-speaking travellers.

Please feel free to contact me either by replying to this blog post or by sending me an email at steph.hornstein[at]

Thank you!

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Comment by Stéphanie Hornstein on June 22, 2021 at 13:04

Thank you María for this useful reference! This definitely aligns with my research. I didn't receive your email yet, but I am looking forward to it!

All the best,


Comment by María de los Santos García Felgu on June 22, 2021 at 7:25

Hi, Sréphany, 

Interesting matter!

You can find Eduard Toda Güell, dressed as a mummy in the Bulaq Museum (El Cairo),1884 (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain), Biblioteca-Museu Victor Balaguer.

About Eduard Toda (1855-1941) and his photographs, you can see my “Del álbum familiar al museo. Colecciones de fotografía en Cataluña”, en Luis R. Méndez (ed.), Fotografía y Patrimonio, Simposio internacional [I y II], Sevilla, CICUS, Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla, 2019, pp. 227 – 248.

I'm sending to you this text, Toda's portrait and the Biblioteca-Museu Victor Balaguer contact to to your email.

Congratulations and good luck for such an interesting research!

María de los Santos García Felguera 

Barcelona, Spain

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