Photographer: probably Emile Gsell (1838-1879). View of Phnom Penh at the bay of Tonle Sap river. Circa 1866. Albumen print. 21 x 32,3 cm. Mounted to board (slight traces of use and soiled), annotated in blue crayon below the image on the mount.
The French photographer Emile Gsell worked in southeast Asia and was the first photographer to be based in Saigon. He participated in at least three scientific expeditions and his images of Angkor Wat are some of the earliest of that site. Under pressure of the French, King Norodon I moved his government's seat from Udom to Phnom Penh. This rare view was probably taken shortly after this move in 1866, as it still shows a simple settlement of bamboo huts with the famous Wat Phnom Pagoda in the background from which the town takes its name. After the move of the King the French began to rebuild the city and took Phnom Phenh as the seat of colonial administration. – A few light surface scuff marks, slight stain in upper left corner, otherwise a rich dark print in very good condition.
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