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This was one of 19 albumen prints measuring approx. 15 x 19in (38 x 48cm) and made from collodion glass negatives, taken during Frith’s trip to Egypt and the Near East between November 1857 and May 1858, four years after he co-founded the Liverpool Photographic Society.

The majority featured sites of ancient Egypt and it was these that attracted the fiercest competition from English, American and French buyers, with The Rameseum of El-Kurneh – Thebes (first view) climbing to €18,000 (£11,250); The Hypaethral Temple – Philae reaching €13,500 (£8440); and The Statues of the Plain of Thebes obtaining €9500 (£5940).

Another four prints featured pyramids: The Pyramids of Dashoor from the east rated €10,500 (£6560); The Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx €8500 (£5300); The Pyramids of Sakkarah from the north-east €7500 (£4700); and The Second Pyramid of Geezeh €4000 (£2500).

The Frith photographs were the major contributor to a hammer total of €220,000 (£137,500), “not far off what we’d hoped for” said Richard, from a 92-lot sale consigned mostly by a French collector who had acquired his prints in Cairo before World War II.

The Near East was a major theme. An ensemble of five albums containing 364 prints, mainly by Benjamin Facchinelli and featuring Egyptian houses and street scenes, sold for an impressive €8500 (£5300) and an 1874 album containing 61 albumen prints, approx. 8 x 10in (20 x 25cm), by Emile Bécard (active between 1869-90), charting the new buildings erected in Cairo during the reign of Ismail Pasha, took €7000 (£4400).

An album devoted to the Musée de Boulacq (c.1871) containing 28 photoglyptic prints, from collodion glass negatives, by Bécard’s associate Hippolyte Délié sold over estimate for €5000 (£3130), as did an album devoted to the Costruzione Museo Egiziano or the new Museum of Cairo, with 46 albumen prints, 93/4 x 141/2in (24.5 x 37cm) by Charles-Louis Lortet, on €3700 (£5300).

Later in the sale, an incomplete album, 9 x 121/2in (23 x 32cm), charting the Chemin de Fer du Nord or the new rail line from Paris to Compiègne via Chantilly (c.1857) with stereoscopic views by Furne Fils and small panoramas attributed to Collard, sold on low-estimate for €3000 (£1875), hindered by the fact that nearly half the original 77 prints were missing.

Eight prints by Gustave Le Gray concluded the sale. Their indifferent condition was reflected in the prices, which included notably €7800 (£4900) for some tall-masted Voiliers à Sète (c.1857), 121/4 x 151/2in (31.1 x 39.7cm), and €6000 (£3750) for a view (c.1858) of the façade of St-Germain-l’Auxerrois – Paris, 15 x 20in (39 x 50cm).