10 October 1904. Ca. 1904-1905. 26x20,5 cm. Thirty-one card leaves with tissue guards. Thirty watercolours and over a dozen pencil and/or ink drawings, from ca. 4x5,5 cm to ca. 18x23 cm; and over forty gelatin silver photos from ca. 5x6,5 cm to ca. 14x20,5 cm, mounted on the leaves or loosely inserted. With a mounted printed postcard and several chromolithographed prints of African flowers loosely inserted. Most watercolours, drawings and photos with ink and pencil captions in German and/or dates on the lower margins of the images or on the mounts. One of the prints of African flowers with a presentation inscription in English on verso. Contemporary full cloth album with gilt lettered title on the front cover. A few photos mildly faded, otherwise a very good album.
Album with beautiful watercolours and interesting original photos of the West African coast drawn and taken by Dr. Lothar Hennig (1875-after 1939) during his service as a ship surgeon on S.M.S. ‘Habicht’ in December 1904 - May 1905. Gunboat of the German Imperial Navy, S.M.S. Habicht was a part of the West African Squadron in 1885-1905, visited a number of West African ports from Gorée Island to Cape Town, and took part in several punitive expeditions against the native rebels of German colonies (Duala and Bakoko people in 1886 and 1891, people of Kribi in 1897, and others). In 1904-1905, during Dr. Hennig’s service, S.M.S. Habicht was a part of the combined military and naval force sent to suppress the Herero Revolt in German South-West Africa (modernday Namibia).
The watercolors and drawings show Douala (House of king Rudolph Manga Bell, banks of the Wouri River), Luanda (four views of the old city, a small lighthouse in the harbor, a Portuguese bark near the city), Congo River (sketched during a trip to Kinshasa on board SMS Vineta), Lüderitz Bay (Namibia), sandy coast of Swakopmund, Cape Town and environs (S.M.S. Habicht at sea on the way to Cape town, local fish boats in the harbor, Table Mountain), a bay hear Cape St. Mary (Angola), a street in Libreville (Gabon), silhouette of Fernando Po Island (now Bioko, Equatorial Guinea), Gorée Island and French ships in the harbor of Dakar (Senegal), Punta Roxa on Tenerife (Canary Islands), a street in La Grana (Ferrol, Spain), and others. Several watercolours show African flowers and trees: flowers growing on the Table Mountain (4), Strelitzia reginae from Orotava (Tenerife), a pine on the sear shore near Cape Town, and a baobab (ink drawing); there are also pencil drawn sketches of horns of African antelope. A pencil drawn sketch designs an invitation to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of SMS Habicht’s service in the navy (1880-1905), which was to take place in Cape Town, on the 18th of March 1905. A later watercolour depicts Mount Bromo (East Java, Indonesia), being apparently drawn during Hennig’s service on S.M.S. Fürst Bismarck in 1909 (then a part of German East Asia Squadron).
The photos show Duala (palace of king Manga Bell, German cemetery, native houses), Lome (several views of a railway bridge on the pier, taken from the distance and close up, with German naval officers posing to the camera on the bridge), SMS Habicht in Cape Town harbor, native sail boats, portraits of an Angolan girl, and an African boy with eye disease, and others. Several photos apparently portray Dr. Hennig, showing him in a forest near Douala, hunting near Cape St. Bras (Angola), standing on a beach near Lüderitz Bay in a company of penguins, and on a picnic near Cape Town. The album closes with a large photo of ‘Eleonora Woermann’, a passenger, freight and mail liner for German West Africa (on service in 1902-1915). Dr. Friedrich Lothar Hennig served in the Imperial German Navy in 1896-1911, in 1904-1905 he was ship’s surgeon on S.M.S. Habicht off the coast of Southwest Africa.