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Photograph - Portrait of Prince Alamayou

Portrait of Prince Alamayou

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Ryde (made)

  • Date:

    July 1868 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hughes, Jabez (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Transferred from the British Museum

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M, case MX8, shelf X290, box J

This is a photograph of seven-year-old Prince Dejatch Alamayou (1861–1879) taken on the Isle of Wight. Alamayou was the son of the Emperor of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). He was orphaned in early 1868 and, according to his father's dying wish, taken to England by the British army.

While staying on the Isle of Wight he was introduced to Queen Victoria, whose family spent summers on the island. This photograph was taken at her home, Osborne House. Alamayou's name is not written on the mount, but the words 'Osborne, July 1868' are inscribed on the back. This, together with comparisons with other known portraits, leaves us in no doubt that it is the young prince.

Physical description

Photograph (carte de visite) showing a young African boy wearing a suit and standing beside a table. The words 'JABEZ HUGHES' and 'RYDE. I.W' are printed on the card mount.

Place of Origin

Ryde (made)


July 1868 (made)


Hughes, Jabez (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Royal Photographic Studio/ Mr Jabez Hughes, Photographer to the Queen/ and HRH the Prince of Wales/ Regina House, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Printed in ink on the reverse

Osborne/July 1868
Handwritten in ink on the reverse


Height: 10.5 cm with mount, Width: 6.3 cm with mount

Descriptive line

Carte de visite photograph by Jabez Hughes showing a young African boy, Prince Dejatch Alamayou, July 1868



Subjects depicted



Black History; Portraits; Photographs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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