Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lehnert & Landrock: Shepeard's Hotel in Cairo

Some year's ago R and I had a collection of some 350 postcards and photographs by Lehnert and Landrock. They were an enterprising pair: Rudolf Lehnert was the photographer, Landrock the businessman. We sold that collection some years ago. But as I go about my normal business of attending antiques and collectables fairs, when I have seen a single of couple of L&L cards (not to be confused with LL cards!) I have bought them in a kind of nostalgic way. Some months ago, I realised that this ad hoc purchasing had resulted in some 80 L&L cards being tucked away in my desk drawer and that I had, almost by default, created another collection. So, when I decided to treat myself with a trip to the South of England Postcard Fair, the main purpose was to scan for Lehnert and Landrock images. I found ninety-nine in the end and among the scenes of North Africa (Egypt, Tangier, Algeria), Palestine, and the scantily clad nubile arabs, were this set of b/w photos of the interior of Shepeard's Hotel in Cairo. These are actually by Lehnert and Landrock Succ. - a continuation of the company past it's original owners, probably from the 1920s-30s.

What a place. Shepeard's Hotel was founded in the 1840s as the British Hotel in Cairo. One hundred years later it had a reputation for wealthy clients and secret assignations, this is Indiana Jones and Gregory Sallust territory: heads of state, wealthy businessmen and dodgy diplomats: you only have to look at the photos to be transported into that, now completely alien, world.

There was a fire in the 1950s which means that the current Shepheard's isn't the one in these photos, in fact isn't even on the same site.


J said...

I love these. The first time I read about Shepeard's was in the Sax Rohmer novels--for all I knew then, it might have been a place he made up.

Hotel In Cairo said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like that images of hotel in cairo verymuch. I definitely want to read more soon.

celia said...

Love these pics... I'm researching an old visiting card from a James kalembar whose address was Shepeards hotel... try to see if it matches a picture of an arab on a pleasant set of stairs....both had belong to my aunt who was there in 1902... still hunting confirmation but great to see the interior of this place that was probalby known to my grandparents!

Who links to my website?