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I bought a pretty big collection of stereograph cards and am listing them here and on eBay. Check my shop here for availability: http://www.etsy.com/shop/rayela?section_id=5122039 It will take me awhile to get them all listed, so feel free to send me a convo on what else I have. They will ship in a protective sleeve.

Standard size: 7" x 3.5" or 18 x 9 cm.

This listing: Unidentified lithograph, hand tinted

Early 1900's

Text on card
Front: 1380. Portrait of Bisharin Girl, Upper Egypt.



If beauty is but skin deep, so is ugliness, and both are a matter of taste. May we not assume that the boy in the background personifies open-mouthed wonder at the beauty of the idol of his heart? Or did the poet think that this girl when he smote the lyre, singing: "A kiss from her two rosy lips would make me hale and whole?" The man who took this picture is authority for the fact that the original was the proud daughter of the richest man in the village, who owned twenty goats, two donkeys and four camels, a wealth unparalleled among all the Bisharin tribes twenty miles around, and that she was considered a great beauty among all the marriageable young men of her race, but was held as a great prize by her father who would not give her away for less than one camel and ten goats. The background of the picture is formed by the wall of the tent, made from plaited grasses and stretched on poles which the Bisharin call a house, easily folded together and carried away on a donkey's back, when the animals have eaten up the scant vegetation in one place, and quickly set up again a few miles further on.


Well! I guess attitudes have changed some in 100 years.... And, don't you just love those long, run-on sentences?

Here is some info on the Bisharin, from Wikipedia:

The Bisharin are a mostly Sufi Muslim tribe of the Beja nomadic ethnic group. They inhabit the eastern part of the Nubian Desert in Sudan and southern Egypt, living in the Atbai between the Nile River and the Red Sea, north of the Amarar and south of the Ababda. The population is about 42,000. Most of the tribe move within the territory of Sudan, where they have political representation in the Beja Congress. "Bisharin" is also the name of their spoken dialect.

The Bisharin tend animals, including camels, sheep, goats, buffalo and cattle. They have a breed of chicken named after them called Bigawi, which was carried to Fayoum in ancient times. This important African breed is better known as the Fayoumi. For those along the Nile River, farming is a way of life; they grow cotton, sugar cane, corn, dura, wheat, sesame, fruits and vegetables and raise poultry.


Condition: Fair. Card has surface ripples, a crease, and some damage.


A note on pricing: I've done some research on the cards and their prices are all over the place. Some individual cards have become highly collectible and are valued in the hundreds of dollars. I am choosing a middle-of-the-road approach and pricing them all at $5 unless I see that they are worth more on other sites.

Shipping is based on a flat rate envelope. If you would like it to go via snail mail, I can send them in a regular envelope and will refund the difference after I print the label. Just specify that when you purchase any stereograph cards.


The following information is taken from the Conexions Website (http://cnx.org/content/m13784/latest/). Visit it for a nice article on the history of stereographs.

Between the 1840s and the 1920s, stereographs served as an important method of entertainment, education, and virtual travel—predecessors to contemporary forms of media such as television and movies. As Burke Long argues, “Mass-produced and relatively cheap, the integrated system of mechanical viewer and photographs became fashionable for classroom pedagogy, tourist mementos, and parlor travel to exotic places of the world” (90).

People viewed stereographs at homes, schools, and churches, gazing at images documenting almost every subject imaginable from astronomy to zoology. According to stereograph collector and historian William Darrah, stereographs were used to teach millions of American children about geography, natural history, and a range of other subejcts (50). Many in the nineteenth century embraced photography as a medium that, unlike other arts such as painting, presented the “truth” through exact rendering of a scene.

Stereographs seemed even more real and more engaging by simulating three dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes called stereographs “sun sculptures” and commented, “All pictures in which perspective and light and shade are properly managed, have more or less the effect of solidity; but by this instrument that effect is so heightened as to produce an appearance of reality which cheats the senses with its seeming truth” (16).

The last photo shows a common example of a stereoscope, the machine that was used to view these cards. The image is from http://www.phantomranch.net/3dphotog/3dphotog.htm which also gives instructions on how to make your own 3d photos.

My store focuses on ethnic textiles (ralli quilts, hand-carved textile stamps, vintage remnants, fabric, molas, embroidery, Afghan kilims and anything fiber I can get my hands on!). I also sew and quilt, so you will find some other funky things I've made, too. Please come visit and if you like all of this, my blog is a must-see, too: http://fiberfocus.blogspot.com/

All sales on Etsy are in USD.
Free shipping on purchases over $100 in the United States.

Vintage Stereoview Card: Portrait of Bisharin Girl, Upper Egypt. Tribal 1380


  • Vintage item from 1900 - 1909
  • Material: paper
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 923 reviews
  • Favorited by: 13 people