[Jewellers of Galle, Ceylon.]
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Carte-de-visite study of a group of Galle jewellers gathered round a table with their wares, one of a series of portrait studies of ethnic types and occupations taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the early 1870s. Galle is a coastal town south of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Its small natural harbour was the point of entry for ships coming to the island before improved port-facilities gave Colombo pre-eminence in the 19th century. The island has a fine Dutch built fort. Galle used to be a centre for carved ebony furniture and for tortoise-shell products. Its sizeable Muslim community has included families prominent in the jewellery trade.