Pictured is Sultan, the famous Barbary Lion who lived at the now Bronx Zoo at the turn of the 20th Century. (1.)

E.R. Sanborn was affiliated with the New York Zoological Society at the time this portfolio was published.

Elwin Roswell Sanborn: 1869-1947


was the first official photographer for the New York Zoological Park, now known as the Bronx Zoo. A self-taught photographer, Sanborn learned to photograph wildlife by doing it. He recorded nearly every species that came into the Bronx Zoo during the first three decades of the twentieth century using black and white photography. (Source: Wikipedia accessed April, 2018)

print notes recto: faintly engraved in the print at lower left corner from the negative: Copyright 1903. By NY ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY

1. From “Sultan: A King Among Lions“, published February 17, 2016 on wbur’s The Wild Life web blog online resource: “Barbary, or Atlas, lions once ranged over North Africa, but were deprived of good habitat and hunted into oblivion. It is believed that the last wild Barbary lion was shot in Morocco in 1942.” And from Wikipedia, accessed April, 2018: “In early 1903, the zoo was gifted a pair of Barbary lions, a subspecies which is now believed to be extinct. The female was named Bedouin Maid and male Sultan, who went on to become one of the zoo’s most popular animals. Displayed in the Lion House, Sultan was four years old at the time and described as being both “a perfect specimen” and “unusually good tempered”. In May 1903, the pair produced three cubs, the first to be born at the zoo. On October 7, 1905, Charles R. Knight painted a portrait of Sultan and the animal went on to be the focus of many of the zoo’s postcards. Sultan was also the model for the lion which sits atop the Rainey Memorial Gates.”


Image Dimensions11.5 x 15.8 cm tipped along upper margin

Support Dimensions27.8 x 35.4 cm