The People of Gibraltar
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Tangier

In 2015, the Barcelona based antique dealer Balclis offered a huge selection of old photographers for auction. It included many by well known pioneers such as Francis Frith, Charles Clifford, Jean Laurent and others. More to the point it included 22 taken by Joseph Porral all of them identifiable by his “JP” logo.

(2017 - Balclis - from auction catalogue)

Unfortunately the catalogue includes only 4 examples of Porral’s Tangier photos some of them somewhat poorly copied. 

The following are additional ones that Rafael Fernandez has been able to identify from other sources.

Cape Spartel

In 1881, The Spanish Arabist Antonio Amagro C├írdenas visited Tangier while researching the Arab dialect spoken in northern Morocco.  Later he wrote a manuscript about his trip and included a number of photos of Tangier - most of them taken by - or at any rate the property of - George Washington Wilson. However, one of them as shown below was taken by Joseph Porral.

The Zoco chico and the Calle Siaguins. The bell tower shown in the distance was a provisional one which was built before the completion of the building which was inaugurated in 1881 thus allowing a rough estimate of when this particular photo was taken.

Porral was living in Gibraltar in 1878 but had left by 1891 as he no longer appears on the local census of that year. My feeling is that he took all his Tangier photos during 1881 by which time he had probably left Gibraltar with his family to live in Algeciras.

I must admit that this section on the professional life of our Joseph ends up asking more questions than it answers. Why did he visit Tangier? Was his Gibraltar business not as good as he would have wished? Was he simply trying out his skills elsewhere? Was it a failure to prosper in Tangier that led him to return to Algeciras?

With acknowledgements to Rafael Fernandez who supplied me with many of the photos and pointed me in the right direction. Thank you Rafael.

1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Introduction
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Carte de Visite
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Postcards
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Photos
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Algeciras