Carrying a Sedan Chair (Palanquin), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1819-1820

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Image Reference

Henry Chamberlain, Views and costumes of the city and neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from drawings taken by Lieutenant Chamberlain, Royal Artillery, during the years 1819 and 1820, with descriptive explanations (London, 1822), plate 5. The illustration shown here is taken from the facsimile edition with biographical notes by Joaquim de Sousa Leao (published by Kosmos, Rio de Janeiro, 1974; printed in The Netherlands). (Copy in Widener Library, Harvard University)

Title, "The Seje, or Chege, and Cadeira." The "Cadeira" (right) "consists of an arm chair, with a high back, firmly fixed upon a foot board, having an oblong wooden top from which hang curtains . . . . The bearers were chosen from the stoutest and best looking negroes in the family, and were dressed in gay liveries; sometimes wearing coloured feathers in their hats." On the left, is the "Chaise, or Chégé," driven by two other slaves in livery. The foreground figures in Chamberlain's book were copied from two separate water-colors drawn earlier by Joaquim Candido Guillobel. Born in Portugual in 1787, Guillobel came to Brazil in 1808, and from 1812 started "drawing and painting small pictures on cards of everyday scenes in Rio de Janeiro." For biographical details on Guillobel, who died in 1859, and reproductions of about 60 of his original drawings in color (including the ones shown here) see Joaquim Candido Guillobel, Usos e Costumes do Rio de Janeiro nas figurinhas de Guillobel [1978]. The text of this volume is given in both Portuguese and English; the author of the biographical notes who is, presumably the compiler of the volume, is not given in the Library of Congress copy that was consulted. (See this website, "Chamberlain" for related drawings.)