Saturday, February 27, 2016

Souvenir Saturday: Dacomb

The Dacomb family interests me because one of them, Charles, farmed next door to my husband's Smith ancestor at the Dacomb farm named Dunragit near Umzinto on the South Coast of Natal.

Charles was notable for having ridden a zebra to his canefields, an unusual idiosyncrasy in the 1880s/90s. It conjures up an agreeable colonial image and it was in all likelihood the original settler, Charles Dacomb, who indulged in zebra-riding.

This portrait by photographer Benjamin Kisch may be of Charles William Dacomb, his son. Three original Dacomb brothers - William, Joseph and another Charles - emigrated to Natal in the 1850s.

The farmer in the portrait, Charles William, was son of Charles, and married Elizabeth Hall in 1894. The costume, what little of it appears in the photograph, points to the 1890s so may have been taken on the occasion of the sitter's marriage, when Charles William was in his thirties.

Unidentified gentleman riding zebra

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